The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was entrusted to a woman who committed herself to our conditions for a Guardian to give honor to Our Lady and to help her to fulfill her mission of bringing conversions and a Culture of Life.
However, she and her cohabitant, sacrilegiously used the Image to promote their personal cause for the use of marijuana as a remedy for the healing of the world.
Unbeknownst to us, she claimed to be a deaconess in a church. Its Facebook page posted a video of her with marijuana plants in front of the Missionary Image. She claimed that the flowers on Our Lady’s dress were marijuana flowers! She wanted to take the Image to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and to incense it with marijuana smoke and then process it from there to the United Nations to promote her cause.
Father Stephen, a priest with Priests for Life who had met the woman, informed me about this. Immediately, I posted a message on the Facebook page that her proposed use of the Image would be a sacrilege and I ordered her to remove all videos, photographs and mention of the Missionary Image from the Facebook page, to cease any activity with it and to return it to us immediately or that I would press charges against her for larceny. She accused me of interstate wire fraud and defamation.
I wrote her several conciliatory emails and asked her to do the right thing and to please return the Image at our expense. In defiance, she arrogantly and haughtily claimed that I did not own the Image and that she would not return it.
So, last month in June, I drove to her local police station. I met with Sgt. Brown, told him the story and said that I would appreciate his help to accompany me to her residence to politely request her to peaceably return the Image to me.
Sgt. Brown and I arrived on her back porch. He knocked on the door and she and her cohabitant came out onto the porch. He said to Sgt. Brown, pointing at me, “Who’s he?” Sgt. Brown replied, “He’s Judge Lynch.”
Then he deliberately approached me, coming within inches of my nose, and ordered me off his property. I stood rigid, looked him right in the eyes and said, “I will do what Sgt. Brown tells me to do and not what you tell me to do.” Sgt. Brown said that it would probably be best if I returned to his car.
I left, I saw several marijuana plants growing on the outside porch. I
returned to the car and Sgt. Brown soon joined me. He said that they
would not voluntarily release the Image. So, we left the property and
returned to the police station. I told Sgt. Brown that it sure looked
like they were growing marijuana plants on their back porch and perhaps
the police should consider a criminal complaint against them for that.
At the police station, I pressed a formal complaint for larceny against her and requested the police to obtain a search warrant to seize our Image and to return it to us. There was nothing more that I could do, so I returned home to Vermont.
Two days later, Sgt. Brown informed me that the Assistant Attorney General would not issue a search warrant because he said that this was just a “civil case”.
So, I sent an email to the Attorney General himself telling him what his assistant said and informing him that this in no way was a civil case and why it wasn’t. I asked him to review the case and to authorize the issuance of a search warrant. He did so the next day and Sgt. Brown and the Chief of Police went to her property and retrieved the Image.
On July 19, the police took them into custody on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Members of the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force arrested them after executing a search warrant at their home. Officers seized about 12 pounds of usable marijuana, 59 marijuana plants, about 10 pounds of hash oil, equipment used to manufacture hash oil, and packaging materials.
According to State Police, troopers got a tip last month about the home. “Plants were observed being grown right behind the residence,” said the Captain.
They are now facing a possible penalty of a life sentence and a $1 million fine. They were arraigned in Court and have been held in jail without bail.
At a time in our country when the police are vilified, it is comforting to know that most of them do their job and do it well and professionally, as was done in this case.
The fourth commandment is to honor our mother, which includes our spiritual mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Mother of Hope. It is a great sacrilege to dishonor the Blessed Mother and to use her for personal profane causes. Those who do so do it at the peril of suffering from God’s justice.
However, God is also merciful. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. Ironically, just prior to their arrest, I had received nine daily Holy Communions for each of them, practicing the Novena of Holy Communions from the Jesus King of All Nations Devotion. During this Great Jubilee of Mercy let us pray that He will be merciful to them.
Let us also pray the American Bishops’ Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe in thanksgiving for the safe return of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
July 22, 2016