I was introduced to Our Blessed Mother at an early age. I fondly remember the many processions held in her honor at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Walkerville, MT. The sisters would patiently gather us in the church to form a procession in honor of Mary, followed by the recitation of the holy rosary. Each child was directed to recite either the Our Father or the Hail Mary or the Glory-Be until we successfully prayed all five decades of the rosary.
As a child I instinctively knew Jesus’ mother was a very special person to be honored and respected. As an adult I got away from saying the rosary or even thinking very much about the Blessed Mother. However, my mother, always prayed the rosary especially during times of great sorrow and sickness in our family. She seemed to know Our Lady was interceding on her behalf.
It wasn’t until many years later when my mom was diagnosed with a terminal disease that I began to pray the rosary with mom. It was during this time of great uncertainty and fear; I began asking Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us. On one occasion I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, Our Blessed Mother had interceded on our behalf.
Mom was in a Great Falls hospital in Montana receiving her chemotherapy treatment when suddenly without warning her heart began to fail her. The doctors and nurses rushed her into ICU and began to work frantically to get her heart working properly. She was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines. I was scared; I feared the worst. Thankfully the medical team finally got her heart stabilized. I was so exhausted, the nurses encouraged me to go back to the motel and get some rest. I reluctantly agreed.
I sat in my car, which was parked in the parking lot of what was then the Columbus Hospital, and the tears began to flow. I ask Jesus to wrap his arms around her and keep her safe. I looked out at the nearly empty parking lot and I saw this beautiful and glowing statue of Our Blessed Mother. She was so beautiful; I immediately felt a peace and I knew she was watching over us.
The next morning when I arrived at the hospital, I wanted to look at the statue again of the Blessed Mother, but to my total surprise the only statue I could find was that of Christopher Columbus. I will always believe in my heart that Our Blessed Mother was there in the hospital parking lot that night helping me through this difficult time.
My mom faced her illness with so much courage and inner peace. It was as if Mary was holding her hand and comforting her during her final days and leading her home to Jesus.
My loving devotion to Mary has grown since my mom died in 1997. I recall the words of Saint Bridget of Sweden: “The demons are every anxious in their pursuit of souls. Yet, they quickly abandon their prey merely at the name of Mary.”
Mary is my “top-of-the-line” prayer warrior and I want her in my corner every moment of every day.(Article reprinted from the May/June 2003 Family Digest Magazine.)
Connie Beckman resides in Helena, Montana, with her husband and their four cats and dog. She is an active member of the Cathedral of St. Helena, the Catholic Writer’s Guild and a Catholic writers group in Helena. She is a former editor and feature story writer for a bi-weekly newspaper and has been published in many Catholic magazines. Her desire as a writer is to encourage Catholic spiritual growth by sharing the truths of the Catholic faith through the written word, addressing a variety of subjects. Connie shares her joy and love of God at Connie’s Catholic Corner.