Last week Maryann R sent me an email asking if I would be willing to meet her and members of the C_______ and W_________ Legion of Mary at the Basilica and give them a talk about The Blessed Virgin Mary. A request such as this hit me totally by surprise but I replied back to her saying I would be willing to do it.
Hi ___, _____ and _____
Hope you all are doing well. Everything in "hometown" is growing! We are getting a Kohls in the fall of 2006. The traffic is multiplying tremendously. I went by your home on Friday. It's still standing :)
I have been asked by the LOM Curia to see if you might be available to provide a small talk to our group that will visit St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton and the Grotto this Sunday. I realize this is short notice for you. St John's is organizing the event and their 2 contacts have fallen through.
There will be close to 30 of us making the trip to attend Mass at 1:30, then go to the Grotto. We had hoped to have someone provide a small talk about the shrine and the Blessed Mother right around 3pm.
Can you let me know if you are available- or if you have another idea for us? We would provide some compensation for your time.
We have a very large Spanish contingent coming (about 16 children and adults) plus Betty S, June V and Ann K from Queen of Heaven. I will have Shannon with me as well. We hope to have some more Juniors and their parents join us as well. I don't know how many there will be from St. John's.
Unfortunately, the boys will be in Blacksburg for the Virginia Tech game. It's a shame I couldn't bring Steven to hook up with C.R.C.
Thanks and God Bless,
This is a nice surprise. I will meet you and the LOM group at the basilica for the 1:30 mass. From there we can go to the Grotto of Lourdes. With that many people are you coming on a bus? I will see you on Sunday.
The talk might be a little on the short side. There is lots to see here.
Sunday came and I was at a total loss of what I was going to say or do upon their arrival. I was very uncomfortable with the thought of having to give a talk to this many people. I had no idea what I was going to say so I just put the whole thing in the care of Our Lady of Emmitsburg and let Her worry about it. Period.
I knew I needed Our Lady’s help so I left a little early so I would have time to stop at St. Joseph’s and say a few prayers before meeting up with them. At the instant I pulled out of my driveway I felt the anxiety leave me and it was replaced with sudden peace. It was at that instant and without intentionally looking I noticed the CD counter flashed 13.
I drove to St. Joseph’s and again felt the peace just as the car came to a complete stop, I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. I again felt the peace hit me as I walked in the door and again I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. I was the only person in the church and I prayed for assistance today. I finished my prayers and glanced at my watch as I walked out of the church and it said XX:XX:13.
I drove down the street to the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and encountered an unexpected delay when I arrived. There were no parking spaces in the upper lot. This delay caused me to have to park elsewhere causing me to arrive at 1:33.
Mass had just begun and Fr. Michael Kennedy was the priest. I looked around but I did not see Maryann or anyone else I knew from C________ or W_________. I took a seat towards the back of the church. While kneeling for the Consecration I was again hit with a feeling of anxiety of not knowing how I was going to provide the talk about Our Lady that they were expecting from me. Suddenly a very strong feeling of peace and reassurance came over me. It was at that instant my eyes suddenly focused on a reflection of light on the rounded top of the pew two rows in front of me. The reflection of light formed a perfect 13.
I am perfectly aware that something like this sounds strange but I have the courage to report it because it is true.
At this point I was completely reassured that Our Lady would take care of everything and all I had to do was be there and She would take care of the rest. This made me feel very good because I knew I was totally unprepared. I also knew that on my own I would only come across as a bumbling idiot. I was again filled with peace and reassurance when Communion time came and as I approached the front of the line Maryann reached out and grabbed my hand as I walked by. The time was 2:13.
Mass ended and I met up with Maryann and about 15 others who came from the C________ and W_________ Legion of Mary. There were not as many people as Maryann had stated in her original email. I suggested that they begin by going downstairs and watching the 25 minute movie about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. While they watched the movie I went back upstairs because Fr. Kennedy was hearing confessions.
During my confession I was overcome with the overwhelming sense of peace that is difficult to describe. I had not planned this or even considered it but during my confession to Fr. Kennedy I revealed to him the fact that I saw Our Lady of Emmitsburg on December 8, 2004. After my confession I returned to a pew and prayed my penance. At the very instant I finished I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
It was only a few seconds later the Legion of Mary members returned from viewing the movie. I asked if they would like to see St. Joseph’s before going to the Grotto of Lourdes. They said yes and we left. I again felt the peace as we walked out of the basilica and I glanced at my watch and the time was now 3:13.
I led the way to St. Joseph’s while the others followed behind me. We arrived at St. Joseph’s and at the very instant my car came to a complete stop I knew to glance at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
We went in and everyone was impressed with the old artwork that is in the church. One couple told me they were married in St. Joseph’s about 40 years ago. We then left St. Joseph’s and everyone followed me to the Grotto. When we arrived my odometer was 33.3 and at the instant the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 13.
As we walked through the grotto I discovered that some of the people in the group knew something about the apparitions of Mary here in Emmitsburg. Bill F asked me if I believed She was appearing. I then said to Bill that as far as I am concerned there are only two kinds of people in this world. A. Those who believe Our Lady is appearing here and B. People who do not believe She is appearing, yet. Bill then said we would like you to tell us about this.
We then sat in the bleachers and I told how I originally discovered Emmitsburg while traveling to Gettysburg back in 1998. I did not go into any detail of what has been happening to me personally. I talked about the many good fruits that have come from the apparitions of Our Lady here. The peace was very strong as I talked about this and I knew Our Lady was helping me. It just flowed out so smoothly and before I knew it the talk I needed to give was completed.
We then went to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima where I took the picture back in 1998 and prayed the rosary alternating between English and Spanish. After the rosary everyone from C________ and W_________ left to go home. After they left I had the desire to go straight back to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and pray another rosary in thanks for everything going so smoothly.
I was delayed getting there because I ran into a woman at the Medjugorje statue who is suffering from diabetes and I told her I was also diabetic. She feared the shots. I assured her that it was painless and nothing to worry about. When we finished talking I again felt the peace and glanced at my watch and the time was now 6:13. I then went to the Fatima statue and prayed the rosary as I had originally intended to do. I glanced at my watch as I finished and the time was 6:33:13.
October 8, 2005