Facing so high-calibre a man, many rightfully wonder. Who is this man performing the same miracles as Christ and who came to confirm the teachings of the Gospel?
Observe that we, in our turn, are like the Hebrews in Christ's time. They were waiting for the Messiah and they did not recognize Him. Here, I speak especially to Christians, Catholic or not. Behold, Heaven has sent a Being only a few of us are really aware of his true identity. But you, what will you do? Will you reject such an outstanding Being as Christ was or will you accept him, along with his teaching? ...What will you do?
Read the following very carefully :
Common Point N°1 : Christ was there at the Creation and will be there at the end for the judgement. The Master spoke of himself to close friends, 'I was there at the Creation, I will be there at the end.'
Common Point N°2 : Christ had been announced for almost thousand years by prophets. The Master spoke of himself, 'I am the Shepherd's dog and and the least amidst you', or still, 'I am the eldest of you all. None of you is as little as myself.' (11/02/1902). Yet Christ Himself announced in the Gospel of Matthew 11-11 (Bible of Jerusalem), 'Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.' The Master was announced too and by Christ Himself! ...as well as in another Gospel parable that you will discover afterwards.
Common Point N°3 : Christ was born in a tiny village at Bethlehem then lived the first part of His life in a tiny village at Nazareth. His Mother was named Mary, His guardian, Joseph. Likewise, the Master was born in a tiny village of the Savoie region at Loisieux Sainte Croix (in English : Loisieux Holy Cross). His mother was named Mary (Vachod) and his father, Joseph (Philippe). Christ's birth is celebrated in the West on December 25th. The Master was born on 25th too... on Wednesday, April 25th, 1849.
Common Point N°4 : At His time, Christ was announced by John called the Baptist who baptized in the River Jordan. When the Master's mother was pregnant, she visited the Curé d'Ars who revealed to her that her son would be a very advanced being. The Curé d'Ars had John as given name too (John-Mary Vianney 1786-1859).
Common Point N°5 : Before Christ's birth, a shining star guided the shepherds and the Three Kings toward Bethlehem. For the Master Philippe's birth, people at that time attested, 'As she was close to give birth, she sang with a branch of laurel in her hand. Out there was a dreadful storm; it was fancied, for a while, that the village was about to be swept away. Then a big star showed up. A very shiny one it was. The star showed up again on the day of his christening at the Church of Loisieux, and the priest was struck by it.'
Common Point N°6 : Christ is called "Rabbi", that is Master by His disciples. The same goes for Master Philippe. John was the disciple that Jesus loved. Likewise, John... John Chapas was the disciple that the Master loved. He brought him back from the dead twice.
Common Point N°7 : The resurrection of Lazar is well-known by everyone. Likewise, the Master raised up John Chapas twice. Once at the age of 7 years old, John affected by a meningitis passed away. Two doctors appraised and signed the death certificate. He was brought back by the Master. He died a second time in 1899 from a typhoid fever. The death certificate was drawn up again. And again, he was brought back by the Master. John spoke of himself, 'I am a dead man on vacation.' (Vie et Enseignements de Jean Chapas (Life and Teachings of John Chapas; in French)).
He died on September 2nd, 1932. The Master, at his family home, brought a tree that had been dead for a very long time back to life.
Common Point N°8 : We can read in the Gospel of John, 'I am the gate for the sheeps ' (John 10-7) or 'I am the gate' (John 10-9). The Master spoke of himself, 'I am the Gate, none can die without seeing me, without my seeing him.'
Common Point N°9 : Christ was rejected from Israel by the Church of that time. Likewise, the Master was rejected and misunderstood by the Roman Catholic Church at his time.
Common Point N°10 : Christ said, 'my Kingdom is not from this world.' Likewise, the Master said, my country is not here.'
Common Point N°11 : Gospel of Matthew 11: 4-5, 'go and report to John what you hear and see: Blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear,
the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.'
Christ was known for His miracles, so was the Master. They took place during sessions opened to everybody, sometimes up to two hundred people attended them. One day, he said to a sick woman, 'through the intercession of the Virgin, I ask for this woman to get better.' And she was better and he told her to walk. (Answers from Master Philippe Page 70). Didn't you read in the Gospel of Mark 9: 38-40 about the use of Jesus' name?
'Master, said John, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. Do not stop him, Jesus said. For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.'
The Master spoke of himself, 'no, I never told you that I had been any of the Christ's apostles. I was a poor sinner at Our Jesus-Christ's time; I was with the apostles, that's all.'.
Common Point N°12 : Christ came on Earth to set an example to be followed. Likewise, the Master set an example throughout his life.
He said, 'Jesus came to establish the reign of charity and I have come to strengthen his laws.' (19/02/1894).
All the money earned during the Master's sessions was discreetly given back to the poor by John Chapas. We knew only after his death that he payed 52 rents! And at the end of his life, there was almost nothing left of the family fortune.
'Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.' (Gospel of Matthew 19-24)
* * *
The List is not exhaustive. For instance, the Master, as Christ did, also commanded elements of Nature (Answers from Master Philippe). Just think that one does not share so many common points with Christ... by chance.
Let's end with this anecdote about one of the great Moroccan Muslim mystic Cheikh Bou Amama (1833 ou 1840? - October 7th, 1908) called like this, « Bou Amama », because during his whole life he wore a turban (âmama) on his head evoking his devotion to Islam. Alfred Haehl attested page 53 of Life and Words the following, 'Bou Amama was the soothsayer of the Arab village at the 1900 World Fair in Paris. He heard of Mr. Philippe by Papus and he wished to go down to Lyons to meet him. According to him, he had a good deal to tell him. My instructions were to welcome the old Arab, to pick him up, and to bring him to the session on the day fixed by Mr. Philippe. Once there, he stayed for a while before the Master and I was astounded to see that he did not say a word. Once the session over, we both descended the stair to have a seat on a bench in the yard where Mr. Philippe was to join us. There, we had a twenty minutes discussion together, then Mr. Philippe left us. And, on telling Bou Amama my surprise that he had not spoken with Mr. Philippe about the numerous questions he wanted to ask him, he replied, "I told him everything and he answered me". I asked him then, "what do you think of Mr. Philippe?" Raising his right index finger he said "he’s great, he’s very great, he’s the greatest". '
This man, of Muslim faith, had perceived what the vast majority of the Christian at that time did not manage to see. So, what will you do?
Let's end with this detail. Anthelme Nizier Philippe, born on April 25th (Saint Nizier), asked his friends to celebrate his feast day on Palm Sunday. Palms are traditionally made of box trees, of olive trees, of palm trees or of laurels. Do you remember what his mother did shortly before the delivery?
Never forget the Master's word, 'I forbid you to say what I am.'