Miraculous Medal Booklet
September 10-11, 2001
Nick H. has been a good friend of mine for about the past 20 years. Nicky has a Civil War relic shop in Falmouth, Va which is near Fredricksburg. Nicky is always going to flea markets and antique shops and I have asked him to buy old Civil War era and older Miraculous Medals for me when he runs across them. Over the years Nicky has picked up about 25 of them for me.
On Monday September 10, 2001 I stopped at Nicky’s shop after work to take care of a Civil War relic deal we had made several weeks earlier. I arrived at his shop at 6:33 that evening. When I walked inside the first thing Nicky said to me was “I picked up something for you that you are really going to like but it is not a Miraculous Medal”. Nicky reached in a drawer and pulled out a little 8 page booklet entitled “Medal of the Immaculate Conception Called the Miraculous Medal”. The booklet was very old and in fragile condition, it has a picture front and reverse of the Miraculous Medal on the front cover. Inside the book it explains the origin of the medal and other related history. In the middle of the booklet someone wrote in pencil “I received this and a Miraculous Medal from Rev. Father Thomas A. Judge. Father Judge and Father Lynch gave a mission here in 1908.” On the next page it contains the Imprimatur of J. Card. Gibbons, Baltimore, May 1, 1907. When I closed the booklet and looked at the back cover I almost could not believe what I was seeing. The back cover reads “ Saint Joseph’s Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland.” I was momentarily stunned to the point that I was speechless and was overcome with a feeling of joy that I have only known at special moments in Emmitsburg and Medjugorje. I asked Nicky where he got the booklet and he said he found it at a flea market in Hillsville, Va which in somewhere in the southwestern part of the state near North Carolina.
As I was driving home from Nicky’s shop that evening I was overcome with a desire to go to Saint Joseph’s in Emmitsburg for the sole purpose of thanking God for what I consider another wonderful tangible gift. The sudden desire to go there was the strongest I have ever felt on a day that was not a Thursday. I said to myself “If I did not have to go to work tomorrow I would go to Saint Joseph’s and just sit in there and read the little book and pray.”
The next day was Tuesday September 11, 2001 and I was at work when we received the word about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. SWIFT is considered a very high terrorist risk because of the worldwide financial transactions that are conducted there. Management made the decision to allow people to leave SWIFT at 10:45 or so that day and suddenly I found myself in a position to be able to go to Saint Joseph’s which I still had a burning desire to do. It took me almost 4 hours to get there that day because of the huge amount of traffic once you got near Leesburg because of people evacuating Washington, DC. I finally arrived at St. Joseph’s at about 10 minutes to 3 that afternoon, when I got there the only other person in the church was Betty McKenna. By 3 PM about another 15 or 20 people had come in the church and started the Chaplet of the Devine Mercy. When that was over Gianna Sullivan entered the church with about 20 children of the Armata Bianca and about another 25 or more people arrived because the people of Saint Joseph’s had organized an emergency prayer group to pray the Rosary at 4 PM with Gianna and the Armata Bianca. All of the priest at Saint Joseph’s took part in this. The atmosphere in the church that Tuesday was the closest thing to a Thursday I have ever experienced there. For those few hours in Saint Joseph’s the violence of that day was dwarfed when compared to the tangible sense of peace and love God has for His people. Words will never do justice.
When I arrived home about 10 PM that night I turned on the TV and the very first thing I heard was Larry King talking about a Father Judge who was killed at the World Trade Center in New York. It made me think of the Father Judge in the little booklet I got from Nicky and ever since then I have kept both Father Judges in my prayers.
I also find it astounding that the very first weekly Marian prayer group at St. Joseph’s that was started by Sister Mary Clement Hemler D.C. was on September 11, 1991. This is the very same prayer group that the messages started on November 3, 1993.