Written by: Denise Serafini on Tuesday, March 28, 2017
On Friday March 24th we had the opportunity to present our program at my home church here in Connecticut, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, which is part of the Our Lady of Hope Parish. The event was well attended and our pastor, Father Ruminski, did a wonderful job of supporting us in the readings. In alignment with the name for the parish, I have to say that if nothing else, our relics and associated programs, similar to all of the traditional services and prayer devotions made available to us by the Church, are a sign of hope that God wishes to embed deep within our hearts; the hope of salvation and His eternal love. The first shrine to bear the title of Our Lady of Hope was erected at Mezieres, France in the year 930. On January 17, 1871, Our Lady of Hope appeared in the French village of Pontmain. There she revealed herself as the "Madonna of the Crucifix" and gave the world her message of "Hope through Prayer and the Cross." The basilica built at Pontmain by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate is one of the great French pilgrimage places, noted for its miracles of grace. The individuals that attend our events come to engage in prayer for the benefit of the persons and situations tied to their prayer intentions. God the Father, in His Mercy, cannot help but have pity on the soul that presents his or her supplications in the midst of remembering the suffering of Jesus on the walk to Calvary accompanied by His Mother and honoring the relics of the cruel and inhumane tortures He endured.It so happened that an individual that has long been suffering from terminal cancer came and asked to be prayed over with the relics. Father Ruminski brought the Relic of the True Cross to her and joined her in asking Jesus for relief of her sufferings. This young woman was not Catholic, but she certainly understood that Jesus is our Savior. In her knowing that she will likely be going home to the Father in the near future, she wanted to draw herself as close as possible to Him to be assured of His love for her.