The article below is by Catherine Grinn of Rockwood, Michigan. Cathy is the Guardian Coordinator of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is a 20 years plus veteran Guardian of the Missionary Image. As a young journalist, she interviewed me at the 1991 Chicago Marian Conference where I gave a talk about the Missionary Image. A few years after that, her pre-born baby was miraculously healed in her womb through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe. You may see and hear her testimony of her post-abortion healing here.
As I drove to St. Joseph Church in Erie, I prayed that God would have someone there to help me pack the Missionary Image up and carry it out to my car. Over the many years I have been a Guardian of Our Lady, I have moved the Image myself, but having assistance is always a blessing! As I walked into the church, there were about 50 minutes remaining before Adoration would conclude. So, I thought, good time to pray the Rosary with Our Lady and Our Lord together!
As I walked to the front and sat down, I remembered that my Rosary was in my car, but decided I could count on my hand as I prayed. Then, as I leaned forward to kneel, I saw a Rosary on the empty pew in front of me. O the little ways Our Lady takes care of us! I smiled at Jesus and Mary and began to pray. I love the connection you feel when sitting in Adoration with Our Lord with the added blessing of the Missionary Image next to Him. We are called to feel that connection, to unite ourselves in love with Our Lord.
Pope Francis said, “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome Him as a friend, with trust: He is life…” (Easter Vigil Homily, March 20, 2013). As we allow Jesus to enter in, we are humbled by His love and His mercy, especially in these times that we are experiencing.
As we pray for the turmoil in today’s world, we must remember that Our Lady leads us to the answer, which is Jesus. During the recent Visitation to Michigan, we began to pray a Holy Hour outside an abortion center, joined by Father Hedges processing Jesus and lifting Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Then we were met by protesters that became hostile and aggressively approached the Blessed Sacrament and Father Hedges. The fathers that were present formed a protective human wall to protect Jesus and Father Hedges.
He commented later during his homily “I heard the attacks made against Our Lord and against Our Faith, and I saw not only the spiritual battle that has taken place since the Garden of Eden, but the battle now that is heating up and it is very hostile.” He went on to share, “The 4th of July falls on First Saturday that is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And it’s the date in our country that we celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What better way to celebrate the 4th of July this year than to celebrate life.”
Saint Pope John Paul II told us, “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!” We must continue to step out in faith, covered in the armor of God, and protect the innocent. Stand up for what is morally right and remind people that there is hope in our world. God is with us and when we listen, following His light will cast away the darkness of fear. “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.” (Psalm 27:1).
After I finished praying the Rosary at St. Joseph Church, I went out to my car to get the protective cloth cover for the Missionary Image. As I entered the church, I saw a couple and asked them if they would help me with the Image and they said yes. This was a happy answer to the prayer that I made as I drove to the church, that I would find someone there to help me carry the Image out.
As we left the church with the Image, the young man looked at me and said, “There is still hope in this world, we need to help people see that!” He then asked me about the Image and, as we talked, the hope that Our Lady brings could be felt by all three of us. I thanked them for their help and smiled again at the little ways that Our Lady takes care of us.
I am always in awe of the amazing way that Our Lady continues to touch hearts and bring us to the peace of Christ as she continues her journey with us. Bring Mary into your life! Jesus gave us His Mother as she stood at the foot of the Cross living His agony. Take her into your heart and be open to the beauty and peace she will bring to your life as she leads you to her Son. Perhaps Our Lady is calling you to host a Visitation of her Image.