Happy Birthday Dear Mama!
How blessed am I to be able to celebrate the Feast Day of Your Birth in this blog and share with my readers how much we are loved and cared for by you, our Mother and Sister. With that being said, I wish now to share an incredible story that began on the afternoon of June 28th and is still unfolding here at my home day- by- day.
The image above is one taken in my home of the “Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima” on one of Her visits. The Legion of Mary brings “our Mother” to individual homes upon request and the normal procedure is that she visits for a week, or sometimes for two weeks unless there is an immediate request for Her to be elsewhere. It is always a great honor to welcome “The Mother of God” to your home and many, many graces flow to all who come to visit and pray the Rosary with her.
There is a presence of the Blessed Mother through this statue and you feel her great peace enter through your front door in an overwhelming way. You can imagine the day that She arrives, much is anticipated and you begin to prepare for her “Visitation.”
This year, I had requested “Grace,” her Guardian, to have her come and visit for my birthday week which is in mid June. Grace told me “Mama” was busy visiting other homes. I understood completely and so I placed my request on hold. In the meantime, I had scheduled a weekend retreat for June 28- July 1st with friends. We were to travel to Pennsylvania for a Charismatic Retreat. The retreat had been paid for and I was preparing a couple of days prior to get things ready for the trip. In prayer, the words came to me, “give your space to another.”
My first reaction was to ask myself, “Where were these words coming from?” I knew that I would be going down with other couples and I thought possibly without my own husband, I would be setting myself up for disaster. I am quite thankful that I knew the rules of Ignatian discernment. When I was working at the retreat house, I was privy to many spiritual exercises and days of prayer and I had learned of it. I had to make sure this wasn’t “self” speaking to “self,” nor the evil one trying to dissuade me from attending a powerful retreat.
With this concern in mind, I headed off to present this all to Fr. Tony whom I knew would be helpful in this matter. He listened and told me to heed the words. Even if it was the evil one trying to keep me home, he said, “Don’t you think Anita. . . Jesus can give you the graces you would have received on the retreat had you been there. . . right in your own home? Cancel the retreat,” he told me. “And be at peace. There will be other times to go on retreats but not now.” So I cancelled! It was a big surrendering! Really, to the unknown!
And the “unknown” came quickly. The very next day after I had cancelled my reservation, giving my space up to another, Grace called to see if I wanted the Blessed Mother to visit my home! When I answered the phone, Grace asked, “Can she come this Thursday?” Thursday was June 28th, the day before I was supposed to leave on retreat. Of course, I answered, “absolutely!”
As I reflected on this whole scenario, I realized that this visit might possibly be why I was asked to give up my space on the retreat. Now, the Our Lady of Fatima Pilgrim statue was coming to my home. But this time she was coming to my home like no other time she had visited here before. She was coming like a real “Jewish Mama,” who started to give me instructions before her arrival. First, I was led to cancel the retreat, then earlier on the day she was to arrive at 4:00, I got the sense that we were not supposed to place the mantle you see in the image above, on her. The mantle is quite beautiful. It was sewn by Germaine, a member of the Legion of Mary. I also felt inspired to play some “Nazarene” music from a CD that I had in my possession for years now. Then, when I was looking through a catalog that arrived in the mail only hours before “she” did, my eyes fell upon the title “Virgin of Jerusalem.” She certainly was speaking to my heart and I tried to remain as open as I could to her whisperings.
She definitely was giving instruction to me that I knew I was to pass on to the ladies when they arrived with the statue. Meekly asking “Grace” if we could leave the mantle off the statue. . .she looked at me with questioning eyes. Well, I replied, “If She has the Mantle on, you really don’t see Her face.” Germaine answered quickly with a smile. . .”Well it is the summer!” So the mantle stayed off, but the Crown was secured in place and we began our “prayers of welcoming Our Lady” to my home. We prayed the Rosary together and they departed, leaving me alone with this beautiful statue. That evening a “Flame of Love” cenacle came to pray in front of Our Lady, and from that moment on, there was a constant flow of visitors.
It truly was the next night, the Friday night when I would have started my weekend retreat that her “Visitation” and the reason why She arrived came to the light.
The doorbell rang around 8:00 pm, I had just settled myself in front of the TV all ready to watch a movie on TCM. I looked out the window from the second floor and saw Msgr. Michael and Fr. Alex from my Parish standing near my front door! “You are kidding me,” I yelled down from the window! “What are you two doing here?” They had never done that before so I was really surprised! They replied that they had gone for a walk after dinner, saw my car in the driveway and decided to pay me a surprise visit! When opening the front door I told them, “The surprise is on you both! Look who is here!!!”
I will never forget how they both stood in front of the statue of the “Blessed Mother.” I knew she had called them here. She had called her “priest sons” and I also knew this was the reason why I was home and not in Pennsylvania with everyone else. After their prayers, we went out on the deck to just share about her visit and also talk about what was on their minds as well.
I was in awe that evening! Everything was beginning to unfold and I knew that it was going to be beyond my imaginings. Our Blessed Mother came to my home with an agenda and she was about to reveal the “graces,” as Fr. Tony had so aptly told me, on a weekend when I was supposed to be in Pennsylvania.
To Be Continued . . .
©2018 Anita Guariglia
Photo Credit/ Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima/Anita Guariglia
Photo Credit/ Birthday Cake/ Pixabay.com