My love of Lourdes developed as I witnessed my young neighbor fight for her life. Her mother asked me to pray over the 11-year-old girl three times during her five-and-a-half-month stay in the intensive care unit. I brought Lourdes water with me each time and asked for the intercession of the Blessed Mother. I clearly remember the last time I prayed over the little girl with Lourdes water when she smiled in her comatose state. The little girl received her double lung transplant on the Blessed Mother’s birthday on September 8th. Though she passed away in 2019, I take solace knowing she lived nearly ten years following her transplant.
A few years later in late 2013, my own health began to deteriorate. I went from a vibrant working mother of two who volunteered teaching art in two classrooms to a mother who couldn’t get off of the couch. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, on top of my underactive thyroid condition, and Hashimotos disease. I began seeing new doctors and I was trying everything to get well. In the beginning of 2014, my parents invited me to go on a special needs pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, in June. I honestly didn’t think I was sick enough to go and said no. My parents persisted in asking and eventually I accepted the invitation. I thought I was saying “yes” because that is what a good daughter would do with nothing in return. Little did I know that this would be a life-changing experience.
Traveling to Lourdes, France, was an arduous trip when sick! I was on a six-and-half- hour flight from JFK to Paris, then a layover in Paris to catch a flight to Pau. Once in Pau, we had a 45-minute bus ride to Lourdes. I was beyond exhausted and went right to bed upon my arrival. I went to Lourdes with no expectations. The pivotal moment in Lourdes was my time in the piscines (baths)! After my full-immersion bath, I could not control my gift of tears at this moment. The tears were flowing like the Gave River, and I was filled with peace. I felt like I was reborn. I received a healing that day in the piscines and my energy was restored!
My faith was on fire after receiving my healing. I wanted to spread the message of Lourdes with everyone. I began working with the North American Lourdes Volunteers to help spread the message of Lourdes and because of this new role, I was able to travel back to Lourdes in September 2014 as a healthy mother, full of energy. I was fortunate to meet Vittorio Micheli, an Italian gentleman who annually serves the sick at the train station in Thanksgiving of his miraculous healing. Micheli is also known as Miracle 63. The greatest part of this work trip was when I was asked to serve in the piscines one day when they were short-handed. I praised God all day for the gift of energy to serve the sick pilgrimages during a double shift day. What a gift to have been such a humble servant to others!
My healing in Lourdes has greatly impacted my life in many ways. My healing had a positive impact on my home life. I was so healthy and full of energy that a fruit of my healing was welcoming the blessing of a beautiful baby girl in 2015. I began to create mosaic crosses after my healing, too. With each uniquely individual cross, I gift a bottle of Lourdes water and prayers to spread the message of Lourdes with the recipient. I have also become more involved at St. Mark Catholic Church in Oro Valley since my healing.
Lourdes, a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, a place where the Blessed Mother came down from Heaven 18 times to show herself to a poor, illiterate girl named Bernadette, will always have a special place in my heart because it is where Our Lady brought me close to her son Jesus.