Since my earliest days in Emmitsburg, this date (Sep 23) always stands out as something very special. Something always seems to happen on this day every year that results in me writing a paper about it. It is always what you least expect and that was especially true today.
There has been a sequence of events taking place for a good while now that has made me think that the day is coming where I should tell Gianna Sullivan everything that I have been experiencing. The first major step towards this took place on Sunday July 2nd over at Peter and Mary Blanchard’s home while having a cookout with Dr. Thomas Petrisko and Mike and Gianna Sullivan.
During this cookout Tom Petrisko asked me how I first came to Emmitsburg and I explained it to him while Gianna and Mike sat there and listened. When I finished talking Tom said “This is an amazing story” and Gianna replied “I am hearing this for the first time myself”.
This is what I wrote in the July 2nd paper describing this event:
The conversation continued during dinner out on the deck. Later into the conversation Tom Petrisko asked me how I ended up coming to Emmitsburg. I told Tom that this is a question that has no short answer. He said he would like to hear it. Suddenly I felt the peace. I then proceeded to tell Tom how I ended up in Emmitsburg. We started at the beginning when C.R.C. was beat up by his baby sitter. I told him how 6 years later I was traveling to Gettysburg and ended up at the Grotto of Lourdes. I explained to him how my life flashed before my eyes that day and I realized the need to have C.R.C. baptized. I told him how it led to me stopping in Emmitsburg to give thanks after C.R.C. was baptised and ending up at The Thursday Night Prayer Group at St. Joseph's in Emmitsburg.
Tom said "This is an amazing story" and Gianna then said "I am hearing this for the first time myself" I ended up talking non-stop for 20 or 25 minutes. I finished talking and I knew I had revealed exactly what I should have revealed. We talked a little longer and Tom got up to leave for the night and when it was all over I glanced at my watch as we were leaving and the time was 11:13.
Before and especially ever since this particular event there have been many, many times that I have suddenly had a thought that seemed to come from nowhere that would make me think and then pray about telling Gianna Sullivan the whole story as it has happened to me, leaving nothing out, even seeing Our Lady on December 8, 2004 and again in a dream this past May 28th. When this happens I am always hit with an unexpected 13, 33 or 333.
I have not tried to rush this, in fact I do not particularly even want to do it, but I am willing if it is God’s Will for me to do so. If there is anything I have learned from everything that I have experienced it is to simply let go and let God handle things such as this and to pray. I am sure that if I jump ahead, its over and will have no value whatsoever. If I give a situation such as this to God through Our Lady it always works, comes to completion and then move on to the next thing. I am certain that Our Lady wants prayer more than anything else
Today is the 8th anniversary of the day I took the picture of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and the burst of light that forms the Face of Christ. I don’t remember if I ever mentioned this in any past papers but I saw that picture for the very first time on December 8, 1998 which was the day the film was developed. I did not notice the face until later.
It was a few weeks later that I actually saw the face in the burst of light for the first time. My mother was the first to notice it and she pointed it out to me. As it came into my view for the first time I relived the peace I experienced at the instant I took the picture. This is how I originally described it in the December 8, 1998 paper:
As I was leaving I walked up to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and I took a picture of it. At that point something spectacular took place. At the very instant I snapped the shutter on the camera the same exact peaceful, tranquil feeling that I experienced 6 years earlier on the night C.R.C. was beat up completely overcame me again. The feeling was exactly the same as the feeling I had when I looked at the picture of C.R.C. and the crucifix I bought at the flea market and said “Thanks for nothing”. This feeling is not comparable to anything I have ever experienced.
Anyway, because this was such a powerful experience that I knew I was not in control of I promised God that I would return to the Grotto of Lourdes each year on the date I took the picture. This is how the day went.
I left the house this morning to go to mass at St. Joseph’s. I arrived and looked at my watch as I walked in the door and the time was 8:33. Fr. Steve and Fr. Murphy were the priest and when we knelt for the consecration I felt the peace. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33. Mass ended and I glanced at my watch as I walked out of the door and again it said XX:XX:33.
Mike Sullivan stopped me and we stood outside and talked for a few minutes. I told him that I would see him tonight at the Jesus of Mercy prayer group over at Jim and Susan T’s house. Mike had forgotten that tonight was the prayer group and thanked me for reminding him.
I rode down the street to St. Peter’s Books and I was going to get a cup of coffee. S.C.C. was working and asked if I could go to McDonald’s and get her an Egg-McMuffin. I was going to do it but I planned on waiting a while so the long line that was there could go down.
A bystander heard S.C.C. and I talking about McDonald’s and the next thing I knew people were handing me money to pick something up for them. This irritated me and I did not want to do it. I went to McDonald’s and got the orders. After 40 minutes in line I was still irritated. Suddenly I felt the peace hit me just as I paid for the orders and the girl at the drive up window gave me my change which was $11.33.
I rode back to St. Peter’s and delivered the food. I had a coke and left for the day because I had a lot of things to do. I never paid attention to the time. I left and decided to stop at St. Joseph’s to pray my daily rosary. I arrived and glanced at my watch as I walked in the church and the time was 11:33. I prayed the Joyful mysteries of the rosary and completed it at 11:33. I continued to pray for a few minutes and then glanced at my watch as I walked out of the door and it said XX:XX:33.
I rode home and did a few things around the house. Later in the day S.C.C. returned home from work and said I needed to go into Emmitsburg and pick up wine for tonight’s Jesus of Mercy Prayer Group at Jim and Susan’s house. I told S.C.C. I also needed to stop at the Grotto today but I did not remind her why.
I stopped at St. Joseph’s on my way to the Grotto and glanced at my watch as I arrived at the front of the church and the time was 3:13:33. I felt the peace hit me as the car came to a complete stop and it now said 3:13:59. I went in and prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary and felt the peace at the instant I completed the rosary and kissed the crucifix. The time was 3:33:33.
I left and was going to go to the Grotto to keep my promise to God about returning each year on this day. I needed to get wine and the store was on the way so I stopped there first. I got the wine for tonight’s dinner and continued my trip to the Grotto. I arrived and at the instant I shut the car off the CD flashed 33.
I walked through the Grotto. I thought about my earliest days in Emmitsburg. I thought about how much better life is with God at the center and never wanting to go back to the way I was before Emmitsburg. I arrived at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and glanced at my watch as I stood in the exact spot where I took the picture 8 years ago and it said XX:XX:13.
I said a few prayers and I said “Thank you” to Our Lady. I got in the car to leave and as I pulled out the time on the dash switched to 4:13 and the CD flashed 333. I drove home and I felt the peace of knowing for sure I had kept my promise as I walked in the door. I glanced at my watch and the time was 4:33:13.
A few minutes later S.C.C. said she was ready to go to Jim and Susan T’s house for dinner. We rode to their house and just as we arrived and the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 13.
We were the first to arrive and it was just a few minutes later that Mike and Gianna Sullivan arrived. Mike asked me if I would be available to help him go pick up the Mission of Mercy Van in Gettysburg after our prayer group because it has been having some work done on it. I told Mike that I would be able to help him.
Our Jesus of Mercy prayer group began and we prayed the Luminous mysteries of the rosary followed by the Liturgy of the Hours prayers. We then had dinner. This was Jim and Susan’s first time hosting the prayer group.
During dinner Gianna was sitting next to me and the subject came up of her hearing the rest of the story of how we came here to Emmitsburg. When she realized I could not speak freely about this Gianna came to realize that what I have to tell her is very serious. Gianna then said “We must pray and I think it would be best if Our Lady tells me what to do first. I then said “That’s best.” and we left it at that.
The prayer group ended and Rosalie S gave S.C.C. a ride home so I could drive Mike Sullivan to Gettysburg to pick up the Mission of Mercy van. While riding Mike and I talked about different things that pertain to the apparitions of Our Lady of Emmitsburg. We talked about how Satan tries to overwhelm people and cause weariness to run people down. Each time I glanced over at the CD while Mike was talking it flashed 13 or 33.
We arrived in Gettysburg and Mike drove the Mission of Mercy van and I followed him back to the Basilica where the van is parked. We arrived and the odometer was 33. I then drove Mike back to his house and just as the car came to a complete stop the CD flashed 13.
I dropped Mike off and I left to go home. I was very tired at this point and I was looking forward to just going to bed. As I approached a stop sign I had a very, very strong and sudden urge to go straight to St. Joseph’s now and pray a rosary about what Gianna said tonight at dinner about us talking. It was so strong that I actually said to myself “When I arrive at this stop sign I will glance at my watch and if it says 13 or 33 I will go to St. Joseph’s. If it does not I will go home and go to bed.” (which is what I really wanted to do). I glanced at my watch as the car came to a complete stop and it said XX:XX:33.
I drove to St. Joseph’s and at the instant I arrived I met a car in front of the church with the license plate of 013. I glanced at my watch at the instant the car came to a complete stop and it said XX:XX:13. As I shut the car off the CD flashed 333.
I sat in the car and prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. I prayed specifically for the intention of Our Lady mentioning to Gianna that we need to talk. I realized that Gianna’s suggestion was the very best thing we could do. I felt extremely peaceful about this. I placed everything in Our Lady’s and Her Son’s hands. I finished the rosary and as I started the car to leave the CD again flashed 333. I drove home and just as I shut the car off I noticed the CD flash 133.R_____ C___
October 4, 2006