Everyday Miracles of Lourdes: Chapters
Everyday Miracles of Lourdes comprises twenty-one compelling true stories of healing, love, suffering, brokenness, conversion, peace, and joy — through the lens of the grace of Lourdes. Relatable real-life experiences of differing relevant topics are woven together into a fascinating fabric of the handiwork of God, the Master Weaver of all transformative graces and miracles.
Chapter 1: Greatest Grace Needed: Forgiving Marlene
A first-person account of descent into agoraphobia and the suffering of traumatic assaults unexpectedly healed in the baths at Lourdes.
This authentic holy experience introduces the reader to twenty chapters of amazing graces witnessed by the author in the founding of the first Lourdes Hospitality of the Americas as the grace of Lourdes continues to flow over two decades.
Chapter 2: Under Her Mantle: Changed Claudette
Suffering with bipolar disorder and addiction, a decades-lapsed Catholic drastically changes her life as a grace of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. After the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Nevers, she returns home to wear a Miraculous Medal pinned over her heart which becomes a significant consolation to her family when she dies unexpectedly a few years later.
The grace of Lourdes changed how she lived the remainder of her life in this world, and surely her journey to the “happiness of the other world.”
Chapter 3: Crossing the Mary Bridge: Texas Pancho
A new convert immersed in the richness of two millennia of Catholic teachings and history deftly avoids the Blessed Mother throughout RCIA. Ultimately and ironically, he finds it impossible to continue to avoid the Mother of God once inside the Church. Praying in earnest, he asks Jesus to let him know if Mary is truly that important to Him and if He wants her to be known to him personally. Serving in Lourdes affirms that Mary is important to Jesus and to each of us.
Chapter 4: Cured to Serve: Saint-Frai Chrissy
Diagnosed with a debilitating incurable disease in the prime of life, a woman experiences an unexpected cure at Lourdes during the Papal Mass of Pope Benedict XVI for the 150th Anniversary of the Grotto apparitions in 2008.
No longer needing a wheelchair or feeding tube, the humbled woman returns to Lourdes to serve the sick and suffering every year since then, inspiring many.
Chapter 5: A Will to Live: Baby Ida-Linda
Discovering she is an abortion survivor not long after the death of her husband, a young widow descends into debilitating depression.
A pilgrimage to Lourdes returns the broken woman from the depths of despair to revert back to her childhood Catholic Faith and to fully embrace her life as worth living in the Sacraments.
Chapter 6: To Bee in the Heavenly Procession: Floral Cora
An unsuspecting gardener, unknowingly severely allergic to bees, is stung in the throat and lands in a coma in the intensive care unit of a California hospital. Inexplicably, she finds herself following the Eucharistic Procession at Lourdes, France. Once awake, she is convinced when we die, we only need to follow Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to Heaven, just like pilgrims at Lourdes follow along in the Eucharistic Procession daily in the Sanctuary in France.
Chapter 7: A Sign of the Cross: Joyful Jamie
A young-adult quadriplegic sinks into bitterness, discouraged by living a secular life in an institutional government-sponsored group home.
In Lourdes, he discovers his joyful purpose, and although unable to physically move his arms, he becomes a catechist, teaching others to make the gesture of a holy Sign of the Cross, like Bernadette and Our Lady in the Grotto.
Chapter 8: Last Obstacle to Total Love: Wishful Andrea
A dying, beautiful young woman hides her secretly shamed discomfort around disabled people until she winds up in a wheelchair herself, weakened after a platelet transfusion in Lourdes. Avoiding people in wheelchairs proves impossible in the miraculous international city of the sick and disabled. Surrounded by people also seated in wheelchairs around her, she quickly falls in love with each person she encounters and is transformed to overcome her last obstacle to total love before she dies.
Chapter 9: A Liquid Grace Fills the Hole: Scottish Sheena
Pregnant at fifteen in an unchurched family where abortion is a solution — not a problem — a pregnant teen is dragged by her mother, kicking and screaming, to abort her unplanned baby. She grows up continuing to bereave the forced loss of her first child, suffering and grieving with nothing able to fill the secret gaping void within her. Arriving to volunteer in Lourdes, she is surprised to discover that a liquid grace fills the hole within her, making her forever whole again.
Chapter 10: 'Til Death Do Us Part: Dolores and Alejandro
An elderly, prayerful couple struggles as the wife, nearing her one hundredth birthday, comes to fear surviving her beloved husband. Losing her zest for life along with her appetite, after receiving Anointing of the Sick and the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Lourdes, her faith is strengthened, her appetite returns, and her zeal for living is restored in the confidence of God’s plan for the happiness of each of us in this world and the other, as Our Lady promised Bernadette.
Chapter 11: Blessed Daughter and Mother: Awesome Alley
Adopted at four years old and then sexually abused by a neighbor a few years later, a little girl suffers with her terrible secret while her mother battles bouts of debilitating depression. As a young pre-teen, she slips into a rebellious angst and is sent to Lourdes to serve on a youth mission trip. She finds faith and healing, returning to Lourdes each summer to receive a different grace awaiting her, forming her to become a faithful, holy young woman, wife, and mother.
Chapter 12: A Mystery of a Holy Eucharist: Minnesota Marlow
Mysteriously, a registration packet arrives in the Lourdes Volunteers office with the Holy Eucharist inexplicably attached to the passport photo. Unbeknownst to the office team, scrupulosity had long overtaken the faithful man with the mysterious Host covering his face. Convinced he was unworthy to receive the Holy Eucharist for decades, while serving in Lourdes, through learning the humility of Bernadette and her love of the Holy Eucharist, he returns to the Sacraments.
Chapter 13: Hurt to Healed to Happy: Transatlantic Theresa
Broken in unending grief after the death of her husband by suicide, a widow finds healing and consolation in Lourdes and discovers the compassion of the Catholic Church for those grieving the loss of loved ones who have taken their lives, often misunderstood within and outside the Church. In thanksgiving for her healing to holy grieving, she dedicates one year full-time to help the new Lourdes Hospitality. Returning to France to serve at the conclusion of her selfless service, the widow meets a charming Irish volunteer and eventually remarries, finding happiness again.
Chapter 14: Ordinary Saints Heaven Bound: Greatest Generation Gene
A World War II veteran nearing the end of his life plagued by the memory of an enemy boy dying in a uniform he is too young to wear and is too large to fit. Arriving in Lourdes during the annual International Military Pilgrimage, he meets a volunteer from Arnhem, Holland, with a lifelong regret for failing to step forward as a little girl in a formal postwar ceremony to thank the Allied Forces for saving her city and country. Meeting together in Lourdes, she is finally able to thank an American veteran for saving her life as a young girl while the veteran realizes although many young boys died in the war, many young people were saved, finally bringing peace to them both.
Chapter 15: Fostering Love: Teddy-Jeremy
A blind, autistic, quadriplegic baby is placed in foster care at birth. Unable to care for a profoundly disabled child, the mother quickly surrenders parental rights. He is expected to transfer from foster care to institutionalization and an anticipated early death. Taking a temporary assignment to pay for a mother-daughter volunteer pilgrimage to Lourdes, a physical therapist meets the baby and the loving family adopts him. He is Baptized and later receives Holy Communion in the Grotto at Lourdes to become a holy living Eucharistic tabernacle.
Chapter 16: Revenge Reversal: Southern Cynthia
A young mother is shot point-blank in the abdomen by her ex-husband and left for dead. Suffering through thirty-three life-saving surgeries, she resents that the shotgun wound never closes, and is often infected. Fearful of the impending release of her abusive perpetrator, she secretly plots a final revenge. A small bottle of Lourdes Water poured into the gaping hole miraculously closes her open wound overnight. Making a pilgrimage to Lourdes in thanksgiving, she repents of her deadly plan to settle the score against her ex-husband, totally healed in both body and soul.
Chapter 17: Broken to Blessed: Bereaved Brian
Devastated at the death of his only son in a tragic car accident, a medical officer deploys one month later to the war-torn Middle East. Returning home one year later, he is embittered, without faith and away from the Church. Recruited to assist American wounded and disabled service members and veterans to Lourdes for the International Military Pilgrimage, he is consoled by Our Lady of Lourdes in the Grotto, bringing him home to the Sacraments and the Catholic Church.
Chapter 18: Frightened to Fearless: Jenna's Family
A fearless U.S. Navy Explosives Ordinance Disposal officer and special operations diver with nerves of steel becomes increasingly frightened in fear for the life of her newborn severely disabled daughter with an incurable, debilitating medical condition. After a family pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Navy veteran, her husband, and their two other children find confidence in God’s plan for them, allowing happiness to be restored at home, with worry replaced by trust in God’s Will for their little holy family.
Chapter 19: Mother Knows Best: Colleen and Maris
Traveling to Lourdes, a lone woman in the airport is invited to join a small pilgrimage, which is later discovered to be the answer to her desperate prayers in Paris after losing all of her belongings in the airport while missing her flight home to Africa. With the help of her newfound friend and the nurse assigned to assist her, the dying woman who extended the impromptu invitation makes a holy Confession, reconciling herself to God in preparation for a holy death.
Chapter 20: Holy Hurricane Rescue: Mister Earl
Following a pilgrimage to Lourdes, a new devotee of Bernadette returns home to New Orleans, promising a neighbor that he will watch over his elderly mother for the weekend. Hurricane Katrina strikes the unsuspecting residents as he struggles to coax his neighbor to safety. Refusing to abandon her, he finally convinces her to be evacuated as the water is rising dangerously fast. Making his way out, he is overcome by the wind and deep water, screaming out to Bernadette for her intercession: he needs a miracle to survive. She hears his plea and intercedes to save him.
Chapter 21: Pandemic Prayers: Nurse Lindsey
Assisting the sick on pilgrimage to Lourdes, a nurse returns to the Sacraments after a ten-year lapse. Soon after, the worldwide pandemic strikes, with the nurse finding herself responsible for one hundred virus-stricken patients. Bolstered by her experience from Lourdes, she finds a priest to bring Anointing to her Catholic patients, caring for both their body and soul. Contracting the virus herself, she comes to personally know the value of suffering from her Lourdes experience.