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Happy New Year to all of my blog followers and readers! I hope 2015 brought you many blessings and joy, and I hope 2016 will be even better.
I was so blessed to have a wonderful holiday season this year. I was able to spend time with my family, and I was also able to reconnect with friends that I haven’t seen in a while. We enjoyed wonderful meals, beautiful Christmas lights, and I even rode a camel with a good friend at a Christmas festival! We had an awesome time.
To top off all this fun, I received an amazing gift from God that I will never forget. My mom spent the night at my house on Christmas Eve, and we planned to go to the 10:30 mass at the local Catholic Church. Both of us were exhausted as we had quite a busy day on Christmas Eve, so we ended up going to sleep at around 9:30 or so. I didn’t think I needed to set my alarm as I was sure I would wake up in plenty of time to get to church.
Well, I did wake up, but it was about 5:30 a.m. That was just too early for me…lol! So, after making a trip to the bathroom, I came back to my room, turned on the light, set my alarm for 7:00, turned the light off, and climbed back into bed.
Before I go any further, I should explain a little bit about my background. My parents are Catholic, and I was raised Catholic. I even attended a Catholic grade school. Even though I don’t always attend a Catholic church (sometimes I go to a non-denominational church), I have always maintained a deep respect for Catholic faith as this has been a huge part of my life. However, I am not one who believes that a particular Christian denomination is any better than any other one (see my previous blog, “I Will Call Them My People Who Are Not My People”).
Even so, I have been given many different Catholic statues, books, rosaries, etc. over the years, and they are quite special to me. I have several rosaries hanging on the headboard of my bed, and I still pray the rosary from time to time.
On this morning after I set the alarm and turned off the light, I happened to notice that a rosary was glowing! I was stunned! Later I realized that this rosary glowed in the dark. But it was still amazing to me as I have had this particular rosary for many years, and I never saw it glow, or even realized that it glowed…until Christmas morning, 2015. What a wonderful gift from God on the day of His birth!
Smiling and at peace, I fell back to sleep. I had a dream that I was attending a church service at Nazareth Academy and College in Bardstown, Kentucky. My mom attended school at Nazareth, and I even wrote a book which includes letters that she wrote during the six years that she attended this school. In my dream, I saw my aunt Mary, my mom’s sister, and we visited for a while. Mary lives very close to Nazareth and spends quite a bit of time there.
When I woke up, I told my mom about my dream and about the rosary, and we both were amazed. We couldn’t believe that this had happened on Christmas Day.
If this wasn’t enough of a gift from God, we still received more. During the mass, the priest ended his sermon with the prayer “Hail and Blessed”. I had never heard this specific prayer before, but as I listened, my mom reached out to me and smiled. She whispered that this was a prayer that was said at Nazareth. She HAD NOT heard this prayer since her days at Nazareth…over fifty years ago!
God is simply amazing. As I have said before, miracles happen every day. For all three of these events to happen on Christmas Day is so wonderful…words just can’t express my happiness and joy. Make this New Year the best ever by giving your heart and soul to Jesus Christ!
Hail and Blessed
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Today, I’ve decided to share a cute little story, courtesy of my own mother. I have written a book, “Life at Nazareth College and Academy, Nazareth, Kentucky”. This book is a compilation of letters that my mom sent home to my grandmother while she was attending Nazareth, a Catholic boarding school and college, in the 1950’s. I had such fun writing this book as some of the stories are just so darn funny! What fun they had!
February 5, 1954
Last week was a terrible week. By the time Sunday rolled around which was the day I was to take the test, I was in an awful state. I lost my appetite, couldn’t sleep and was worried sick. I was scared to death when I went to take the test and as a result, I didn’t do very well. I think Sister Macrina was very disappointed in what I did. She had given me as many as three lessons a day that week. I’m discouraged over it but guess I’ll get over it after a while.
Sunday afternoon after the tests were over, we all decided to go to Bardstown to a movie and eat supper. We had a wonderful time. The movie was “Roman Holiday” and was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. After the movie, we went to the Coffee Shop and had hamburgers, French fries and cokes. Mary and I caught a cab back out here about 6:30.
That night the Holy Name Band from Louisville came out to give a concert. The Sisters fixed them a big dinner in the social hall. They had a pretty good band and played some well-known numbers. The highlight of the program was a concerto for piano with band accompaniment. A girl by the name of Mary Kelly Hamilton played the piano. You should have seen that girl play! She was marvelous!! Sister Macrina was up in the balcony so she could look down and see her hands when she played. Every time the girl would play a loud note, Sister would jump up and go to the edge of the balcony so she could see better. Sister was in a spot where the whole audience could see her and to tell the truth, more people were watching her rather than the girl. Well, one time when she had jumped up, the music got very soft and as she sat down, she must have sat down too hard. You have never heard such a commotion in all your life. Crunch, crackle, creak!! The chair broke down with her and she disappeared from view. At first, everybody thought she had fainted, but after about three minutes, she popped up and left the balcony. By that time, everybody had gotten over their first scare and was in a case of laughing hysterics, that is everybody except Sister Margaret Gertrude. She got real mad not knowing that it was Sister Macrina that had made the noise. Sister Macrina told us later that she was so embarrassed she crawled on her hands and knees to the door of the balcony, got up finally and let herself out. I can just picture Sister Macrina crawling!
Well, yesterday was the biggest surprise of all when Pat Blackburn stuck her head in the harp room. She had driven the truck she won last spring and had come to spend the night here with us. We really had a nice long visit. She drove us around the campus in her truck which is a red Chevrolet and is named “Redbird”. She is going to U.K. and is majoring in Home Economics. She left this afternoon at 1:00. I wish she would come back here to school.
At 12 today, the music majors had a dinner in the gym. Sister Rose Agnes, Ginny and Rosie Greenwell’s aunt came down from Louisville to give it in honor of Ginny’s birthday which is the 11th of this month. We had hot dogs, buns, potato sticks, fruit salad, cokes, candy, nuts and birthday cake. Believe it or not, I ate two hot dogs. I was so hungry! The cake was a huge three layer yellow one with lots of white coconut icing on it.
I guess this is enough for now. Please write soon and often. I only got two letters this week, one from you and one from Ella Jo.
I hope you enjoyed that story as much as I did! Want to read more? The book is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Lulu.com.
“Life at Nazareth College and Academy, Nazareth, Kentucky” by Maria Martin