“There are cases on record of isolated and independent phenomena exhibited by certain images in the last century; the latest was the bleeding of the cheek of an image of the Virgin when a soldier of Napoleon cut her face in two. This miracle, alleged to have happened in 1812, in the days of the invasion by the “grand army”, was the final farewell. But since then, although the three successive emperors have been pious men, their will has been respected, and the images and saints have remained quiet, and hardly been spoken of except as connected with religious worship.
In Poland, a land of furious ultramontanism, there were, at different times, desperate attempts at miracle-doing. They died at birth, however, for the argus-eyed police were there; a Catholic miracle in Poland, made public by the priests, generally meaning political revolution, bloodshed, and war. Is it then, not permissible to at least suspect that if, in one country divine miracles may be arrested by civil and military law, and in another they never occur, we must search for the explanation of the two facts in some natural cause, instead of attributing them to either god or devil?
In our opinion – if it is worth anything – the whole secret may be accounted for as follows. In Russia, the clergy know better than to bewilder their parishes, whose piety is sincere and faith strong without miracles; they know that nothing is better calculated than the latter to sow seeds of distrust, doubt, and finally of skepticism, which leads directly to atheism. Moreover, the climate is less propitious, and the magnetism of the average population too positive, too healthy, to call forth independent phenomena; and fraud would not answer. On the other hand, neither in Protestant Germany, nor England, nor yet in America, since the days of the Reformation, has the clergy had access to any of the Vatican secret libraries. Hence they are all but poor hands at the magic of Albertus Magnus.”
H. P. Blavatsky