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So He Did ...
by Major Andy Bringuel, U.S. Army Ret.
In July 2005, I came down with encephalitis. I almost died. While in a coma in the hospital, a lady's voice came to me saying: "Please get up and do something productive."
Something "productive?" What would be considered "productive?" Cutting the grass or washing the car? However, I was sure that was not what the Lady had in mind. I fought with myself silently for a day or two. Was I hallucinating? Did I really hear a lady's voice? I prayed, "God, please help me."
I continued to struggle with, "What am being asked to do?" Was that the voice of Our Blessed Mother? I finally found solace in Jesus and our Blessed Mother. You see, I had faced departure from earthly things and loved ones several times before. I was facing that same destination when that voice spoke to me. I concluded that was in fact Our Blessed Mother, and she wanted me to wake up and do something for her.
I came out of the coma thinking about that voice. What could I do? Then it came to me. A man named Bob Caldwell had taught me to make rosaries a few months before, so that I could help him with the First Communion rosary production.
I decided I would make rosaries for Our Blessed Mother. How about one made like the cord rosary but using thin silver-colored flexible wire instead of cord? I experimented with the wire and came up with what was an attractive yet strong design.
I began sending rosaries to the Maryknolls, and then I started getting requests from others. I settled on three Catholic organizations that said they could use all I could provide. I settled on making 50 for each shipment or 150 rosaries a month.
One day, I looked at my record of rosaries and was surprised to find I was well over 5,000! That's a lot of beads, wire, and prayer. The number of rosaries continued climbing. In June, I checked to see where I was at on total rosaries. I was just one short of 8,000! I completed that 8,000th rosary and marveled: 424,000 Hail Marys and 48,000 Our Fathers! I have been receiving wonderful "Thank You" letters from recipients expressing their delight with the rosaries. Knowing I have helped so many get closer to Our Blessed Mother and Jesus makes me feel like I am doing what "Mommy Mary" wants me to do, and I feel her satis- faction with my work as I continue to make more rosaries.
I just wanted to share with you my happiness with the mission I feel Our Blessed Mother has asked me to perform. I feel like a soldier again, this time for life in Our Blessed Mother's Rosary Army. Please, pray the Rosary every day.
Andy Bringuel (U.S. Army Ret.) lives with his wife in Fayetteville, Ga.