By Jay Hastings (Dec 14, 2009)
Our Divine Mercy intercessory prayer group, based in Tennessee, received a prayer request from one of our members concerned for her grandmother.
The request read:
Could you please add my grandmother, Mary L. Vogel, to the Divine Mercy prayer list? She is 97-years old, has Alzheimer's (and has had it for 11 years), and has now developed pneumonia. She seems to be slowly transitioning into a more difficult state, inching ever closer to death. My mother and father are always at the nursing home with her and prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet in her ear and saw her labored breathing ease.
They will go this evening, and I will pray with them over the phone for her. She is a very prayerful woman and has a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which [she] developed as a child. She claims to have been spared death from diphtheria as a child and was given the grace of a vision from the Sacred Heart of Jesus to which she prayed begging God to spare her from death so she could help her parents care for her siblings.
Every time she told the story, her eyes filled with tears, as she claims it was the most beautiful vision she has ever seen. As the feast day to the Sacred Heart approaches on June 19, we are aware of the grace of God in a most intimate way with her beautiful life story.
Our prayer group, called the 24-Hour Chaplet of Divine Mercy Prayer Group, immediately started praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy continuously for Mary. Other friends and relatives agreed to join with us in prayer from wherever they were.
One of our prayer group members held our 1st-class relic of St. Faustina before the Blessed Sacrament on June 19 and June 20, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, respectively.
We learned that Mary died on June 19 — the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In the words of her daughter, "The day she died was extraordinary. We prayed the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy at her bedside after our priest, Fr. Wes Lamb, gave the Last Rites about an hour previous. Midway through the chaplet, her face became calm and she simply stopped breathing with no sign of distress at all. It was an amazing and beautiful transition. Two of our grandchildren were there to witness the awesome grace of God and left with a memory they will carry throughout their lives. We pray that it will inspire many to 'fight the good fight.' May God bless you."
We truly believe Mary's death on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was no coincidence, but rather it was an affirmation of her faithfulness and love for God and her pursuit of a virtuous life.
Even in her death, her life told of the glory of God.
Saint Faustina writes:
I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing, but hope to sing You a hymn of glory for ever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt; for as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God's grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God's action. (Diary of St. Faustina, 283)
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensures that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-hour Chaplet members now consist of more than 1,000 people from across the United States, Mexico, Belize (Central America), Costa Rica, Canada, Philippines, Bolivia, India, Iraq, Australia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Tanzania (Africa), New Zealand, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Panama, Uganda, Haiti, Aruba, Burma, Singapore, Columbia, Botswana Africa, Zambia Africa, Malaysia, South Africa, Holland and Germany, who pick an hour each day in which to pray a chaplet. They pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion; the sick and dying in the hour that you pray; and people about to commit mortal sin. To join the 24-Hour Chaplet, contact Jay via e-mail, PJ7772@msn.com or via phone, 901-438-7772.