Peace, via the Divine Mercy app

By Maria V. Gallagher

When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, 
nor will flames consume you (Is 43:2).

It looked like a scene out of a disaster movie — but it was all too real for Perla Adams and her husband of 20 years, Todd.

They were driving along Interstate 82 in Benton County, Washington State, in early July when they came upon a massive fire. As they looked ahead, they could see huge flames leaping into the air and thick smoke billowing across the highway.

It was 3 p.m. — the Hour of Great Mercy, and Perla was playing the Divine Mercy Chaplet from the Divine Mercy app she had downloaded onto her smartphone.

“As we approached the fire, I started recording a video (above) while the app was playing in the background,” Perla said.

“We were driving at 60 miles per hour, and since the road was still open and we saw cars going, we just kept driving,” Perla added. At that point, the cloud of smoke enveloped them.

“I asked my husband to go back, but he told me that if we stopped, somebody could hit us in back.

“I thought we were entering Purgatory! But we never stopped the app and praying. A few seconds later, the thick white smoke started to vanish and we passed [out of] the area.

“From the local news we found out that a few minutes later the road was closed and there were some crashes, but no injuries, thanks be to God,” Perla said.

“That app is a blessing. I have set it to remind me to pray at 3 p.m. [each day],” she added.

Marian rescue
Her encounter with the roaring blaze was not the first time Perla felt as if the Marian Fathers were coming to her rescue. She credits the Marians with helping to revitalize her Catholic faith.

The Honduran native was baptized Catholic and attended Catholic schools during her childhood. She and Todd, who is from Washington state, married and then moved to Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, in January of 2003. Todd worked in the oil industry — he manages a factory — while Perla stayed home to raise and homeschool their son, Octavio, who is now attending the University of North Dakota. 

“Even though I was baptized Catholic and went to Catholic schools, the years in Saudi Arabia kept me far from the Church. After I found Fr. Chris Alar’s ‘Explaining the Faith’ videos in September of last year, I reconnected with the Church.”

Todd belonged to the Pentecostal Protestant denomination, but was open to Catholicism. In fact, he attended the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and was received into the Catholic Church last April. Their son is also baptized and has received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Divine Providence
Perla can see the hand of God working through her life — especially on that fateful day when she encountered fire, but emerged unscathed.

“When I saw the smoke at a distance and started to record, I was not even sure that the phone would capture anything because the (Divine Mercy) app was playing. It was never my intention to stop the Chaplet to make a video. It was a surprise to find some footage after the incident.

“To be honest, although I was nervous when I saw the flames all around us and my husband told me that we could not turn around … I was never afraid, and neither was my husband.

“I really thought that we were entering Purgatory, but we were calm and at peace. I think to hear in the firm voice, ‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world’ gave us the confidence that even if we will never come back from that fire, everything will be OK,” Perla said.

“That night and the days that followed, the images of the flames kept coming to my mind and I realized the magnitude of the event,” Perla added.

Meanwhile, Perla is grateful to God — and the Divine Mercy app — for rescuing her from the brink of disaster and giving her an abiding peace.

Visit to download the app. 


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