Faustina, Saint for Our Times

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The gravestone of John David Dorsett Jr., includes the words that sustain his mother: "Jesus, I trust in You."

In His Greatest Hour of Need

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By Mary Elizabeth Egan Dorsett

My 43-year-old son, John David Dorsett, Jr., was killed on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, 2007. It was a very stormy day, and I decided to go to a 7:30 a.m. Mass knowing the forecast predicted a nor'easter would worsen as the day progressed. Even when I left for church early it was getting bad with torrential rain and heavy winds.

At Mass the priest spoke about Divine Mercy and its meaning. I have always believed God has mercy for everyone only for the asking; however, it came full circle that day.

Between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. that day, my son was traveling in his car on a country road when a very large tree uprooted and fell, hitting his car directly on top of the roof. It seems the tree may actually have bounced a couple of times on the roof as it finally came to rest on the high tension wires as his car slowly rolled forward out from under it.

My son was pronounced dead at the scene, and it would be a good three hours before the horrific news was delivered to my door — news no parent ever wants to hear, nor a burden one thinks they could even bear.

When I called a friend to tell her about the accident a couple days later, she reminded me the day my son had been killed was Divine Mercy Sunday. Once I had been reminded of that, much of the events of my son's accident sort of fell into place for me. First, my son's head was bleeding from a very bad wound he received on the top of his head when the tree hit and split the roof of the car. Second, as the rescue crew cut the roof from the top of the car, it was raining so heavily that my son became drenched with water. This was confirmed by the medical examiner who happened to be a friend of the family's. Third, as I thought about the terrible timing of my son driving past that tree just as it fell — the freak nature of the timing — I suddenly realized he had been killed almost at the Hour of Great Mercy and our Lord's crucifixion. Almost 3 p.m.

He had both blood and water on him! Our Lord told St. Faustina, when He appeared to her in a series of revelations in the 1930s, the two rays coming from His most Sacred Heart stand for: the water, which makes souls righteous (the pale rays) and the blood, which is the life of souls (the red rays).

I knew then that my son had not been forgotten, that he was being watched and taken care of and that his soul had been saved in his greatest hour of need. I had been so worried about that. In turn, the comfort it has brought me has strengthened my faith beyond anything I could have imagined. It has made what I thought would be a truly unbearable burden bearable. I miss my son terribly, but the pain has eased and my faith is stronger, along with the rest of my family's. I pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily, and I truly believe in the graces our Lord promises to those who pray it.

It has been seven years since my son's death. We rejoice in knowing in our hearts that he is in Heaven.

Mary Elizabeth Egan Dorsett lives in Lincolndale, N.Y.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Lawrence - Apr 28, 2014

Thank you for reminding us that Divine Mercy Sunday came from the very depth of Jesus' most Merciful Heart.Your family received the greatest attribute of God - MERCY!John awaits us in the glory of Mercy.

marylouise - Apr 8, 2014

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story - you and your family will remain in my prayers.

Nadine - Apr 6, 2014

Thank you for sharing dear sister. The Lord is full of mercy and compassion!

Michele - Apr 4, 2014

God bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing.