OUR LADY KEEPS HER PROMISE ...
A Modern Intervention of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Referring to the Scapular of Mount Carmel, Mary Herself has said:
"Take this SCAPULAR, whosoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace."
For over 700 years the Catholic Church has taught Her children to have confidence in this promise of Our Lady. Furthermore, God Himself has backed this practice and teaching by the many hundreds of first class Miracles worked in favor of this Scapular Promise.
Our Lady of Fatima came on October 13, 1917, during the "Miracle of the Sun" as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and again held out the Scapular for each one of us to wear. This Scapular promise is an important part of the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. She wants us all to wear the Scapular all the time.
One of the family of Fatima Crusader readers has sent us this testimonial showing how he was saved, being only three seconds away from death.
Dear Father Gruner:
My name is Tony S. and I am 40 years old, married, and thanks to God, I have two wonderful children. It was through my mom that l happened to come across your wonderful magazine, "The Fatima Crusader" and the Immaculate Heart of Mary touched me again and I responded to Mary's calling for prayer, penance, rosary and scapular. Father Gruner, only God knows the good which the Blessed Virgin is helping you to do amongst all those people whom you reach with your publications. The Blessed Virgin will for sure reward you and all those who in more ways than one help you and assist you in your holy endeavor.
I promised to write this letter as a testimonial to the Blessed truth and factual realization of the Promises of Our Blessed Virgin regarding the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Here follow this very true story and I testify on its complete truth and accuracy and exhilarating sweet generosity of the Blessed Virgin towards Her ungrateful son - myself.
It was about 28 years ago - I was about 12 years old - that this miraculous intervention of Our Lady occurred. It was the Feast of St. Gaetan that we were celebrating in my town, the Saint of the parish. My family decided to go and spend a day at Ghadira Bay. I remember that morning I washed myself and of course I had to remove the scapular I was wearing and I hung it on the latch of the kitchen window. Then I dressed up and all of us eventually were ready to go to catch the bus. We walked to the bus stop, about 8 minutes' walk, and as soon as we arrived the bus appeared as if it was waiting for us. Seconds before we were about to get on the bus, I just remembered that I forgot to put the scapular back on me. So I immediately asked my mother if it was okay to run and fetch the scapular and hence miss the bus. Thank God she said, "Okay, go, we will take the next bus."
Well, I fetched the scapular and pretty soon we were on our way to the Bay.
Well, it is noteworthy to say that both myself and younger brother Joe didn't know how to swim. Also, the Bay is ideal for families because it has a sandy beach, sandy sea bottom and shallow water up to knee level for quite a few yards before the water level starts to rise.
My dad and my two older brothers and two sisters did respond to mom's calling for lunch and brother Joe and I remained behind with the soccer ball. I took the ball in my hands and asked my brother if he could let me float on the ball for a couple of minutes and then we would play together with it. He did not agree to my request and so he came after me to take the ball from me. I impulsively kept wading through the knee-deep water away from him. When the level of water reached my chest I endeavored to float on the ball. That very same moment I felt under my feet a hole at the bottom of the water, and of course I had to float on the ball because I felt myself going down through the hole. At that instant I told my brother not to keep following me as there was a hole under my feet. Well, he thought that I was only trying to scare him off and so he kept coming towards me. As soon as he reached me he, too, felt the hole under his feet and he started to go down. He immediately panicked and frantically he tried to grab onto me. Well, he grabbed my hand and hence the ball slipped from under me. He pushed down on me and I went down and he ended up on top of me. We could not swim so we just lay there bobbing up and down with the waves. Of course, I was always underwater, but my brother occasionally would rise above the water so he could take a breath now and then. In the meantime, I was gulping water instead of air. I remember an idea came to my mind that maybe I could breathe by putting my hands on my face to prevent the water from going through my nose and mouth!! Such naivete! Time was ticking by and oddly enough I remember I didn't panic and my mind was practically blank. I was not thinking about anything except how to get some air. Well, as you would expect, my brain was now lacking oxygen and I was just about to lose consciousness. I must have been underwater for more than two minutes continuously breathing water.
Then, out of the blue a thought came to my mind and I said to myself mentally, "Don't they say that he who wears the scapular will not die a sudden death without first receiving the sacrament of penance and being reconciled to God so that one may not go to eternal damnation as the Blessed Virgin promised."(1) This is precisely what came to my mind at the precise moment just before I lost consciousness. At that moment I became just a weed undulating with the motions of the water around me.
The next thing I remember was that I was being helped by two people to the shore. I very well remember that I couldn't breathe at all and when I tried to take in some air I felt excruciating pain in my lungs, which were about to burst. I could only take in a few cc's of air with great difficulty and pain. I was then laid on the beach and quite a few people gathered around. I was helped to get the water out of my lungs, and out came bottles of it. My skin was already blue and I could not focus for hours. A doctor in the crowd came to help me and he was amazed at my condition. He told my mother that I was very lucky to be alive, for if I had stayed underwater for three seconds more my lungs would have burst! It took me one whole week to be able to walk straight and fully regain my mental faculties.
How did I get rescued along with my brother? Well, it so happened that two young men were sitting on the beach and they happened to notice us - my brother and I - thinking that we were playing with the ball. However, when they noticed that it was too long a time that we were still underwater, they got concerned and came to our rescue. They picked up my brother, who by this time was semi-conscious, and when he was half way to the shore he told them that I was still underwater. Close by there was an English lady swimming and the young men told her to come and help me out.
I always wondered how it was that those young men happened to focus on two young boys playing with a ball, keeping an eye on us, so to speak, for more than two minutes, and not on any other group of people on the beach packed with hundreds of people. Why did they persist in monitoring us all along the crucial time and not let their curiosity center on something more entertaining? Why did they bother at all? Why did they act at the crucial time when 3 seconds were so vital for my life? Why did I happen to remember that I forgot the scapular seconds before we were to board the bus? Why, of all the thoughts that could have come to my mind, only one came to me regarding the promise of the Blessed Virgin on the scapular. Why did I lose consciousness the moment after this thought? Only one answer is possible to all these questions - namely, the hand of God's action through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. What else?
God has been too generous and kind with me. He loves me too much and I pray that He gives me the great grace of appreciating to some small degree this boundless love for me. God also gave me the gift of faith through which He showed me this generosity.
Dear Father Gruner, I praise and thank God for this sublime love for me; I honor and give thanks to our Virgin Mary for Her supreme Motherly love for me and my family. Praise and thanks be to Jesus and Mary.
I wish to find various ways to do penance and sacrifice for Jesus and Mary in thanksgiving and in reparation for all the sorrow all of us are causing to the Blessed Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am saying the Rosary every day - often twice or three times a day. I do wear the scapular and fast every Friday and pray more. But I feel I am not doing nearly enough.
I pray that God will continue to shower upon you and all those devoted helpers His graces so that God's will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
God Bless you,
I. Editor's Note: The precise promise Our Lady makes to those who are properly enrolled in the Scapular of Mount Carmel is found at the beginning of this article.