When I was a baby, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. The doctors tried drilling into my skull to relieve the pressure, but it didn’t help. In the end, they prescribed a medicine for me—but all it was supposed to do was delay the inevitable—they gave me only six months to live.
Not to be deterred, my mother prayed to the Blessed Mother for a healing and amazingly, I was healed! The pressure in my head subsided, and I was fine. A year later, when she brought me in for a routine physical, the doctor thought my mother had had another child. I was doing so well that he called it a miracle!
There are eleven women in my life: the Virgin Mary, my wife, my mother, two sisters, two daughters, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters (not to mention my nieces and cousins). But Mary is my favorite—and for two reasons. First, because of the way she lived, and, second, because I believe I am alive today through her intercession. That’s why I honor her above all the other saints and why I love her so much.
So you can understand why it has a special meaning to me every time we dedicate an issue of The Word Among Us to the Virgin Mary. And this month’s issue is no exception.
An Influential Woman. This month, we asked three women to talk about their relationships with Mary. In our first article, Jean Engelmann shares how Mary helped her move forward after the death of her husband, Paul. Next, my wife, Felicia, talks about how Mary helped us deal with our daughter’s cancer diagnosis. And finally, Susan Recinella shares about Mary’s role as model and guide as she ministers to families affected by the death penalty.
Each of these stories points to a different way that Mary can comfort and guide anyone who asks her for help. I hope they help you honor this special woman who was so instrumental in the life of Jesus and in the life of the Church.
I also want to urge you to bring your prayer requests and intercessions to Mary. Ask her to take your needs to her son, Jesus. After all, she has a lot of influence. Just remember how she helped a newly married couple at Cana (John 2:1-10)! Ask her to comfort you in times of trial. Our Lady of Sorrows knows what suffering is like firsthand. Invite her into your home, just as her cousin Elizabeth welcomed her. Know that her presence will be a blessing for you and your family.
Words cannot express my feelings toward our Blessed Mother. She will always hold a very special place in my heart. I am sure that many of you feel the same way. So let’s pray together that Mary, the Virgin full of grace, will continue to pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.
Joe Difato, Publisher | Email the Publisher at [email protected]