Make, Model, and Mercy!

Shortly after attending our annual Mercy for Souls Conference at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in September, Graciela DiLullo called and asked me if she could give us her car. Yes, her car.

She had been considering trading it in or selling it, but she was inspired to give it to the Marian Fathers to support their ministry.

Fortunately, we have a partnership with an organization that handles all the logistics of picking up a vehicle, selling it, and sending the proceeds to the Marian Fathers. We then provide a gift receipt to the donor. After completing the process, Graciela said, “It was all very easy.”

Graciela very generously agreed to share her story. 

“What I donated is very little,” she says, “but when you give, you experience such peace in your heart and mind.”

When she was 36 years old, Graciela suffered a huge loss. Her beloved husband, Adrian, was tragically killed, leaving behind her and their seven children, who were then ages 5 to 15. Graciela returned to work, but it was very difficult to make ends meet, and her debts mounted. She was in dire need. She tried selling her apartment to pay off the debts. It was on the market for more than a year, but there were no offers.

Then, Graciela remembered a friend's advice: “Pray for the souls in Purgatory because they cannot pray for themselves. They will be so grateful they will intercede for your intentions.”

Graciela prayed specifically for the souls whose sins were related to their financial problems. A few hours later, her real estate agent called to tell her someone was interested in the apartment. Three days later, it was sold. “In gratitude,” Graciela recalls, “I arranged to have three Masses offered for those poor souls [in Purgatory].”

Last spring, Graciela made her first visit to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. She came with the intention of remembering the souls in Purgatory who had helped her. Inside the Shrine, she noticed the icon on the wall of our Merciful Lord, Our Blessed Mother, and St. Faustina interceding for the souls in Purgatory. 

She soon learned that praying for the souls in Purgatory was a special calling of the Marian Fathers since the Congregation’s founding in 1670.

At the Mercy for Souls Conference, Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, spiritual director of the Marians’ Holy Souls Sodality, reinforced what Graciela knew about Purgatory. He also provided new insights for her into how we can come to the aid of souls in Purgatory through our prayers and good works. These efforts on our behalf can help speed the purification of souls in Purgatory so that they are more quickly united with God in Heaven.

“Our sufferings here on earth are so much easier than even one minute of the suffering a soul experiences in Purgatory,” she says. “They really need us.”

Graciela also knows how important this work of mercy is to Our Blessed Mother. 

“My husband was a faith-filled man and an amazing father,” she says. “He taught me everything I know about the faith. He taught me how to pray the Rosary and what a powerful intercessor Our Blessed Mother is for us. In all my prayers for the Holy Souls, I ask for Mary’s help.”

If you would like to donate a car (or an RV, boat, or plane) to the Marian Fathers, please visit marian.org/give/cars.php or call 1-844-387-4483. If you have questions, please call me at (413) 298-1380.

— Ellen Miller

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