Photo: Mitchell Kruszyna
The Power of the Chaplet
Editor's Note: This is a remarkable story about the power of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to protect those who pray it from harm. Also remarkable — that no one was killed, and that the Hughes had no idea that the events described had occurred on the feast of St. Faustina until they shared their story with us here at the Marian Helpers Center.
By Fred Hughes
Jesus said to St. Faustina, "My daughter, encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you. It pleases me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet" (Diary, 1541).
Later, He told her, "Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will" (Diary, 1731).
On Oct. 5, 2012, my wife Margie and I were driving back to our home in Sarasota, Fla., having spent the summer in Syracuse, N.Y. We were on the last leg of our trip, driving on Interstate-75 South where it connects with I-275 South about 35 miles from Sarasota. The previous year, there had been heavy highway construction at this section and stop-and-go traffic for about one hour. My wife casually mentioned she hoped we would not run into the same delays again this year.
About 3 p.m., the Hour of Mercy, Margie suggested we say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy as we proceeded south. She took the lead, and I responded. Shortly after we finished praying the chaplet, we noticed large black clouds forming in the sky. It began to rain and, before we knew it, we were driving in a torrential downpour. The windshield wipers were having trouble keeping up. The visibility was poor. Even though it was raining hard, the traffic continued going at 70 to 75 mph. For those that are unfamiliar with I-75 in Florida, the legal speed limit is 70 mph. Most drivers maintain this speed or higher.
For a moment, the rain let up, and then it came on even harder. Out of nowhere came thick fog and, coupling this with the downpour, you could barely see the car in front of you.
In a split second, my wife screamed, "Look out! Oh my God, we are going to be killed!" The truck directly in front of us was sliding sideways, and the vehicles in front of him had already smashed into each other. It was an instant chain reaction. I recall that I quickly looked in my rearview mirror and saw a large truck right behind me — maybe 30 feet back.
For some reason I remained calm. I gently hit the brakes and turned slowly right, then I spotted an opening to my left and swerved to the left. I headed across the left shoulder and down the embankment onto the grass meridian between I-75 north and south. A few seconds later, the truck behind me smashed into the truck that had been ahead of me.
Approximately 30 vehicles subsequently collided into each other behind the truck. When the chain reaction was finished, a total of 55 vehicles were in the accident. Many were injured but, fortunately, no one was killed. The emergency vehicles were quickly on the scene. Once things settled down, we were motioned by the police to travel out along the left highway shoulder where we slowly proceeded passed the front of the pileup. From what we later learned, we believe ours was the only vehicle that escaped the tragedy.
As mentioned earlier, we had just finished praying the chaplet. We believe we were spared. There is no other logical explanation other than the miracles and the power of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Jesus, we trust in you!