September 23, 2001
Three years ago this day I took the picture of Our Lady of Fatima at the Grotto in Emmitsburg. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind or the minds of many of the people who have seen the picture that the Face of Christ can be seen in the burst of light over Mary’s shoulder. The new chaplain of the Grotto in Emmitsburg has even hung the picture up in the Glass Chapel at the Grotto. It also hangs in the rectory at St. Joseph’s.
On September 23, 1999 which was exactly one year after I took the picture it just happened to be a Thursday night and we were at St. Joseph’s. People were often asking if they could get a copy of the picture and I would always give them one. On this night during the silence of the apparition I promised God that I would always go to the Grotto and pray at the Fatima statue on the anniversary of taking the picture. It seemed like the very least I could do. The following year on September 23, 2000 I kept my promise and drove to Emmitsburg, walked through the Grotto and prayed the Rosary at the Fatima statue. This past September 23 was a little different and I almost broke my promise to God .
On September 23rd of this year I had every intention of going to Emmitsburg to pray and to keep the promise I made back in 1999. It was one of those days where everything seemed to be going wrong. I was behind on some of the things I needed to do around the house, C.R.C. needed help with a science project for school and it just did not look like there would be any chance that I would be able to go. I said a few prayers but deep inside of me I was hurt because I knew I was breaking a promise that I had made to God. I tried to tell myself that God would understand and I went about my business catching up on the things around the house and I helped C.R.C. with the science project. During this time I had completely abandoned my plans to go to Emmitsburg.
A few hours later I was sitting down and I suddenly realized that everything was done and there was still time to keep my promise. I got in my truck and drove to Emmitsburg and just as I was pulling into the Grotto I saw Roberta who went to Medjugorje with us leaving the Grotto, she saw me and turned around. After she parked her car we talked for a few minutes. She asked me why I was in Emmitsburg that day and I did not want to tell her but I did. Roberta walked through the Grotto with me and when we arrived at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima we prayed the Joyful Mysteries together. Sometime during the 3rd decade I felt a rain drop hit my hand, a few seconds later I felt another one. I looked up but there were no clouds at all. It was a perfectly clear day. As we continued the Rosary the rain got harder. Roberta stopped the Rosary and said “It’s raining” and I asked her where it was coming from. We had no explanation at all. There were some dry leaves on the ground and you could hear the rain hitting them. Suddenly I realized the same exact thing that happened to Ted Szymanski on October 31, 2000 was happening to us. We continued the Rosary and very shortly, within a few seconds after we completed it the rain stopped. There were water droplets sprinkled all over us and just like on October 31, 2000 they came out of a clear blue sky.