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Michael Michael of the Morning Header

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This is the true story of a Marine wounded at war...

    
Dear Mom,

    I am writing to you from a hospital bed. Don’t worry, Mom, I am okay. I was wounded, but the doctor says that I will be up in no time.

    But that’s not what I have to tell you, Mom. Something happened to me that I don’t dare tell anyone else for fear of their disbelief. But I have to tell you, the one person I can confide in, though even you may find it hard to believe.

    You remember the prayer to Saint Michael that you taught me to pray when I was little: “Michael, Michael of the morning,…” Before I left home for Korea, you urged me to remember this prayer before any confrontation with the enemy. But you really didn’t have to remind me, Mom. I have always prayed it, and when I got to Korea, I sometimes said it a couple of times a day while marching or resting.

Michael of the Morning - Image 1

    Well, one day, we were told to move forward to scout for Commies. It was a really cold day. As I was walking along, I perceived another fellow walking beside me, and I looked to see who it was.

    He was a big fellow, a Marine about 6’4” and built proportionally. Funny, but I didn’t know him, and I thought I knew everyone in my unit. I was glad to have the company and broke the silence between us:

    “Chilly today, isn’t it?” Then I chuckled because suddenly it seemed absurd to talk about the weather when we were advancing to meet the enemy.
He chuckled too, softly.

    “I thought I knew everyone in my outfit,” I continued, “ but I have never seen you before.”

    “No,” he agreed, “I have just joined. The name is Michael.”

    “Really?! That’s mine, too.”

    “I know,” the Marine said, “Michael, Michael of the morning….”

    Mom, I was really surprised that he knew about my prayer, but I had taught  it to many of the other guys, so I supposed that the newcomer must have picked it up from someone else. As a matter of fact, it had gotten around to the extent that some of the fellows were calling me “Saint Michael.”

    Then, out of the blue, Michael said, “There’s going to be trouble ahead.”

    I wondered how he could know that. I was breathing hard from the march, and my breath hit the cold air like dense clouds of fog. Michael seemed to be in top shape because I couldn’t see his breath at all. Just then, it started to snow heavily, and soon it was so dense I could no longer hear or see the rest of my outfit. I got a little scared and yelled, “Michael!” Then I felt his strong hand on my shoulder and heard his voice in my ear, “It’s going to clear up soon.” 

     Michael of the Morning - Image 2It did clear up, suddenly. And then, just a short distance ahead of us, like so many dreadful realities, were seven Commies, looking rather comical in their funny hats. But there was nothing funny about them now; their guns were steady and pointed straight in our direction.

    “Down, Michael!!” I yelled as I dove for cover. Even as I was hitting the ground, I looked up and saw Michael still standing, as if paralyzed by fear, or so I thought at the time.

    Bullets were spurting all over the place, and Mom, there was no way those Commies could have missed at that short distance.

    I jumped up to pull him down, and then I was hit. The pain was like a hot fire in my chest, and as I fell, my head swooned and I remember thinking, “I must be dying…” Someone was laying me down, strong arms were holding me and laying me gently on the snow.

    Through the daze, I opened my eyes, and the sun seemed to blaze in my eyes. Michael was standing still, and there was a terrible splendor in his face.

    Suddenly, he seemed to grow, like the sun, the splendor increasing intensely around him like the wings of an angel.

    As I slipped into unconsciousness, I saw that Michael held a sword in his hand, and it flashed like a million lights.

    Later on, when I woke up, the rest of the guys came to see me with the sergeant.

    “How did you do it, son?” he asked me.

    “Where’s Michael?” I asked in reply.

    “Michael who?” The sergeant seemed puzzled.

    “Michael, the big Marine walking with me, right up to the last moment. I saw him there as I fell.”

    “Son,” the sergeant said gravely, “you’re the only Michael in my unit. I hand-picked all you fellows, and there’s only one Michael. You. And son, you weren’t walking with anyone. I was watching you because you were too far off from us, and I was worried.

    Now tell me, son,” he repeated, “how did you do it?”

    It was the second time he had asked me that, and I found it irritating.

    “How did I do what?”

    “How did you kill those seven Commies? There wasn’t a single bullet fired from your rifle.”

    “What?”

    “Come on, son. They were strewn all around you, each one killed by a swordstroke.”

    And that, Mom, is the end of my story. It may have been the pain, or the blazing sun, or the chilling cold. I don’t know, Mom, but there is one thing I am sure about. It happened.

    Love your son,

    Michael - Signature

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Note: The above true story of a Marine wounded in Korea in 1950.  Father Walter Muldy, a navy chaplain who spoke to the young Marine and his mother as well as to the outfit commander, always affirmed the veracity of this narrative. We heard it from someone who read the original letter and retell the story here in all its details and in the first person to better convey some of the impact it must have had when first told by the son to his mother. 

 

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Here is the beautiful prayer to Saint Michael mentioned in the incredible story above. The prayer is also on our new St. Michael Shield Medal which can be ordered free with an optional donation! 

Click here to order your Free St. Michael Shield Medal today!


Michael of the Morning Prayer 
 

Michael, Michael of the morning,

Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,

Keep me safe today,

And in time of temptation

Drive the devil away.

Amen.

 

St Michael Medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 9, 2020

If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your...

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July 9

 

If you persevere until death
in true devotion to Mary,
your salvation is certain.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

“Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!” exclaimed Fr...

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Augustine Zhao Rong, is one of a group of 120 Catholics, among many more who were martyred between the years 1648 and 1930 in China.

Having come to China through Syria in the seventh century, down through the centuries Christianity has in turn thrived or gone into hiding, contingent upon the relations of China with the outside world.

Of the 120 martyrs mentioned above, eighty-seven were Chinese, ranging in age from nine to seventy-two, and four of them were priests. Thirty-three were foreign-born, mostly priests or women religious. Though the missionaries and religious tried to distance themselves from foreign policies, the Chinese government did not differentiate and saw them all as westerners.

The martyrdoms of China are most moving, each person having died heroically though many of them suffered torture and cruel deaths. Fr. Francis Li, grandson of a Chinese martyr, describes his grandfather going to his death joyfully saying to his brother and son, “Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!”

Zhao Rong was a bailiff of a county jail. During the persecution of 1772, he was moved by the words of Fr. Martinus Moye to his fellow Catholic prisoners, and, ultimately converted. He later became a priest, and when in 1815 another persecution broke out, he was arrested and tortured, and being aged, died of the ill treatment.

The group of 120 martyrs celebrate today headed by St. Augustine Zhao Rong was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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