Pilgrimage to Fatima: A Journey Toward Marriage
By Anne Marie McDonnell, Ph. D.
August 2, 2003. Could this finally be the right man for me? I felt a sudden surge of expectation as his car pulled up next to mine in the local town hall parking lot. We had encountered one another at a Catholic singles web site. I suggested meeting at a central location that was easy to find since he lived about 70 miles away in a neighboring state. When I shook his hand, there was an earnest look in his eyes, accompanied by a boyish grin. He simply uttered, "Hi, I'm Mike." He sported a neatly trimmed moustache and was well groomed. His dark, wavy hair, friendly manner, infectious laughter, and down-to-earth temperament revealed a sincerity.
It was definitely a very pleasant first meeting. We chatted easily while enjoying tasty sandwiches at a favorite local restaurant, followed by a vigorous walk. We shared our many common and diverse interests, our family backgrounds, and most importantly, our faith. And little did I think that a simple, routine ritual I performed in the midst of our first walk together would have such a profound and lasting impact on Mike and our relationship. As we were approaching the local Catholic Hospital, I immediately paused, took a right-hand turn, and proceeded toward the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which is centrally located in front of Fatima Hospital. I simply commented that I never walk past that statue without stopping to pay the Blessed Mother a visit. This time, I made a silent prayer for Her intercession to the Lord, hoping that Mike might just be the one I'd been waiting a lifetime (44 years) for. Little did I realize that Mike had also been anticipating such a meeting for just about the same length of time.
This prayerful intercession to the Virgin Mary has become an on-going, integral aspect of our relationship. Only now, we share it together. In fact, attending mass regularly, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, and praying the rosary constitute the cornerstone of our bond with one another. As I sit here writing this reflection, it's been almost 4 years since that fateful day that we met. Mike and I became engaged on October 6, 2006, and we plan to be married in the Catholic Church on August 2, 2008 - just a little over a year away and exactly 5 years from the date we first met.
Neither Mike nor I have ever been married before or have we ever experienced a serious relationship before. We both strongly value the importance of chastity, commitment, and fidelity to one another, to Church teaching, and most of all, to Our Sovereign Lord, Jesus Christ. I cherish Mike as a special gift I never dreamed I would receive. HIs meticulously recorded journal chronicales all the wonderful events in our lives together during the past 4 years. He continues to spend countless hours, writing his reflections on our love for the Lord and one another.
Mike's proposal to me was such a sacred event, filled with such tender surprises as he walked me to a lovely, neighborhood park, just across the street from Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. The dozen of white flowers planted nearby, symbolizing the purity in our relationship. The St. Raphael's medal he initially gave me, convincing me that this was merely a pre-engagement celebration, demonstrating our gratitude to the angel whose intercession also helped to bring us together. Then, the dozen of red roses also carefully planted amidst the trees, followed by Mike's humbly kneeling before me, presenting me with the most beautiful, sparkling diamond I had ever seen! Yes, even a romantic ride in a gondola, being serenaded by an Italian tenor, and the scrumptious desserts in which we indulged. Each event added more and more special touches to a grand evening! Yet, that memorable night, October 6, 2006, (the eve of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), culminated with the most sacred eventt of all- Mike and I reciting the rosary together praying with hearts full of gratitude and asking for God's continued blessings on our relationship and impending marriage.
I think back to the first time Mike and I strolled together and began to share our thoughts, dreams, and visions. I remember that silent intercessory prayer I murmured to Our Lady during our very first walk on August 2, 2003. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a heavenly response. Mike and I hope and pray that as we prepare for our special walk down the aisle and to the altar together at St. Casimir's Church on August 2, 2008, that we will continue to grow closer to God, to all members of God's family here on earth, and to one another. We want to help one another to attain eternal salvation to which we are all called. We pray that our lives as a Catholic couple will be a living to God's graciousness and countless blessings! Nothing is impossible when we put our trust in God!
http://www.regent.edu RI, US
Anne Marie McDonnell - Alumna/Teacher, 401 497-0412
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- 'Budgets are moral documents'
- St. Thomas More: Saint of the Day for Thursday, June 22, 2017
- Daily Reading for Friday, June 23rd, 2017 HD Video
- Astronomers close in on Planet X that could be responsible for ...
- North Korea's secret strategy slips out, and WHY they are developing ...
- What if an asteroid strikes near you? HD Video
- Daily Readings for Thursday, June 22, 2017
- saint elizabeth
- saint paul
- saint christopher
- st mary
- nicene creed
- our lady of guadalupe
- saint francis of assisi
- young children
- Saint Nicole
- st. michael
- saint francis
- st nicholas
- all saints day
- list of saints
- st anne
- st christopher
- St. Joseph
- juan diego
- francis of assisi
- Daily Reading for Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 HD
- Killer supervolcano under Yellowstone stirs as 500 earthquakes hit park HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 HD
- US and Russia one accident away from war in Syria HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.