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I had an amazing experience when I was seven years old. Unfortunately, at the time, I did not reveal it for fear that my family would think I was crazy. Now, as an adult, I finally feel comfortable sharing that experience.
When my parents divorced, my mother, younger brother, and I moved from Seattle, Washington, to Cuba City, Wisconsin, to live with her parents. The divorce became final on my first day of kindergarten. We lived with them approximately one year and then moved into an apartment in town.
My grandfather was a Methodist minister in Cuba City. Later on he was transferred to a church in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. My brother and I spent our summers with our grandparents in Shullsburg, while our mother worked just a few miles away, as a hairdresser in Cuba City.
I can remember always being a prayerful child. I prayed before bed, and my brother and I took turns praying before each meal, unless it was a Sunday or a holiday. That is when my grandfather would say grace.
One hot summer morning I was walking around the parsonage yard, bored as could be, when I heard some noise coming out of the church. Someone was cleaning. I walked over to the church and noticed that the doors of the church were wide open, which is why I could so clearly hear a pail being set down and moved around. Shullsburg was a small town. I wondered if I had ever seen the person who was inside.
I stood there looking in but was unable to focus because of the contrast between the sunlight and the dark interior of the church. I slowly walked up the cement stairs to get a closer look. My brother and I were given specific instructions to never play inside the church. We were only allowed to go inside the church when we were with our family members. (I had happy memories of my brother and me taking turns holding on to the rope as the church bell rang and being gently lifted a few feet off the floor. Of course we could only do this because my grandfather supervised and gave his permission.)
The sounds of the pail being moved around stopped. I didn't see anyone. My eyes followed the carpet down the aisle. I slowly gazed up at Jesus on the cross. At the very moment my eyes met the eyes of Jesus I heard a woman's voice say, "Give my Son some flowers." The voice was very kind and loving, and it sounded as if it was behind me, but no one was there. I thought about how much Jesus would like a nice bouquet of flowers, and I had never given Him a present.
I realized I would be in big trouble if I pulled any of my grandmother's flowers, so I dashed off to the park across the street. I knew I would be able to find a variety of beautiful flowering weeds that He would like. When I had gathered a sizable bouquet, I quietly walked into the church, deposited the flowers directly below Jesus' feet, and promptly left.
That day at lunch, my grandmother asked, "Why were you playing in the church?"
I told her, "I wasn't playing in the church. I thought that Jesus would like some flowers, so I left them in the church."
I was not in the habit of lying. This was my first lie. Why did I take full credit for this gift? Because, I knew how crazy it would sound if I told my family that a woman who wasn't there told me to give her son some flowers.
Now that I am older, I have read about the Blessed Mother appearing before and speaking to children in Fatima, Lourdes, and Medjugorje. Perhaps the innocence of children is why they have been chosen. I can only wonder how the rest of my life may have changed if I had had the courage to admit the truth when I was a child.
My husband and I realized that as our family grew we would need to leave our condominium, so in 1986 we built our new home. I knew that I wanted all four of our bedrooms to have crucifixes over the doors. I felt comforted knowing that no evil would enter while we were sleeping. I encouraged our daughters to choose their own crucifixes. Fr. John Hurley blessed them for us at the Holy Thursday Dinner that year.
A couple of years later we witnessed a horrible accident. One morning my husband and I were sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. Suddenly, directly above our heads, we heard a loud crash. The noise was coming from our seven- year-old daughter's bedroom.
I ran upstairs to see what had happened. Lana's bedroom door was locked, so I made a mad dash for a Q-tip. I broke one end off as I rushed back to her door and popped the lock.
I was shocked to see her little feet sticking out from under her highboy dresser. I immediately tried to lift it and screamed for my husband's and daughter Nicole's help.
The drawers had safety latches and were falling downward, but not out of the highboy dresser. Amazingly, her head and chest were under her bed, which was next to the highboy dresser. Eventually, we were able to return the dresser to an upright position.
Lana explained that she was trying to make a hammock with a long scarf. She had tied one end of the scarf to a handle on the dresser that was to the left of her bedroom door. The other end of the scarf was tied to a handle on the highboy dresser that was along the other wall next to her bed. The door to her bedroom was at the corner of those walls. When she sat on the scarf, the highboy dresser tipped over.
We felt that we had experienced a miracle. First of all, my husband and I had different work schedules, and we were not usually home at the same time. Secondly, we cannot explain how quickly Lana could have slid her head and chest under her bed before the highboy dresser fell on top of her little body. I asked her how she got that way, and she said she didn't know. Thirdly, she did not sustain any broken bones, bruises, or scratches.
I am convinced that the Holy Spirit and angels were watching over her and protecting her as she fell under the dresser, which was just a few feet below her bedroom crucifix. That was the first miracle Lana experienced in her bedroom.
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In august 1997, a friend changed my life forever when she told me about the Queen of the Baby Rosary statues of our Blessed Mother Mary. Sometimes the statues change direction, turn their heads, light up, smell like roses, or drip oil. Our home did not have a statue of Mary, and so when I heard about the statues, I immediately wanted to get one. My friend insisted on giving me one as a present.
The statues must be ordered from Angel Kisses of St. Charles, Illinois, which is a Catholic gift shop owned by John and Patricia Kulpin. It takes two weeks for the statues to arrive. It is strongly suggested that you pray the rosary daily after you receive your statue. I thought to myself, "Oh, I can do that. I pray the rosary every day during Lent." I began to pray the rosary daily while I patiently waited for my statue of Mary. (Now I pray the rosary three times a day.)
The Blessed Mother gave Saint Dominic fifteen promises. The prayers of the rosary were given to Saint Dominic in the thirteenth century during a time when people did not pray enough. The rosary promises given to St. Dominic are listed at the end of the book.
The Queen of the Baby Rosary Statues are a little over thirteen inches tall, made of clear plastic and set on round bases, and their heads and large halos are turned slightly to the left. I like to describe them as looking like ice sculptures of Mary.
Each statue of Mary comes with a baby rosary, which has a cross and two roses on a gold cord that is covered with a few white beads. The person who receives the statue is the person who places the baby rosary necklace around the statue's neck.
I had heard stories that several people's statues had moved (changed direction), or healed people, or that the roses turned yellow and then back to pink. Some people have smelled a rose scent coming from their statues, and other people have said their statues began to glow at night, or that they began to drip an oily substance.
When I finally received my Queen of the Baby Rosary statue, I wondered if I would ever see it move. I wanted to be certain that I placed our statue in a location that would not experience any vibrations. Some people who are very devout Christians have never experienced their statues changing direction.
I kept saying the rosary daily. On the first day I studied my statue. Sometimes when you look through the back of the head you can see the face of Jesus. Only a few individuals have observed this phenomenon. There is an area near the knees where you can see the shape of an angel. This is caused by the folds of plastic on the opposite side of the statue.
When I first examined the statue and the rosary, I felt disappointed that the roses on the rosary were not full of petals, but accepted this and put it around Mary's neck. Then I studied the roses and noticed that the petals looked like they were moving! The size of the shadows changed inside the roses, as if they were breathing. I tried to hold my breath and examine the center of the roses to see if they were still moving.
It took me three days to figure out whether or not the centers of the roses were moving. I believed the roses were moving, and that is when I asked Lana to examine the roses to verify this phenomenon. Neither one of us could see movement. To this very day it has not happened again.
One month later I decided to order more statues. On September 10, 1997, I ordered five statues of the Virgin Mary with the baby rosary necklaces. I wanted one for my mother, sister, mother-in-law, a friend who had Hodgkin's disease, and a man who had been in constant pain for several years after he injured his back.
On September 27, my birthday, I went to Angel Kisses to pick up the statues and rosaries. The small store was crowded. My daughter Lana came inside the store with me. We looked around before we asked Pat to bring out the statues we had ordered.
As soon as I entered the little shop, I smelled what I thought was strong incense. It smelled similar to allspice and was so intense that it gave me a headache. When we left the shop, I asked Lana if she had smelled it too. She said she didn't smell anything. Later on, at another visit to Angel Kisses, I asked Pat about the incense, and she said they do not burn it. Pat said that if you smell a spicy smell it is the fragrance of Christ, and the scent of roses is the fragrance of Mary. During the last days of Christ's life, He was anointed with some expensive oil. The Bible tells us in Mark 14:3 that when Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper and reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the jar and poured it on Jesus' head. I can't say that I know what spikenard smells like, but it caused me to wonder if it smells similar to incense or allspice.
Pat took each statue out of its box, put holy water on it in the sign of a cross, and gave it a kiss. It is at this precise moment that she finds out if a statue bows its head. If it does, she marks the box with a cross so you will know which one of your statues bowed its head.
One of our statues bowed so that it was a quarter of an inch lower than the rest of the statues. I never once felt it was for me to keep for myself. Who should receive this special statue?
At home I lined up all of the statues on the kitchen table. My entire family scrutinized them from every angle. We all agreed; they were all the same height, and only one had its head bowed. It was time to begin to give them away. This was the last time they would all be together. I felt like I was breaking up a family.
I was not able to personally deliver the statues to my mother and sister, who lived in another state, because I was not able to get away. I kept these statues in their boxes for twenty-two days, and when I was tempted to take them out and look at them, I did not.
There were two people at my church, a man and a child, with some medical problems. My heart broke for both of them, and I knew immediately that the two statues I had at home for my mother and sister should be given to them.
On October 19, I took the statues out of their boxes. I lined them up again, wanting to see them before I gave them away. I knew something was different. One of the statues was shorter! Immediately I said, "Oh my God, this one is for a child!" This statue was one quarter of an inch shorter than the others. I quizzed my family about the statues, "Were all of the statues the same height before?" Yes, we all agreed. Now one of the statues was shorter.
I took both statues to work because the woman who gave me my first statue was coming to the dental office. The wife of the man who was in constant pain was also coming in. I wanted them both to see that this statue was shorter.
My co-workers did see that the statue was shorter. What we were not expecting to see was that three hours later the head tilted to the right side. Everyone in the dental office noticed that the head changed position; by 5 p.m. it began to straighten out a little.
After work, I visited the mother of one of the people I gave a statue to earlier that week. I wanted her to see the recent changes the statues had made. She held the statue for a while and set it down while we talked. All of a sudden I noticed the back was curving. She said that she wasn't sure about that but did see that the statue was smaller and that the head had tilted to the right.
It has been several years since I gave the first statues away. How are these people doing now? One man died. One man did not experience any change; however, a few years later he felt that he was visited by an angel. I do not know the condition of the child. The man who received the statue that bowed was healed from Hodgkin's disease. My mother-in-law's statue changed position a few times during the final months of her life.
One thing I do know is that no matter what their physical outcome has been, they all felt comforted. The statues cause a deepening of faith, or a renewed interest in religion, and this may be more important than physical healing.
Over the years I have ordered many statues. I estimate that I have purchased forty-eight Queen of the Baby Rosary statues. Now I encourage others to visit the shop and purchase their own statue.
I realize that I may have spent too much time viewing the statues, hoping for some indication of unusual activity, when I originally discovered them. Now, however, almost fifteen years later, I have a lackadaisical approach to the statues. I realize what they are capable of.
Two of the most dramatic effects I had ever witnessed happened in our home while my husband and I took care of his mother, Virginia, during the final two and one half years of her life. She was completely bedridden with stage four breast cancer, which had already spread to her bones. So we equipped Lana's "miracle bedroom" with a hospital bed for Virginia.
By the time our daughter Lana married in September of 2008, we had already been caring for my mother-in-law for two years. We made arrangements for her to stay at Manor Care while we attended the wedding in Arizona. We chose to take an additional two weeks respite care when were returned. This was the only respite we had during those two years.
Excerpted from Touched by the Grace of God by Heidi R. May Copyright © 2012 by Heidi R. May. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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