As I reflect on Our Lady’s visit to my parish community of St Michael’s, Maracas Valley, I cannot help but be filled with the joy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The statue arrived on October 21. While the church was a beehive of activity, there was a softness which prevailed in the air. A chorus of songs led by an impromptu choir made up of several parishioners, serenaded the altar ladies as they busily placed the beautiful arrangements around the statue of our blessed Mother.
During Our Lady’s visit, many people came to pray, some from as far away as Tarouba and Pt Fortin. There were even visitors from Jamaica who came on a pilgrimage with our church being the first stop. The various schools in the cluster, religious groups and ministries from our parish led devotions each day.
On the Thursday before Our Lady left for Holy Cross Church, Santa Cruz, I was asked if I would be one of the two people to be interviewed. Immediately I said ‘Yes!’ It was only afterwards I realised what I consented to and declared, ‘Lord, what am I going to say, let me speak your truth.’ That day, I spent most of the day in church, although initially I was only there to clean the grotto and font of our Lady of Lourdes in our Rosary Garden.
As my day progressed, I found myself praying with various people in need. A lady approached looking excited as she recalled seeing me in the last healing Mass at St Cecilia’s Chapel. She related her diagnosis of having a cataract in one of her eyes while the other bled profusely. She was told that she needed to have surgery to correct this, or she would become blind. This was worrying to her as her husband is also ill, he is bedridden.
She decided to visit Our Lady in the days following her arrival at our church and prayed for healing. Following that she had a doctor’s appointment at which time her doctor carried out one test and confirmed the results by doing another test before scheduling her surgery. Upon seeing the results of both tests, he told her there was no need for surgery as she had no cataract and no bleeding. She was completely healed!
This other testimony happened soon after on the same day while praying with a lady from south Trinidad. She remarked that this was the first church they visited with Our Lady that there was someone present there to pray with pilgrims, to this I replied ‘I was not even supposed to be here, it is all God’s work’.
I encouraged her to go and sit in the font, which contains water from a well situated under the church grounds. She did not want to enter the water because of foot ulcers. Her two friends entered the font and sprinkled water on her feet as she sat on a bench close by.
She started to tell them to leave her alone as ‘something was happening’. She later told me that she ‘was sitting in water with her feet submerged, she felt the cooling water healing her illness.’
I thank all the people who made the visit of Our Lady’s statue possible. May you continue your journey of faith and may the Lord Jesus Christ bless your ministry. – John Andre Wood-Salomon, parishioner