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December 10, 2020 | Joseph Ferrara


As one of the privileged souls chosen to be a custodian of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima for America Needs Fatima, I have experienced many amazing things. As I travel visiting homes across or country, I have seen grace working wonders inside souls. Many may say the Grace of God no longer operates in the modern world but I could not disagree more.

One such case among many truly exemplified this reality for me.


The Home Visit

It was during a visit to a modest, unassuming home with the hostess and mother of five adult children, all present with rosaries in hand.

I could not help but notice that some children had tattoos and body piercings, which I normally do not find among everyday devotees of the Rosary. Notwithstanding, I sensed an atmosphere that expressed profound piety.

The visit proceeded with the reciting of the Holy Rosary, a video presentation on the Fatima message and the filling out of intentions envelopes that are taken to Fatima, Portugal. It ended quite naturally with the family expressing heartfelt gratitude for Our Lady’s visit.

As I gathered up my materials, I chatted with the hostess, who confided to me how her deceased husband had spent his last days. He was a sports enthusiast and trained his boys in boxing. His Sundays consisted of going to Mass and spending the rest of the day with sports.

On Holy Days of Obligation, his wife would remind him about going to Mass. However, he would usually cut her off and say, “Look here, I go to Mass on Sunday, and that’s it!” She prayed many Rosaries for his conversion.


Providence at work

One day, her mother accepted the invitation to receive our Fatima Pilgrim Statue in her home. Our hostess recounting this story planned to attend. As Providence would have it, the hostess and her husband had a previous engagement on the same date to attend a meeting at their local school.

She and her husband decided to split up. She would go to the school meeting, and her husband would oblige his mother-in-law by putting in a polite appearance at the Fatima event “as long as she doesn’t harangue me about praying the rosary.”

Thus, her husband went to the event when something very unusual happened. Unlike himself, he was quiet and observed the proceedings and devotions most attentively.

His mother-in-law was so surprised by his unusual, mute behavior that she called her daughter to ask if her husband was alright. She said she had never seen him like that and wondered if he was ill and possibly “suffering from a heart attack.”

At the conclusion of the evening, the husband spent some time kneeling in quiet prayer in front of the Pilgrim Statue and then departed. Upon his arrival home, his wife was equally concerned when he remained for some time in his truck in the driveway without coming immediately inside, as was his custom.

Our hostess was expecting the worst from this turn of events. She thought he must be fuming and that she was going to get an earful. Much to her surprise, he entered the house and declared with deep emotion, “I just met the most beautiful woman in my life!”


A changed man

From that day forward, he was a changed man. He gave up his obsession with sports and would often steal away to visit Our Lady at a shrine or a nearby church. His conversion was so profound that he started bringing a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima to homes. The hostess pointed to the statue her husband had used for the visits. It was a traditional one molded in plaster.

Years after this transformative visit with Our Lady, he announced to his family that he was going to die on a First Saturday—a day so special to Our Lady of Fatima. That is exactly what happened, as his family was gathered around his bedside praying the rosary.

Yes, the graces of God and the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, are still very much at work in our world and bearing unexpected fruit.



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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 22, 2021

Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God rather for s...

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April 22


Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God
rather for sinners than for the just, since
Jesus Christ declares that
He came to call not the just, but sinners.

St. Anselm

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Saint of the day


St. Theodore of Sykeon

Endowed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, on a second...

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St. Theodore of Sykeon

Born in the Roman Galatian town of Sykeon in Asia Minor, Theodore was the son of a woman of ill repute, who kept an inn along the imperial highway.

As a child, he was so given to prayer that he would often give up a meal to spend time in church. From an early age he shut himself up first in the cellar of his mother’s house and then in a cave beneath a disused chapel. Later, for a time, seeking to further escape the world, he sought solitude on a mountain.

On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem Theodore assumed a monk’s habit, and though only eighteen years of age, was ordained a priest by his own bishop. His life was most austere, wearing an iron girdle about his body and only sparingly partaking of vegetables.

Endowed with the gift of prophecy and miracles, on a second pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he obtained abundant rain after a severe drought.

Theodore founded several monasteries, and ruled as abbot in Sykeon. He was consecrated Bishop of Anastasiopolis, though he deemed himself totally unfitted. After ten years he succeeded in relinquishing his post and retired to Sykeon.

From Sykeon he was recalled to Constantinople to bless the emperor and the senate and there healed one of the Emperor’s sons of a skin disease, reputedly leprosy.

Theodore had a great devotion to St. George and did much to propagate devotion to him.

He died in Sykeon on April 22, 613.

Weekly Story


In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a...

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The Robber Who Stole Heaven

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. His occupation being what it was, he would only increase his property by decreasing that of his victims.

One day, he was admonished by a local religious to change his course of life and thereby insure his eternal salvation. The only answer the robber gave was that for him there was no remedy.

"Do not say so," said the religious, "do what I tell you. Fast on each Saturday in honor of the Virgin Mary, and on that day of the week do no harm to anyone. She will obtain for you the grace of not dying in God’s displeasure.”

The robber thought to himself, “This is a small price to pay to insure my salvation; I will do as this holy man has prescribed.” He then obediently followed the religious’ advice, and made a vow to continue to do so. That he might not break it, from that time on he traveled unarmed on Saturdays.

Many years later, our robber was apprehended on a given Saturday by the officers of justice, and that he might not break his oath, he allowed himself to be taken without resistance. The judge, seeing that he was now a gray-haired old man, wished to pardon him.

Then the truly miraculous occurred. Rather than jump for joy thanking the judge for his leniency, the old robber, said that he wished to die in punishment of his sins. He then made a public confession of all the sins of his life in that same judgment hall, weeping so bitterly that all present wept with him.

He was beheaded, a death reserved for the nobility, rather than hanged. Then his body was buried with little ceremony, in a grave dug nearby.
Very soon afterwards, the mother of God came down from Heaven with four holy virgins by her side. They took the robber’s dead body from that place, wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the city.

There the Blessed Virgin said to the guards: "Tell the bishop from me, to give an honorable burial, in such a church to this dead person, for he was my faithful servant." And thus it was done.

All the people in the village thronged to the spot where they found the corpse with the rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. And from that moment on, says Caesarius of Heisterbach, all persons in that region began to fast on Saturdays in honor of she who was so kind to even a notorious robber.

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

In the mountainous region of Trent in Germany, there lived a notorious robber who made his living by bringing misfortune on others. 

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