Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An Unexpected Intercession: A Quickie Rumination

     The following is a true story of an event that took place in Nassau County, NY. It's been well documented and verified.

     He was driving along a secondary road, on a rainy night, on his way to an appointment with his doctor. It was possible that it would be his last such appointment, for the most recent X-rays had revealed that his cancer was speeding through his body. The doctor had already told him that he had little time left, perhaps only a few days. It caused him to wonder, given that nothing could be done for a cancer so aggressive and so thoroughly metastasized, why he should continue to see a physician. Yet he went.

     His headlights lit upon an elderly man in priestly garb, walking along the side of the road. As was his habit, he stopped.

     “Father,” he said to the priest, “may I give you a lift?”

     The old priest nodded. “Please, take me to Maria Regina Church in Seaford.”

     When they were again on their way, the driver, to his own surprise, confided in the priest that he had cancer, and that it was about to take his life. “I hope you’ll pray for me, Father,” he said. “It’s all anyone can do for me now.”

     The priest shook his head. “No.” He laid a hand on the driver’s shoulder. “You’re going to be all right. You’ll see.” They arrived at the church shortly thereafter. The priest thanked the driver for his kindness and debarked, whereupon the driver continued on to his doctor’s appointment.

     The doctor was astounded at what new X-rays showed of his patient.

     “I can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s gone. The cancer’s gone!”

     The patient was dumbfounded. “Really? Completely?”

     The physician nodded. “I can’t find the smallest trace of it. I can’t explain it, but you’re cancer free. Congratulations!”

     The patient thought immediately of the old priest. How did he know?

     About a year later, the man was in a local pizzeria when another patron handed him a prayer card. The card bore a photo of the saint whose intercession was sought. The man was staggered, for the picture was of the old priest he’d picked up that night in the rain.

     The face on prayer card was that of Padre Pio. The man noted the date of his death. The old priest had died long before their encounter in the rain.

     It proved to be one of the miracles for which Padre Pio was canonized as Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, who for this reason among others is greatly beloved by the Catholics of Nassau County, New York.

     May God bless and keep you all.

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