The following is Deacon Ken Finn’s account of his remarkable interactions with Mary, the Mother of God.
My first encounter with the Blessed Mother happened when I was travelling in an RV with my wife, Marie. We co-authored a Catholic Bible-study, called The Bread of Life, and we were making a grand circle, clock-wise through the outer states of the country, introducing our study to parishes. One night, at the beginning of our trip, we parked our RV in the parking lot of the mission in Santa Barbara, and as we lay down to go to bed, our conversation turned to the sadness of people who are unable to bond with their mothers from birth. My wife and I had adopted three children, who were about eight weeks when we got them, and we wondered if they might have been deprived of the precious gift of early bonding.
The next morning, as my wife lay asleep next to me, I felt very much alone, as my mind wandered through thoughts about how I didn’t get much bonding from my own mother. My mom had lived in a tenement house in Boston, and one icy cold early morning, when she was seven months pregnant with me, she stepped outside, slipped on the ice, and fell down a flight of stairs.
She began to hemorrhage severely and was rushed to the hospital. In the emergency room, I was immediately delivered. When the doctors caught sight of all of two pounds of me, lifeless and quiet, they placed me on a table, and left me for dead. Turning all their attention on my mother, they did their best to try to stop her bleeding and keep her alive. After a few minutes passed, they heard a small squeak coming from my direction. “He’s alive!” they realized, as they refocused their attention on me.
Seventy-five years ago, when I was born, there were no antibiotics. There were no incubators. I went through a lot of trauma as a newborn, and I was separated from my mother for the first several months of my life. My mother recovered from her fall, and not having a car, she travelled every day on foot, in ice-cold weather, through the snow, to the hospital, so that she could bring me her breast milk. On her way there and back, she’d talk to Jesus and the Blessed Mother, praying with great faith that they would love me and take care of me.
As I lay in the RV that night, feeling lonely and sad, thinking about the first few months of my life away from my mother, I suddenly saw a vision standing at the end of my bed. It looked like the figure of the Blessed Mother. I could not see her clearly, but could make out her body, which appeared as if in a mist. Lovingly and compassionately, she spoke to me in a clear voice, saying, “You never were away from my presence while you were in the hospital, as well as when your mother fell down the stairs in the cold, snowy, bitter, morning. I was there with you when you coughed, when you were bleeding, when you cried out in fear. I bonded you with me and your mother with me. She got her strength and hope to know that you would survive because you had so much love at your birth.”
I woke up Marie and told her about this immediately after it happened, and she said simply, “Well, you really bonded with the Blessed Mother. That’s why you have such a compassionate heart for the poor and for those who are sick and hurting. You know what they’re going through, and you know the love they need.”
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