Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beautiful Story of Encouragement

Recently I received an email from one of the Children's Rosary group leaders.  She was commenting on a post she had read on the Children's Rosary website.  The post was in part about the 1 year St. Bridget Prayers.  For those who are not familiar with these prayers these are daily prayers said for one year honoring the blows Our Lord suffered during His passion.  If the prayers are said every day by the end of one year each blow will have been honored. The prayers have 15 promises attached to them although they are not covered by an imprimatur.  Thus I did not include them on our blog.

This group leader who wrote to me shared a beautiful story about the St. Bridget prayers and her father.  I have asked her permission to share it with all of you which she granted.

The story begins while Sandy was pregnant with her 6th child.  She said her husband asked her something when she was pregnant.  He asked if he could pick the name of their new baby.  As they had shared in picking names for their prior 5 children she quickly answered yes as it seemed very important to him.  As the months passed he had decided on a boys name but he was still unsure of a girls name.  She prayed very hard for her husband that the Lord would guide his choice for their child.  On one of their last trips to the doctor for a check up on the baby her husband said he had a name.  He asked her if she liked the name Bridget.  He said he couldn't get the name out of his head.  The name Bridget was not a family name nor one either had ever mentioned in the past but it was a beautiful name.  After the doctors appointment  Sandy went into her father's room to check on him as he was suffering from advanced Parkinson's Disease.  When she entered his room he had a little prayer book.  She asked him what he was praying and he said the St. Bridget prayers.  At that moment she felt in heart that this was why her husband had not been able to get the name Bridget out of his head. Several weeks later a little girl was born and they named her...Bridget.

Sandy shared another interesting part to the story.  Over a year later when her father had become very sick he was brought to the hospital.  As an aspiration precaution, he was not allowed to consume any liquids or foods by mouth.  He was on a respirator and as such, his mouth was often open and very dry.  A nun in his last months would often come to the room and asked if she could place just one drop of the precious blood on his tongue. As his mouth was so dry, it was a wonderful gift both in giving some relief from his parched mouth and the beautiful gift of the blood placed almost daily for his spiritual strength while suffering so greatly.

Sandy shared that upon reading the post about St. Bridget and the prayers she looked up the promises.  One of the promises specifically mentions the gift of the precious blood 15 days before ones death.  As it is unusual to receive the precious blood in many churches and even more uncommon to have it brought to the hospital it seemed a wonderful gift. Sandy shared that although the prayers at first seemed very lengthy when she had seen them in her father's hands now looking at them they did not seem so daunting.  Instead she felt a renewed call to pray them but not just for herself but as a family.  She asked her children and they too wanted to join in.  Even little Bridget would be saying them, too.  The family decided this would be their Christmas present to Jesus this year.

The story does not end here.  In receiving Sany's note I too re-read the post on St. Bridget and in speaking to Sandy she mentioned there are additional St. Bridget prayers  which last 12 years and honor the 7 times Jesus spilled His blood for us.  I had heard about these prayers previously but now as she spoke of them there was a thirst in my heart to begin them.  As we are finishing our Consecration to Jesus through Mary tomorrow (January 1st) a wonderful idea came.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to begin such a journey with Our Lord in contemplation of his suffering after finishing this wonderful journey of Consecration.  For Our Lady is always pointing toward her Son.  She prays at the foot of the Cross. In beginning such a journey this would be a way to join Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross and honor the sacrifice her Son, Jesus, made for all of us.  Today being New Years Eve there was an urgency in my heart to write this post as I wondered if others of you might also want to begin either the 1 year St. Bridget prayers or the 12 year St. Bridget prayers.

A special thank you to Sandy for sharing such a beautiful story with us.  As we walk on this journey of faith it is such a gift to have others walking in prayer with us.  For the Lord often works through such people encouraging us and helping us.

If you would like to read the post on St. Bridget that Sandy mentions click here.

Image courtesy of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church Chorpus Christi, Texas.

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