Anita Cugina is a member of St. Jerome's Parish in Philadelphia, Pa.
A Heavenly Treasure
A Marian Helper is someone dedicated to continue Christ's action of self-giving for the building up of His Body "until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself" (Ep 4:13), where "God lives among human beings" and "makes his home among them" (Rev 21:3). The following is the story of one Marian Helper, Anita B. Cugini, from Philadelphia, Pa.:
On Saturday morning in nice weather, my husband and I enjoy going to flea markets and yard sales. The first Saturday in May we went to a neighboring state for some yard sales. I look for many things, but I always look for religious articles, particularly rosaries. I love praying the Rosary. Many times throughout my life, praying the Rosary has helped me cope with anxiety attacks as well as periods of stress and depression. I buy rosaries when I find them and give them away to others or leave them on a table in the vestibule of the church so if someone needs one before going to Mass, they can help themselves.
At our first yard sale on this beautiful spring day in Mary's month, my husband noticed three sets of rosaries lying on the table, among other household items. He nudged me and said, "Did you see the rosaries on the table?" I looked where my husband had pointed, and my heart caught in my throat. Two of the rosaries had plastic beads, one pink and the other blue. The third rosary had teardrop shaped crystal beads with blue centers. It was very much like the cherished rosary I had more than 50 years ago as a grade school child. Although the beads on this rosary were teardrops, mine were round. The crucifix and center medal were the same. I asked the woman the price of the rosaries. She responded, "Give me a dollar." I gave her the dollar, took the rosaries and placed them in my handbag.
When we arrived home, I looked at the crystal rosary more closely. The chain, center medal, and crucifix were discolored and blackened. Thinking that they might be silver, I placed them in a popular cleaning solution that was supposed to remove tarnish. When I removed the rosary from the solution, rinsed and dried it, the color of the chain and crucifix and center medal was unchanged. I was disappointed that the rosary didn't look any better, but I was very glad that I had found a rosary like the one from my childhood.
I began to use the rosary, and about three weeks later, the center medal and crucifix began to change color. Where once they were black and grungy, they now began to take on lighter, shiny color that resembled gold.
On June 3, as I awaited the baptismal ceremony for my youngest grandson, Nicholas, I showed the rosary to my cousin Joan, who has a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. She looked at the rosary and agreed that the cross and center metal were turning a golden color. She also commented that the chain looked as though it was starting to turn as well. Joan asked me if I "prayed on them," and I told her that I did. She encouraged me to keep on using the rosary and see what happened.
Since then, the chain, cross and center medal have turned to the color of gold !
Shortly after this, I joined the charismatic prayer group at my parish. It was there I met Kathy who made cord rosaries and desperately needed help. I offered my assistance. She showed me how to make cord rosaries, and was amazed that I picked it up so quickly. She said my ability was a "gift" and a sign from Mary that she wanted me to do this.
Since then, I have been making and distributing full cord rosaries, pocket rosaries and chaplets to anyone who needs one. I include with each pair of rosaries, a holy card of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, with pictures and lists of each of the four mysteries.
I have been unemployed since December 2006. I don't pray for a job, but rather that God grant me the grace to know His will for me and for the courage do it with a glad heart.
I continue to look for rosaries at yard sales, flea markets, and wherever I may be. I intend to continue making and distributing cord rosaries for the rest of my life.
Since this special rosary came to me, I'm never without it. I cherish it as a sign from Our Blessed Virgin that Jesus wants me to work for His mother!
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