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The best testimony I have read in a long time…probably ever!

We received this from Tom and Sue, just before their departure to France, Spain, Andorra and Poland.  We invite you to follow along.

Bon Jour, Everyone (Just  practicing):

I wanted to share this with you since the power of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother were at work this week before are departure, and we were part of a beautiful “small gift/miracle” that happened at our Cathedral on Friday and Saturday … a wonderful send off for our “personal pilgrimage”, as we depart for Paris tomorrow morning.

About 3 months ago, we began to notice a 50 to  60 year old woman with a knapsack on her back that appeared to be homeless  and was attending the 10:30 Sunday Masses.  As we sat around our  Sunday table on the Cathedral Patio, having already gone to Mass (which we  always do with many of our church family members and good friends), we began to  take more notice of her.

Finally, one Sunday, Sam got up and went over to  talk to her.  I keep forgetting to ask him what he said, because 2 minutes  later, he was buying her a Rosary at our Cathedral Religious Store.   Smiling, she disappeared into Church.

Every Sunday as she went to  Mass, she would wave to Sam and Sam would encourage her to Pray the  Rosary.

A few weeks later, she had arrived early  and one of us bought her a doughnut and coffee, which she happily devoured at a  table by herself.  This became the norm every Sunday.  After  many “invites”, she agreed to sit with us before Mass. Her name was  Julia.

We found her to be  a simple and honest woman.  We learned that she was not homeless, but was mentally challenged.  She lives with her step-father, who adopted her when she was 12 years old and she is on disability. She was  very private life, since I think her father taught her to be that way so that people  would not take advantage of her, especially because she is so giving and honest  and could easily be put in a compromising position.  We learned that she  has been taking the bus (with her bus pass) each Sunday to our Cathedral so that  she could attend Mass even though she was not Catholic.  She had fallen in  love with our Catholic Faith.

Julia was always counting her  pennies to buy religious things in the Cathedral Religious Store.  She  would never allow us to pay for them, especially if they were for someone  else.  When she really wanted something, she would bring  a crocheted scarf or hat or doilies and try to sell them to get  the money for her purchase. (Our home is now filled with scarf’s, bright pink  and blue doilies and other objects that she would bring all of us as gifts  after we purchased something from her so that she could buy something that she  wanted.)

Finally, 3 weeks ago when  talking to her, she told us that she was not Catholic and that her greatest wish  was to be Baptized a Catholic and to receive Jesus Christ at Communion. She  was afraid of going to hell! She told us that she had tried to become  a Catholic but she would have to go to class at night (I don’t  think she is allowed out after dark) and she couldn’t because she took care  of her father and she does not know how to read or write or memorize things.  There wasn’t a dry eye at the table as this humble woman came to tears. She told  us that she had no other family or friends and Susan immediately told her  that she now had a Church family and many friends at our Cathedral.  The  tears stopped and huge smile lit up her  face.

Immediately, I went to my stash of  Scapulars and got her a Green Scapular of the Blessed Virgin.  We sat with  her and I taught her about the Blessed Mother and the promise she made  to those who believed and would say thesimple Prayer everyday for  conversion. When I told her to read the pamphlet, she told us she couldn’t read  or write.  So, I  explained to her that this Green Scapular was  for conversion AND THAT SHE SHOULD CARRY IT AT ALL TIMES AND SAY THIS PRAYER  EVERY DAY for her conversion and baptism and we would say it every day for her,  too.  “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our  death.  Amen. ( I quiz her every time I see her and
she has almost got it  right, but I don’t think Our Blessed Mother cares if
it isn’t  exact.)

After speaking to the powers to be and  some heavy “begging” before we left on our “personal pilgrimage”, we  were able to tell her last Sunday that
she was going to be Baptized a  Catholic.  Again, the tears flowed abundantly.

She had to meet with  Deacon John for an evaluation of her special circumstances and to be absolutely  certain that she understood our Catholic Faith. She passed with flying  colors and I think her simple innocence and tremendous humility got to Deacon  John as well.

Deacon John knew that Julia wanted us to  be her Godparents, along with Sam and Johna.  He made special plans to  meet with her on Wednesday for her evaluation and, after much time with the  approval process, he arrangedJulia’s Baptism for Friday at 11:30 am and  Confirmation and First Holy Communion to be done on Sat. at the 8:30  Mass.

Preparing for the Baptism
Preparing for the Baptism

We were to pick Julia up at her bus stop  on Fri. at 10:30, but she called us very early that morning and told us  that she was taking the 9 am bus because she didn’t want to take the chance  of being late. She was so excited.  Deacon John did a great job with the  Baptismal Ceremony and Julia was just so reverent and glowing.  (Pictures  enclosed)

Afterwards, Susan asked Julia how  she felt and she said that she said sheJulia-baptism-blurred felt different and so happy.  And,  she was.  For Julia now seemed at peace….and the chance of her going  to hell was out of the equation.  We celebrated by showering her with  gifts and cookies and coffee as we planned the next day’s event including  breakfast at the local diner. We dropped her off at her bus stop so that she  could walk to her home and we promised to pick her up at 8 am today.  This  morning, I left our cell phone on in case we got the call that she is catching  the 7 am bus.

At 7:45 we arrived at the bus stop to  find Julia sitting on the curb and waiting patiently.  Mass began  promptly at 8:30 A.M. and Fr. Eli did a splendid service.  The  Confirmation was beautiful and, after Father has Consecrated and received his  Holy Communion and the Precious Blood, he called up Julia and she got  her most important desire … the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus  Christ.  Amen.

Afterwards, we treated Julia to  breakfast at a local diner along with Sam & Johna and Julia said the most  beautiful grace before our meal tha we were all most humbled.  She thanked  Our Lord for everything that has happened to her (for her) in the last two days  and, individually, for everyone who was involved in this “small miracle” for  her.  I think she will be teaching us a few  things!

We (Susan, myself & Sam) have  several challenged people that come to Mass at the Cathedral and we all always  try  to take them under our wings and help them with their needs.  We  call them “The Tests”.  Julia was one of those, but she now has her  own chair at our Sunday (after Mass) table.  I think we all  passed this test … The verdict is still out on the others … but
we  Pray.

Have a blessed day.

Warning…. Our 2015 “Personal  Pilgrimage Trip Reports” beginning

Love, Hugs & Prayers,
Tom & Susan Melillo
Our  “2015 Personal Pilgrimage”

Prayer to St. John Paul  II

Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your  blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided, courageously  leading it
along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and
everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream
again, help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the
paths  of life here on earth.

May you bless families, bless each family! You  warned of Satan’s assault
against this precious and indispensable divine spark  that God lit on earth.
St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the  family and every life
that blossoms from the family.

Pray for the whole  world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and
injustice. You tackled war by  invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be  tireless sowers of peace.

Oh St. John Paul, from heaven’s window, where  we see you next to Mary,
send God?s blessing down upon us all.


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