In October, Catholics give special attention to a special devotion, the Rosary. During this month we observe the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th.
This was written by Fr. Floyd Rotunno, Pastor of The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Mahwah, NJ.
"Is She Here?" Even now as I re-tell this story, I get chills. It happened 27 years ago. Though I've repeated this to others over the years, I've never actually put it into writing until now. I received a phone call from a friend that her husband was in the hospital and asked me to come and see him. It didn't sound urgent, but some voice inside me told me to stop what I was doing and leave immediately. When I arrived at his room, I met his wife and son in the hallway, with tears in their eyes. She accompanied me into his room, and I realized how critical he was. I knew he was away from the Sacraments for a very long time, so I anointed him and gave him the final absolution of Penance. When he saw me he reached for my hand. It took every ounce of energy on his part to whisper, "Is she here?" I assured him that his wife was right there in the room with us. He said, "No, no...is she here?" I asked, "Who?" He said, "Her" and then continued, "pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. " It was said with his last breath of life.
I didn't understand at the time the significance of those words, other than they were the last part of the "Hail Mary". It wasn't until the Wake Service that I understood the sacredness of that moment at the hospital. You see, I met his parents for the first time. They lived in Florida. They were not close to his present wife and child, since this was his third marriage. After the appropriate prayers were said, his father pulled me aside to tell me that this man was their only child. When he was a little boy, they would recite the rosary together every night at home during the months of October and May. When their son's life started to unravel, and he turned his back on his family and his Faith, they began to say the rosary daily for him, and specifically for one special favor from our Blessed Mother, namely, that he would not die without a priest at his bedside. His dad said to me, "Father, you just didn't happen to be there by chance. You were there because Our Blessed Mother heard our daily prayer for our son. My wife and I were devastated when our only child walked away from his Faith. We promised our Blessed Mother that we would recite the rosary daily and asked for this miracle. She used you to be there in the place of her Son to give him the last rites of the Church."
Have you said the Rosary today?