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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hurricane Maria?

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By Marc Massery (Jan 3, 2019)
One day several years ago, Puerto Rican native Maria Baez heard a miracle story about Divine Mercy that would save both her and her mother a lot of grief.

She was at a Catholic gift store when the clerk told her about what happened in 1998 when Hurricane George hit. Before the storm, this clerk worried that the rain and the winds would wash away her new home along with all her belongings. Someone had just given her a large Divine Mercy Image as a wedding gift, so she put all her things in one place along a wall in her house, leaned the Image against them, and said a prayer.

"And she left," Maria said. "When it was safe to go back, the area around her house was completely devastated, even the attached garage was gone. But the house itself was untouched. It was all protected by the image of Jesus."

Maria and her family had lost almost everything to Hurricane George. So to prevent that from ever happening again, she found an Image of Divine Mercy for her home in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and she advised her mother, Maria Vila of Uduado, Puerto Rico, to do the same.

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit. Yes, the hurricane was named "Maria."

So both Maria women put Divine Mercy Images in their homes and prayed the Rosary incessantly. For 14 hours, the storm raged.

"I remember putting an Image of the Divine Mercy, a plastic card, on top of the garage door with duct tape for protection," Maria Baez said. "It was so bad the garage started to break."

The pressure of the air within the garage started to hit the glass door to the entrance of the house. "The door was going back and forth. It was so intense. My husband said, 'Maria run to the room and take the kids. If this door breaks, our lives will be in danger.'"

But instead, Maria ran toward the door with a Divine Mercy Image in her hand. She placed the Image against it and said, "This door will not blow away because You are here, and You are protecting us!"

Her husband could hardly believe what he was seeing.

Maria just told him, "I know what I'm doing!" After a few moments, though, she went to the room with the kids. "To my husband's amazement, the door didn't blow away, not even the garage door, which had come unattached," she said.

The scene in Uduado wasn't much different. Maria Vila said, "We prayed the Rosary amidst the hurricane winds. Something very bizarre happened with one of my grandchildren. He isn't the kind of baby that likes to be touched or caressed. As we were praying, he came to each and every one of us, he hugged us, he smiled, and he kissed us. My home — nothing happened. No water damage, nothing blew away," she said.

After the storm, Maria Vila made a peculiar discovery. In the branches of a tree in her back yard, she had placed a hollow, lightweight, 12-inch statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Everything from that tree flew away," she said. Everything except the statue of Mary. It withstood 150 mph winds and remained in place despite the destructive winds.

"Everything on the patio blew away. But there she prevailed, taking care of my home," Maria said. Maria said she believes that the island would take 20 years to recover from such a terrible storm.

Both Marias were beyond grateful that their homes were spared. Maria Baez said, "When we got out the next day and saw the devastation of our surroundings, we knew the power of prayer is stronger than any hurricane winds."

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Berdie - Jan 3, 2019

Thank you, Jesus and Mother Mary!
Jesus I trust in you!