By Ellen Miller
Do you remember how you heard about Divine Mercy? I want to share with you Kay's story, which is both a testimony to faith and an expression of gratitude.
Kay is the eighth of 11 children. She remembers how her mother, Eva, showed her children how to live a life pleasing to God by following the teachings of the Catholic Church.
For example, Kay says, "Mom would always tell us who was sick. I knew that she did this so we could put them in our daily prayers. "
Years later, Eva gave each of her children an image of The Divine Mercy and pamphlets on The Divine Mercy Chaplet and St. Faustina. Kay put hers in a drawer for safe keeping.
It wasn't until Kay's niece and nephew were in a terrible car accident that she began praying the chaplet. She explains, "We gathered at the hospital, and Mom led us in praying the chaplet. Initially, we thought my niece was dead, but we prayed for God's will. They both pulled through, and I know that Mom thought it was a miracle."
Four years later, Kay learned about the Marian Fathers in Stockbridge, Mass., and their role in spreading the message of Divine Mercy. She marvels, "The first issue of Marian Helper magazine I ever saw had St. Faustina's picture on the cover. She had just been canonized. As I read about her, I was amazed at how Jesus worked through her.
"Soon after, I received a windfall, and I decided that I wanted to make a gift to the Marian Fathers," she says. "The Marians said their greatest need was a new printing press. You can't imagine how amazed I was. I had had a dream about St. Faustina in a print shop. I knew that this was an answer to my prayer. I wanted to help the Marians print materials, so they could reach more people.
"When my sister and I visited the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, we got to see the printing press, and they were printing images of The Divine Mercy! It was an awesome experience."
Kay adds, "I wanted my children and grandchildren remembered in the Masses and prayers offered at the Shine, so we sent their names to be included on the brass mural of The Divine Mercy in Memorial Hall at the National Shrine. We also created memorials for my dad and my sister.
"When my mother passed away in September, my brother suggested that we create a memorial for her, too," she says. Kay knew that this would be a wonderful way to honor her mother's love of Divine Mercy and also be sure that prayers are said for her.
"During her final days," Kay says, "when my sisters and I visited my mother, we prayed the chaplet. Even though she could not speak, she looked at us and smiled. She knew that she was going home to Jesus."
If, like Kay, you would like to make a special gift to the Marians or create a memorial or tribute for a loved one, please contact me.
Ellen Miller is Fr. Joseph's director of Special Gifts. You may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her toll free at 800-671-2020.