Stories of Mary 21: A Coma, Infection, And The Rosary
“Yes, Mr. Ritchie, my son still has a long road ahead, but
Our Lord and Our Lady are seeing R. through this.
My son is a perfect example of the power
in the Holy Rosary and Faith and Hope.”
Dear Mr. Ritchie,
I thank you for sending me the picture of the miraculous fresco of Our Lady of Good Counsel from a printout of Genazzano, Italy. It arrived at my home at a time that only Our Lady herself knew. My son R. was in critical care in D.C. due to a blood disorder that spread havoc upon his heart, lungs, and his entire body. R. was put into a coma for eight weeks.
He also had a bacterial blood infection that the doctors could not figure where or what was causing it. That beautiful photo of Our Lady came to my home and I wrote on the back of it to Our Lady to heal my son and I bought a frame and hung it in my living room and prayed to our Blessed Mother to take that infection out of my son’s blood, …just please get rid of it.
Mr. Ritchie, two days later that infection left my son’s blood. Doctors still do not know what caused it. My son R. lives in southern Maryland and his dear priest had his name put on the altar at Easter at a Mass given by Pope Francis.
My son had double pneumonia for six weeks; lungs needed draining; on a ventilator to breathe; blood clots in both legs; and was bleeding internally. He was suffering from the effects of a mild stroke all during the eight weeks in critical care. The doctors did not think my son was going to make it.
As a mother I prayed my Rosary daily as I always do and prayed for acceptance to Our Lord’s will. In the hospital my son had four doctors caring for his needs and I pray they will remember how I would place my rosary on my son every time I would say my Rosary for my son and to realize it was God and Our Lady’s hand upon him.
My son was brought out of the coma at the end of the eight weeks. He then was in ICU [Intensive Care Unit – Ed.] three weeks, in another room for one week, and the hospital gave my dear son a grant to go to a home/rehab for one month due to my son not having insurance.
My dear Lord Jesus took care of everything for my son – hearing my pleas through the wonderful Rosary and intercession of Our Mother.
Yes, Mr. Ritchie, my son still has a long road ahead, but Our Lord and Our Lady are seeing R. through this. He went from a wheelchair, to a walker, and now a cane. He is able to attend Mass and is planning to marry September 14. My son is a perfect example of the power in the Holy Rosary and Faith and Hope.
“Thank you” does not seem enough, but I say again to you, “thank you” for the beautiful picture. We treasure it.
The above unsolicited Story of Mary – Story of the Rosary is taken from a recent letter from a member of America Needs Fatima’s family of souls to Mr. Robert Ritchie, Executive Director of America Needs Fatima.
Stories of Mary 23: The Hail Mary Of A Protestant
(A true story)
The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could
not bear it any longer, and full of indignation,
he interrupted them, saying: ...
(4 minute read - Enjoy!)
A little six year old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer "Hail Mary." He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it, and would recite it every day.
"Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer," he said to his mother one day.
"Never again say it," answered the mother. "It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who adore idols and think Mary is a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do."
From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily "Hail Mary" and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.
One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: "Mommy, I have found the 'Hail Mary' in the Bible which says: 'Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.' Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?"
On another occasion he found that beautiful salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that "the generations would call her blessed."
He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the "Hail Mary" every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.
One day, when he was fourteen, he heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman.
The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:
"Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the spirit of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion."
So deep was the impression which the boy's talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: "Oh, my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!"
And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.
Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: "You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!"
Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion.
However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery.
Her brother then approached her and spoke to her affectionately, saying:
"My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one 'Hail Mary' and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be."
His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning, but as she wished for her son's recovery, she accepted her brother's proposal and recited the "Hail Mary" together with him.
The next day her son was completely cured. The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her whole family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.
This story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Fr. Tuckwell:
"Brethren," he went on and said, "the boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady. You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, 'Hail Mary', and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and 'against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.'"
Stories of Mary 22: A Dying Mother, A Rosary, And A Son
“If mother only knew what has become of me!
My lips mouth the Our Fathers and the Hail
Marys, but my soul has no religion,
and I’ve become so sinful…”
(3.5 minute read - Enjoy!)
In the mid 1800’s there lived in Paris a good woman who, after her husband died, was left destitute. The widow had an only son, Hubald, who was her pride and joy.
Worn down by poverty, sacrifice, and worry, she became critically ill.
Calling her son to her bedside she said, “Hubald, son, I am about to die. I would like to make a last will.”
“Mother,” remonstrated the lad, “We’ve never had less; what can you possibly leave me?”
“I have a treasure to leave you,” said his dying mother, “Reach under my pillow.”
Doing so, Hubald pulled out a Rosary.
“This is what I leave you, my son,” gasped the mother, “I have nothing else, but this Rosary is enough. In honor of your dying mother, promise me that you will say it every day.”
“I promise,” said Hubald, his eyes awash. “I promise never to let a day pass without praying the Rosary on your beads.”
And so the lady breathed her last. After the funeral, alone and penniless in the world, the young man joined the army and was sent to the Crimea. Hubald proved a worthy soldier, and quickly attained military rank. At the age of thirty he was promoted to Colonel.
Unfortunately, his spiritual life did not keep pace with his military advancement. Gradually, through the years, Colonel Hubald had given up all practice of religion and all religious sentiment. Still, he kept his sacred promise to his dying mother, and no matter how busy or stressed, he found fifteen minutes each day in which to finger her beads, and recite the Rosary.
At times he thought regretfully, “If mother only knew what has become of me! My lips mouth the Our Fathers and the Hail Marys but my soul has no religion, and I’ve become so sinful…”
On September 7, 1855, when the army camped in the vicinity of Malakoff, during the siege of Sebastopol, Hubald lay in his cot. He was thus reflecting on the faithlessness and sinfulness of his life, when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
“Colonel, are you awake?”
Turning, Hubald recognized the Army Chaplain. As they shook hands, the priest felt the Rosary beads.
“I’m so glad to see you praying the Rosary, Colonel. I did not think you so devout.”
“I’m not, Father. I say the Rosary in remembrance of my Mother…” And he proceeded to relate his story.
Taking advantage of the emotion of the moment, the good priest spoke words of encouragement and comfort to Hubald, assuring him that God wanted nothing more than to forgive him all his sins.
“Colonel, why don’t you open your soul in Confession? I assure you that your heart will know the peace and serenity which you no longer believe possible.”
Touched by grace, the soldier humbly bowed his head, and making a general confession, unloaded years of sin and remorse. As the priest raised his hand in absolution, an indescribable joy flooded Hubald’s soul.
While he basked in this new-found feeling, there was a trumpet blast and the cry,
Assembling his troops, the Colonel rode into the fray. There was a fierce battle, men falling on all sides, but hours later the victory went to the French.
Among the dead, struck by a fatal bullet, was found Colonel Hubald. In his pocket he had his mother’s beads.
The Rosary had opened heaven to him.
Rewritten by Andrea F. Phillips, based on a story by Rev. James Alberione, in his book Glories and Virtues of Mary
Stories of Mary 24: The Divine Maternity
The Immaculate Conception
(10.5 minute read - Enjoy!)
When Garcia-Moreno1 fell under the blows of the assassins who struck him down out of hatred for Religion, a last flicker of light shone in his eyes as he murmured: “God does not die.” This is an extremely magnificent declaration of faith and hope. Truly, the Almighty cannot be vanquished!
Yet by choosing to manifest His abundant love through the work of Creation, it seems that the Lord suffered failure after failure. He created the angels to be companions of His infinite delights, yet many of them preferred to indulge their pride rather than enjoy the beatific joys of divine love.
He created our first parents for a happiness that far exceeds the most demanding expectations of the human heart. Yet they turned away from their Sovereign Benefactor out of ingratitude.
The Lord could not suffer what seemed to be a “double defeat.” Rather, He deserved a brilliant restitution. The incomparable Artist returned to work, conceiving the idea of an admirable creature whose beauty would far surpass man in the brilliance of his original innocence, and whose radiant perfection would outshine the light of the most splendid angels. When the time was fulfilled, He completed this masterpiece of His intelligence and love: He created the Virgin Mary. The first privilege accorded her was her Immaculate Conception.
Blessed is the day the Queen of Heaven was conceived!
We must fully understand what this unique privilege means.
With the conception of Mary, the Most High did more than just condescend to obey the universal laws governing the coming of men into the world. He did not form Our Lady miraculously by virtue of the Holy Ghost as was later done with her divine Son.
Indeed, she had both a father and a mother. But the Lord, Who from all eternity had chosen Joachim and Anne to give life to the Queen of Heaven, had raised them to a great degree of holiness. Their noble mission places them so much higher than the other Saints that they undoubtedly deserve special homage.
We are too often unmindful of this, yet we could benefit by recognizing their sanctity, for these two great souls enjoy a powerful influence over the heart of their beloved daughter.
The privilege of the Immaculate Conception consists in Mary’s exemption from the fatal inheritance we carry into the world at birth. The same moment that gives life to our bodies gives death to our souls. We are born children of wrath—“natura filii irae.”2
Throughout our fleeting lives, we endure the heavy burden resulting from the fall of Adam.
Allowing ourselves to be seduced by error, we lack the self-mastery to resist the temptations that challenge us. Our corrupted flesh is seared by the abominable fire of concupiscence. Our hearts are rent by affliction, our bodies tortured by sickness. Finally, hideous death overcomes us—and we must suffer the supreme ignominy of the putrefaction that consumes our corpse and the worms that vie with one another for our remains!
How the curse from heaven due to Adam’s sin oppresses us! How understandable is the cry of anguish uttered by Job in his misery: “Let the day perish wherein I was born.”3
On the contrary, many, many times blessed was the day the Queen of Heaven was conceived! From the solemn moment when Our Lord created her soul and united it with her small virginal body, He made it, by the work of His powerful hands, to emerge all white, all radiant, all pure. Not a single minute, not a single second, not a single infinitesimal fraction of a second was this magnificent soul sullied by the stain of Original Sin. Not even for an infinitesimal fraction of a second could the serpent glare at Mary with a look of hateful pride nor covet her as his prey. Seeing this, the serpent recognized with overwhelming anger that the woman who had been promised had come, the immaculate one who would crush his head with her virginal heel.
Since Mary was preserved from Original Sin, it logically follows that she would not be subject to the consequences of that sin. Let us then contemplate how this is reflected in her virginal soul. No narrow-mindedness limited her intelligence, for hers was the most wise, penetrating, and enlightened intellect after that of Our Lord.
No weakness impaired her will, the most vigorous and ardent will ever created.
No selfishness restricted her heart, the most all-encompassing, generous, and caring heart ever known after that of her Son.
This glory of her Immaculate Conception was reflected in her body. She did not experience the concupiscence that wreaks such havoc within us. Sickness did not harm her. Finally, unlike the rest of men, Our Lady was subject to neither pain nor bodily death. Nevertheless, God willed that she experience both suffering and death that she might know the same torments we suffer. With this store of shared experience, Our Lady’s compassion for us is all the more maternal and merciful.
We have so far studied only a small part of this great mystery. The Almighty did much more than create Mary in a state of grace like that of the angels and our first parents. He graced her soul with the sum of all virtues to such an imminent degree that our minds cannot grasp its splendor.
Theologians teach that from that first moment, the Blessed Virgin surpassed in perfection not only the highest angel, but all angels and saints put together.
Her incomparable beauty is such that the Holy Ghost exclaims in admiration: “Thou art all beautiful, O my love, and there is no blemish in thee”—Tota pulchra es et macula non est in te.4
When Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic world cried out with joy. The cannons of Castel Sant’Angelo, where the pontifical flag still waved in Rome’s brilliant light, fired and announced the glad news to the world. All over the world, the faithful proclaimed their joy. In many big cities, homes were spontaneously decked with banners and illuminated with candles and lanterns.
Christian hearts understandably rejoiced in seeing another flower of glory adorn the crown of their Mother. Does this privilege of the Virgin Mary, however, communicate the same kind of moral well-being to our souls? Does it not rather elevate Our Lady to such great height that she appears even farther removed from our misery? Quite the contrary!
Our Catholic consciences would be poorly schooled indeed if we did not find the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the very basis for her virtually infinite goodness.
All men are endowed with a fundamental generosity rendering them at certain times capable of the most admirable self-sacrifice. Those who survived battles can testify to the unfathomable heroism that can spring forth from the human soul. Indeed, how many young people have requested dangerous missions in the place of their older comrades? They knew the dangers involved yet proceeded to their deaths with smiles on their lips. They believed their sacrifice would deliver a father whose small children were also smiling in the distant purity of their cribs.
Unfortunately, many obstacles prevent the full maturing of such natural generosity, a magnificent vestige of our original state of beauty. We know these obstacles all too well from personal experience. Are our hearts not moved at the sight of another’s distress? Yet does not the bitter voice of self-interest all too often cover up the instinctive response which springs from the heart? Are we not often insensitive to our neighbor’s suffering because of our love of comfort and pleasure?
Our selfishness paralyses and often completely stifles the goodness of our hearts.
The Queen of Heaven knows no such pettiness! No selfishness can prevent her from merciful gestures of compassion and tenderness toward her children.
There is more. God formed the soul of Mary as the most faithful image of His adorable perfections.
God’s infinite goodness causes Him to fill us with more and more abundant blessings; indeed, this led the Incarnate Word to the supreme folly of the cross. Like her Son, the Blessed Virgin carries within her heart a ceaselessly burning fire of love for us. She would gladly sacrifice her life a thousand times over for our benefit.
Since she is a mere creature, her suffering on Calvary did not have infinite value like that of Jesus, but it did almost equal in intensity that of the Savior. That she did not die of sorrow at the foot of the cross is, in fact, a veritable miracle.
Does it not seem that Our Lady herself wanted to explain to us the relationship between her original purity and her goodness? Recall the miraculous grotto at Lourdes on the banks of the Gave, where she established the throne of her mercy. Prodigies occur without ceasing. How did the pure lady of the apparition answer when Bernadette asked her name? Joining her hands, her countenance lit with a most luminous smile, and lifting her eyes to heaven, she said with an expression of ineffable gratitude:
“I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Speaking thus, she implicitly told us:
“Let us join together in thanking the Most High for having preserved me from Original Sin. Since I am all pure, I am also all good.”
* * * * * * * * *
May these considerations inspire you to a practical and unshakable faith in Mary’s goodness. With Saint Bernard, believe firmly that you will never invoke our Heavenly Mother in vain.
Confide the desires of your soul to her. She will fortify you in your temptations and give you a small spark of her love for Jesus. This spark will enkindle the sweet fire of divine charity in your soul.
Confide the cares of your heart to her. Are you hurt by moments of ingratitude or scorn, which can be so especially cruel when coming from the persons you love? Are you broken by sorrows that suddenly extinguish the joy of your meager existence?
Tell Mary your troubles; she will console you, and your tears of grief will turn into tears of gratitude.
Confide your material cares to her.
She will arrange everything according to your true best interests. In all of your difficulties, in every circumstance, at every moment, look to the gentle Star of the Sea, invoke Mary!—“Respice stellum, voca Mariam.”5
1. Gabriel Garcia-Moreno, president of Ecuador in the mid-nineteenth century, was martyred and died for the Faith by Freemasons after receiving Holy Communion in 1875. back to text
2. Ephes. 2:3. back to text
3. “Pereat dies in qua natus sum, et nox in qua dictum est: conceptus est homo.” (Job 3 :3). back to text
4. Canticle of Canticles, 4:7. back to text
5. Saint Bernard. Second sermon on the words of the Gospel “Missus est angelus Gabriel” (“The angel Gabriel was sent”). back to text
This devotional article is taken from Crusade Magazine, November-December, 1999; a Special Edition dedicated almost entirely to the Most Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the form of a work by Fr. Raymond de Thomas de Saint-Laurent as a token of reparation for the many blasphemies and insults that are continuously hurled against them.
DAILY QUOTE for June 16, 2021
SAINT OF THE DAY
Fatima custodians often meet people who know little or nothing about the Catholic faith. A few years ago I had such an experience in Florida