The Rosa Mystica House of Prayer
Our Lady's Flowers and The Rosa Mystica House of Prayer
By Dennis Lynch
"I'm told it will be America's Medjugorje". So spoke Steven McDonald, a paralyzed Police Officer sitting in the rear of Rose Mystica Shrine in a small town called Edmeston, New York on July 12, 2003.
Seventeen years earlier to the day, Steven McDonald was a young Police Officer patrolling Central Park in New York City. He stopped to question some youths and was violently attacked from behind, shot and left for dead. Only a miracle saved his life, but that miracle left him totally paralyzed from the neck down. His loving wife, PattiAnn McDonald, was at the time of the attack five months pregnant with their unborn son.
PattiAnn McDonald bravely stated a few months later at the birth of their first child named Conor that Steven and PattiAnn McDonald forgave the person who grievously shot Steven. It was, the McDonald Family told the world, what Christ's message of forgiveness was really all about. In the story known by millions across the world, Steven McDonald forgave the person who brutally shot and paralyzed him. A remarkable story of forgiveness in our unforgiving world of today.
Yet seventeen years later to the very day he was shot, with his nurse beside him Steven McDonald was praying at the Rosa Mystica Shrine in a small town in Central New York as far away from New York City as one could imagine. What was he doing there? Why had he travel there? What is the Rosa Mystica Shrine?
On June 13, 1947 in Northern Italy, Our Blessed Mother appeared to a nurse named Pierina Guilli. Her message was that Our Lord required a new Marian devotion for all religious orders and priests. Our Lady's wish was that on the 13th day of each month, a special day be set aside to pray that this Marian concern for renewal and sanctification of priests be realized.
In the beautiful Rosa Mystica Shrine, a brilliant blue cross blazed above the altar. While the "thin blue line" refers to police officers, that day in Edmeston, New York two thin blue lines forming a cross had a special meaning to those devoted to Our Lady and to police officer Steven McDonald. Steven McDonald prayed quietly along with nearly one hundred others who traveled from all around America to visit this quaint Church in this quiet town. They all traveled to this remote Church situated above the farm fields of upstate New York. They all traveled along a small dirt road that seem to come from nowhere and lead to nowhere. But this road lead to a newly refurbished Marian Shrine whose location was precisely selected by a series of numbers revealed by Our Lady to Mother Elena Leonardi twenty years ago. Those numbers were determined to be longitude and latitude coordinates whose location marked that very site in Edmeston, New York where the Rosa Mystica Shrine stands.
Rev. William McCarthy led the prayer service at Rosa Mystica. He spoke of the need for renewal and the need for our Catholic Christian Faith to be witnessed by all in America today. He spoke of the need for evil influences in the world to be rejected and the need for all clergy to experience a new Marian Devotion so that all religious orders will "increase your vocations, and achieve a greater striving for saintliness among the servants of God." This is a message everyone present at the Rosa Mystica Shine prayed our Catholic hierarchy in America would heed closely today.
Steven McDonald's friend of many years was a priest named Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M. Father Mike (as he was known to all) died during the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center September 11th. These terrorist were, of course, part of the culture of death that Pope John Paul II has told us battles with the culture of life in our world today. Father Mike's death was officially the first casualty of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. He died administering the sacraments to fallen Firefighters and Police Officers.
Father Mike's good name as a faithful Catholic Priest was, however, viciously attacked by those supporters of the culture of death in America after September 11, 2001. Unfounded accusations were made against Father Mike who was a dedicated Priest loving only Christ and wanting nothing more than to serve everyone as a faithful and celibate Priest. The attack on Father Mike is like the attack on our Priesthood today. The media ignores the wonderful, dedicated and holy efforts of so many of our Priests in America today. Still all priests in America today need to renew a special Marian Devotion as the Rosa Mystica apparitions urged.
What few people know was that Father Mike and Steven McDonald shared a special Marian Devotion throughout the almost 17 years they knew each other. It was during a trip to Medjurgorje many years ago that Father Mike told Steven McDonald about witnessing a Marian Apparition. Father Mike was present a few years before his tragic death at the World Trade Towers in a small Church in Medjurgorie, located far from everywhere just like the small Church in Edmeston, New York. It there that Father Mike observed the Medjurgorie visionaries experience a message from Mary. Father Mike told Steven that he could not see Our Lady, but experienced a strange sense of peacefulness and the unworldly smell of flowers just after the Marian Apparition.
Father Mike and Steven's devotion to Our Blessed Mother was deep and lasting. Seventeen years to the day that Det. Steven McDonald was shot and paralyzed, he sat in the rear of the Rosa Mystica Shrine in Edmeston, New York. The phrase "Rosa Mystica" refers to a flower, the Mystical Rose. Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M. was on Steven's mind at the Rosa Mystica Shrine that day. And, looking up at that blazing blue cross behind the altar, I understood what their Marian Devotion was all about. I also knew that Steven McDonald was present that day to pray especially for all priests to have a special Marian Devotion. I also know that Father Mike was present there praying alongside with Steven for a Marian renewal for all priests in America today.
As I left the Rosa Mystica Shrine that afternoon , Steven McDonald was still deep in prayer. That beautiful afternoon in Edmeston, New York was so peaceful as I left the Rosa Mystica Shrine. Just outside the Rosa Mystica Shrine, I heard someone remark about the beautiful aroma of the flowers nearby. It was than that I remembered Father Mike telling Steven about the peacefulness and the smell of flowers in that Church in Medjugorje. Perhaps I thought Edmeston, New York will indeed be America's Medjugorje.
Your Catholic Voice Movement
http://www.yourcatholicvoice.org CA, US
Dennis Lynch - Chief-of-Staff, 661 869-1000
Medjugorje, Catholic, Priest, Your Catholic Voice
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