Roses at "Parish Church"
September 8, 2002
For the first time since The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2001 I was allowed to smell the scent of the roses. Our Lady has said to Father Gobbi that the roses are the scent of Her Immaculate Heart. I have absolutely no doubt about this what so ever because nothing of this earth could possibly compare or even come close to the perfection of this aroma that once experienced can never be forgotten.
Today was the first day of CCD and I am starting my 3rd year as fourth grade teacher. I drove to church and I parked in front of S.C.C.’s mothers house which is very close to "Parish Church". I walked over to the church and went down stairs looking for my new classroom. At the very instant I walked through the door I had one of those feelings that told me to look at my watch. The time was 9:33. Class went well and my new aide is Shannon Fxxx. After class I went upstairs to go to the 11 AM mass because I was scheduled to be the Eucharistic minister. When I got there S.C.C. and C.R.C. were already seated. A few minutes later Barbara G came and sat next to us. When she sat down I just happened to notice my watch and it said XX:XX:13. Barbara is very excited about becoming a Catholic and says the reason she is doing this is because of the positive changes in her family since her husband Bob returned to the church. Barbara told us in the RCIA meeting this past Saturday that in the 12 years since Bob had his legs amputated he has been depressed and bitter. Barbara said that since his return to the church he is not depressed and is no longer bitter. She said “That’s why I’m here”.
During mass I was thinking about her saying that when suddenly I started to smell the roses! The roses would come and go and did so about 5 times in about a 5 minute period. I looked at my watch during one of the blast of roses and the time was XX:XX:13. A little time passed and I looked over and there was a bright halo of light around the head of The Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus on the statue in the front of the church. When it was over I knew with out even thinking about it to look at my watch and the time was 11:33.
When it was time for me to go up to be the Eucharistic minister I just happened to notice that at the very instant I opened the Tabernacle door the time was XX:XX:13. During the distribution of the Eucharist there were times that I had to hold back tears. Mass ended and we sang Happy Birthday to Father Xxx and I could not help but think about it being the Feast of The Birth of Mary too. It was at this time I also remembered it was the 2nd anniversary of the suspension of the Thursday night prayer group in Emmitsburg. As we were walking out of the church David Guinn stopped me and asked if I would consider driving the youth group to Arlington to a special event that is being held there on September 21. I told him I would do it. I stood outside talking for a few minutes then walked back in the church so that I could get the Eucharist to take to Bob G, Mary Ann Carta and Agnes C. As I was walking I looked at my watch and the time was 12:12:13. At that very instant I started to suddenly want to go to Emmitsburg very badly. As I opened the drawer to get a pix for the Eucharist I SUDDENLY felt a urgent need to tell Father Xxx what happened during mass. I looked at my watch and it was 12:13. I dreaded the thought of doing that. I would have preferred to write it down and give it to him. I opened the Tabernacle door to get the 3 Host that I needed and at that very instant the time was 12:13:33. I now knew that if I did not tell Father Xxx NOW that I would be failing to do what I believe God was asking me to do. Julie D came walking up and told me to leave the Tabernacle open because she was also getting the Eucharist to take to someone.
When I turned around Father Xxx was standing at the altar and I knew I had to tell him. I looked at my watch again and for the next couple of seconds it was still 12:13. I said a very quick prayer “Help me Mary !” I walked up to Father Xxx and I said “Father I just want to tell you that today has all the indications of being another one of those days” I found Father’s response to be very comforting when he said “Really, what happened?” I very briefly told him about the roses during mass and the halo around Jesus and Mary. I told him it was just like what happened at Saint Mary’s in Fairfield (Emmitsburg). I then told Father Xxx “It’s happening right now as we speak.” Father Xxx then said “Just go with it.” That statement was very comforting and gave me peace from an external source that blended perfectly with the peace that was coming from an internal source. What was actually happening and what I was referring to when I said “It’s happening right now as we speak” was this internal knowledge that I needed to go to Emmitsburg. When it happens it is very sudden and the thought of resisting it would never cross your mind. I told Father Xxx “I am cooperating” and I left the church to take the Eucharist to Bob, Mrs. Carta and Mrs. C.
I walked back to my truck that was parked at S.C.C.’s mothers house. I wanted to be alone. I was surprised when S.C.C. and C.R.C. pulled up just as I was getting in. I told S.C.C. that I was going to go to Emmitsburg after I finished my Eucharistic Minister duties. S.C.C. and C.R.C. both said they wanted to go too. I said OK, I will be home in about and hour and a half. Be ready to go. Being alone was not part of the plan.
I drove to Bob G’s house and gave him the Eucharist first. Bob and I were talking and just before I gave him the Eucharist I saw my watch and it said XX:XX:33. I then drove to Our Father’s House to give the Eucharist to Mary Ann Carta and Agnes C. I went to Mrs. Carta’s room first but she was not there so I went to Mrs. Agnes's room and gave her the Eucharist first. As I was leaving her room I looked at my watch and the time was XX:XX:33. I went back to Mrs. Carta’s room and she had returned. As I walked through the door into her room I again had the sudden urge to look at my watch and the time was XX:XX:33. When I left I drove back to "Parish Church" to return the pix and I prayed the rosary. When I finished I drove home and at the very instant I got there I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
I was surprised to find both S.C.C. and C.R.C. ready to go when I got there. S.C.C. then said Cecilia C just called and said she was just getting off work at Appleby’s in Warrenton and she wanted to know if we were going to Emmitburg today and that she wanted to go too. I called Cecilia back at Appleby’s and told her we would pick her up there since it was right on the way. We got in S.C.C.’s car and as we pulled out of the driveway the odometer was 33. We drove to Warrenton and arrived at Appleby’s at 3:33. We then called Ted Szymanski on the cell phone to see if he wanted to go too and he said yes. We arrived at Walmart in Leesburg and picked up Ted at 4:13. We drove to Emmitsburg and arrived at the Grotto of Lourdes at 5:13. When we first got there I still had a desire for a few minutes alone so I sat in the car and wrote down some of the days events in my hand written journal and when I finished writing it was 5:33. I then walked through the Grotto and I found Ted at the top of the steps of the Crucifixion scene. He was talking to a man who was visiting from Canada, his name was Jack Manion. He looked to be about 70 with white hair and a beard. Something about Jack struck me right away and I suddenly felt the urge to look at my watch. It said XX:XX:33. Jack started talking about Saint Therese and how she has been so important since childhood in his life. Jack then started telling me about events in his life where he was certain that an intercession had taken place. What struck me was when I realized that everything he was telling me although the details of the events were different the nature of the realization of knowing an intercession had taken place were identical. When Jack finished talking he handed me piece of paper that in a very artistic way he had doodled on. He said “This is for you”. It said “To God Mary Always Replies Yes and so God To Mary, Always Replies Yes” When our conversation was over I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
A few minutes later C.R.C. came pulling on my shirt and said “Dad I got to talk to you” C.R.C. wanted to talk in private. We stepped aside and C.R.C. said “I finally smelled the roses”. I said “Thats nice” and my thought was he smelled a nearby flower or perfume or something but then I noticed the look on his face and in his eyes and I saw how serious he was. C.R.C. then gave a perfect description of what it is like and what you feel inside when it happens. I was taken back by how he described it and without thinking about it I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. I know C.R.C. smelled the roses.
It was starting to get late and I wanted to pray another rosary so I walked over to the Fatima statue where I took the picture back in 1998. I had just finished the 2nd decade when the school bell rang that signals that the Grotto is closing and everyone has to leave. I could not believe that it was closing time already, I looked at my watch and the time was 7:13. We all got in the car and C.R.C. said he was starving. We drove to Saint Joseph’s and parked there and started walking to the Ott House to eat. I said “you all go ahead and I will catch up with you in a few minutes.” I wanted to finish the rosary that I started at the Grotto so I just walked around the outside of the church and prayed the last 3 decades. When I finished I said “Thank You Blessed Mother and Happy Birthday” at that instant I KNEW to look at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
I walked over to Jim O’Brien’s apartment and invited him to eat at the Ott House with us and he did. After we finished eating we walked back to St. Joseph’s and got in the car to come home. When we started the car the clock on the dash said 8:33. We drove to Leesburg and dropped Ted off at Walmart at 9:13. We then drove to Warrenton to drop Cecilia off at her car that was parked at Appleby’s, we arrived there at 10:13. We drove home and pulled in our driveway at XX:XX:13.