As He Lay Dying

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a series of testimonies from our readers who share their stories on the power of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. To share your own testimony, please e-mail us at info@thedivinemercy.org.

by Bonnie Lewis

My father, Chet Coldon, died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on Dec. 5, 2007. Just hours before my father took his last breath, I received an answer to a prayer. I would like to share that story.

Cincinnati, where I lived, was experiencing a severe ice storm when my sister called to say that Dad was failing quickly. I wanted badly to be at his side, but I told my sister that I wouldn't be able to make the four-hour trip to Canton, Ohio, because of the dangerous road conditions.

I mentioned to her how important it was to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for a dying person and asked her if she and the other family members, who were expected to arrive, would pray the chaplet for him. She assured me they would.

After I hung up the phone, I got down on my knees in my bedroom and prayed the chaplet with tears streaming down my face. When I finished, I asked my guardian angel to please take my prayer to the bedside of my dad.

About 30 minutes later, my sister called and said she had an idea. They were going to put me on speakerphone so I could lead the chaplet, then and there, while family members were around Dad's hospital bed.

I was thrilled to be able to do this and began the chaplet.

When I finished, my sister asked if I had heard people coming into the room. I said I didn't hear a thing. She said at first she was upset because right when we began praying the chaplet, four strangers opened the door and walked into the room. They didn't say a thing but went immediately to my dad's bedside, took out their rosaries, and began praying the chaplet along with everyone else.

My sister couldn't believe they knew the words. Later, she said they identified themselves as people from a local church, not far away. They often came to the hospital on Wednesdays to pray with patients.

After they left, the nurses at the care center came running into the room to apologize to our family about letting these people into the room during a personal and solemn moment. However, my aunt said she felt a wonderful holy presence fill the room while they were there.

What a tremendous gift from God! Our father received the Anointing of the Sick, was surrounded by family members praying the chaplet, and died peacefully that evening.

I don't know if these four people were angels or not, but my guardian angel answered my prayer. Scripture says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby [some] have entertained angels unaware" (Heb 13:2).

Bonnie Lewis lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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