Dreaming of Our Lady

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When Colin Nykaza, originally of Newport, Rhode Island, was 4 or 5 years old, he had a mysterious dream about Our Lady that would serve as a sign of things to come. "In the dream, I was sitting around the dinner table with my family, and Our Lady came behind me and said, 'Colin, it's time to go.' My family was crying because I had to leave. ... Then Mary and I were flying through space, holding hands. And that was it."

Despite that dream, Colin wouldn't have much of a devotion to Our Lady until his sophomore year in college, when he started reading about Our Lady of Fatima. "My friends knew that I was Catholic, but up until that point, I was still doing some of the same [immoral] things they were doing," he said. "But then my life took a 180-degree turn."

Reading about the Fatima apparitions, Colin came to the part where Our Lady asked the visionary Lucia if she'd be willing to suffer for the conversion of sinners and for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart. "And suddenly I just felt this tremendous encounter," he said. "I didn't see her or hear her, but Mary just poured her love into my body. It was unbelievable. It completely knocked me off my feet. It woke me up to a new reality internally in my heart. She allowed me to experience how much she loved me, how precious I was to her. Immediately, I fell in love with her."

That summer, Colin attended Padre Pio's canonization in Rome. While in Italy, he also visited the Sanctuary 
of the Holy House of Loreto, which according to tradition enshrines the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary lived. Colin was attending Mass in the Holy House when he experienced another grace. "All of a sudden, at the beginning of the consecration, as soon as the priest started consecrating the Host, I got hit with this tremendous grace of consolation. It was tremendously healing. It was different from what I had experienced with Our Lady of Fatima. It was even more satisfying. God was allowing me to taste the truth: that only He can satisfy my ache and hunger for love, intimacy, union, and communion. It's hard to explain, but it was beautiful. I just started crying.

And [the feeling] ended after the priest consecrated the wine. It was almost like Jesus was showing me that He's very alive in the Eucharist and that He's real. I'm not a mystic, I don't see or hear things. But there have just been moments in the journey where I've experienced these physical graces."

Later that summer, Colin entered seminary with the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, with whom he would spend seven total years in discernment. After discerning out of seminary, he took a job in 2011 as the young adult director for the Archdiocese of New York. His job is to help adults in their 20s and 30s in the Archdiocese of New York grow closer to Christ. He's given talks on chastity and pro-life issues as well as Marian devotion and the message of Divine Mercy.

"I know the Rosary and Divine Mercy are the weapons for our times. God is not going to be outdone by the evil that's happening in the world right now. I know, without a doubt, devotion to Our Lady, First Saturdays, consecration to Our Lady, and Divine Mercy are the absolute vessels of grace that are offered to us specifically for the times we are living in right now. I feel as though it's my mission to get people connected with those."

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