I spent the next several hours mowing grass and other work around the house. When I finished I rode in town to make a copy of the picture I took at the Grotto of Lourdes of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima with the burst of light that contains the Face of Jesus. Hannah M stopped me about a week ago and asked if she could have one. At the very instant the picture printed I glanced at my watch and the time was 12:13:33.
I drove home and did some more work around the house, I then rode to the carwash to rinse off the new Toyota. When I finished and got back in the car the urge to go to Emmitsburg hit me very hard. I started the car and the time on the dash was 2:13. I struggled and resisted the urge and drove home and continued to work around the house. I knew if I was really supposed to go to Emmitsburg today it would strike again.
About an hour later I was sitting at the kitchen table taking a break. Suddenly the out of nowhere feeling hit me again. It was so strong and clear that I knew to look at my watch. It said XX:XX:33. I stopped everything I was doing and got in the car and left for Emmitsburg. I was delayed for at least 35 or 40 minutes just past Leesburg because of a very serious car accident on Rt. 15. This delay caused me to arrive at St. Joseph’s at 5:33:59.
The 4:30 mass was just letting out. I stood outside and talked to Kevin and Nancy Cogan for a while. Kevin offered to come to "hometown" and help us move. When we finished talking I walked in St. Joseph’s. I glanced at my watch at the very instant I walked in the church and it said XX:XX:33.
When I got in church there was a man with 4 young boys. They were praying the rosary in Latin. During this time another man walked in the church. I had never seen him before but somehow he seemed familiar to me. He entered a pew about 4 or 5 rows in front of me. He joined in the Latin rosary that was already in progress.
When the rosary was completed the man with the 4 boys left and that left only myself and the unknown man in church. He walked back to my pew and asked if I would like to pray the rosary with him. I said yes. We prayed the rosary out loud and I said the first half of each prayer in English and he completed each prayer in Latin. At the very instant we finished the rosary I felt the peace hit me again. I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
After the rosary I introduced myself to the man and I asked him for his name. He said “I’m sorry but I prefer to remain anonymous so that it will not detract from the prayers”. I thought this was a little strange but at the same time I sensed a deep sincerity on his part. He then asked me to join him in a Divine Mercy Chaplet. We alternated decades, when we finished I again felt the strong feeling of peace run through me. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
We were still the only people in the church and I thought we were finished when he asked me to join him in another rosary. I hesitated but did pray another rosary with him. We were almost finished with the rosary and only had a few more prayers to go before people started coming in the church for the 7 PM confessions. I went to confession to Fr. O’Malley. I remained in St. Joseph’s until Fr. O’Malley was locking up the church. I left and was walking back to my car to go home. The time was 7:33
It was at that same time (7:33) that the man who I had been praying the rosary with stopped me and asked if I knew of a place where he could stay for the night. I asked him if he was familiar with Emmitsburg and he said no. I told him where the hotel was located. It was at that time I realized he was penniless. He said he was trying to get to Front Royal, Va.
It was at this point while we were standing there talking that I had a very strong feeling of peace run through me. The thought that he was the reason I came to Emmitsburg suddenly crashed through my mind. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. The same exact thing happened several more times within a fairly short amount of time. Each time my watch said XX:XX:13 or 33.
It was about that time I mentioned that I live in "hometown", Va and that driving him to Front Royal would not be that far out of my way. He said he would like a ride to Front Royal but asked if it would be possible for him to pray his night prayers while still at church. He then said “Priest do this every night”. He did not identify himself as a priest but I thought he could be.
We prayed the Vespers together in the car parked in front of St. Josephs. It was a long series of prayers. When we finished I started the car to leave and the time was 9:33. I drove him to Front Royal and then I drove home from there. At the very instant I pulled in my driveway and the car came to a complete stop the CD player flashed the number 33.
May 29, 2004