Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales
I hesitated in writing this because it is so very personal but after much thought, I decided that I would share my experience and let you make of it what you will.
It was May 2005 when a friend asked me to speak to a friend of hers who was going to have surgery. We will call my friend Jenny and we will call her friend Bernadette. I had never met Bernadette but because Jenny had asked me to speak to her pre-surgery, I did. She was somewhat on edge and rather afraid but I could tell from her voice that she was a gentle and unassuming soul. Jenny had told me some time earlier that Bernadette had been blessed with extraordinary gifts. The fact that I was rather skepical of this did not stop me from talking to her as asked and also finding out some information she needed regarding her child's education.
In early June 2005 I travelled to Rochester, New York with my then boss who was to conduct a four night Mission in the Diocese. We were accompanied by a husband and wife who were to provide the music, and their two young daughters. We had a fantastic trip - the Mission was a success, I shopped at o'clock in the morning and wondered if people had nothing better to do than be in the supermarkets at that hour(!), had my first and only taste of Walmart, met some fantastic people and spent the last free day at Niagara Falls. The priest in whose home we stayed and was to become a dear friend, was deliciously hospitable and the night before we left to fly back to Trinidad, he gave me a gift. It was a beautiful mosaic plaque and the central figure was St Francis of Assisi. Back in Trinidad I hung it on the wall over the computer desk.
Fast forward a few weeks.
I am now going to share notes I made at the time which I then sent as an attachment in an e mail to my daughter who had gone to England for a few weeks to work in a friend's London Art Gallery. The names will remain as Jenny and Bernadette.
Some weeks ago - end of May - I was involved in doing something for Bernadette, a visionary who was to have surgery. I have never met her but spoke to her on the phone prior to surgery.
Friday 15 July 2005 - pm call from Jenny - she had been to see Bernadette (the visionary) who had the following message for me:
1) I was on a high spiritual level - could have said very - cannot recall
2) I was to pray to Our Lady more
3) Who is the saint that wears a brown gown that I pray to or should be praying to?
I do not know - thought perhaps it was St Joseph as I have been praying to him recently as the Patron Saint of Workers - job for......... (name given) on advice of ............(name given)
Saturday 16 July 2005 - 5.00pm Mass - Santa Rosa - opened my Missal and the page fell open where I have a picture of St Francis of Assisi . I wondered if this was the saint I should be praying to.
Monday 18 July 2005 am - call at work from Jenny who had been to see Bernadette and there was a message for me.
1) The saint wears a brown habit with a cord around his waist
2) He is waiting for me and will help me
3) I am to light a candle to him and pray to him
4) He has sent signs but I have not picked them up. Is happy that I now have and he is willing to
5) I am prayerful
6) I suffer from tiredness and am very, very tired at the moment. Have to be careful as I live in
a state of constant anxiety
7) I work very hard and do not make time for myself