Love and Mercy: Faustina Movie DVD

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Never Give Up Hope

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My dad went into the hospital on Aug. 26. He was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer and brought home to be in hospice on Sept. 18.

My dad was baptized, but he was not Catholic. The day before he went into the hospital I asked him if he thought he might be nearing the end of his life. He said that he hoped not. I asked him if he would talk to a priest. He said he would think about it, but later refused to see one. He did, however, allow me to pray the "Our Father" with him.

I arrived to care for dad at home on Saturday, Sept. 19. I brought with me a blessed Divine Mercy Image. Dad was restless and talking just a bit, asking for his mom and his wife. Once he began refusing food, the nurse told us that Dad would probably only last a few more days.

I had already asked many people for prayers — anyone I met who was receptive to God I asked to pray for my dad's salvation. During the day, I quietly said prayers into his ear. I told him of the beauty of Heaven, the love of God for him, and how Mary was his mother. My priest told me to keep this up, since one's hearing is usually among the last faculties to go. He told me that my dad could unite his heart and mind to my words, and it could bring about great graces in his soul, perhaps even repentance and conversion.

On Tuesday morning, all six of my daughters and I surrounded my dad and began to sing Marian hymns to him. Dad had been pretty unresponsive, but at the beginning of the Salve Regina, his eyes popped open. It was a wonderful gift!

On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 26, I awoke at around 2:15 a.m. to give my dad his medication. Afterward, something told me not to go back to bed, as I normally would have all that week. I sat next to him and began praying the Rosary very quietly. I was begging Mary to claim my dad as her own in front of the judgment seat of God. Then I said the Divine Mercy Chaplet. About half-way through the Chaplet, I checked the kitchen clock. It was 3:12 a.m.

Then I prayed, "Lord, it would give me great consolation if You could let my dad die in the Hour of Great Mercy as a sign that he is going to someday be with You in Heaven. I don't expect it, but if it be Your will, I'll take it."

I kissed my dad and whispered, as I had many times before, "It's OK, Dad, you can go," and I went back to bed. I must have just dozed off for a few moments, because I was suddenly awakened by my aunt's phone pinging with a message. Then the strangest feeling came over me. I can only describe it as a great rushing, like something great and wonderful, almost electrical was all around me. Then I felt a profound emptiness. I did not get up, though looking back I should have. I closed my eyes and dozed off again.

The next thing I knew, my brother was in my room. "Dad's gone," he said. "Mom woke up, and he was gone." It was 3:50 a.m. I didn't feel sorrow — only great joy, great consolation, perfect trust in the Divine Mercy of Jesus, and thankfulness for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He died wearing the Brown Scapular, with the Miraculous Medal and the St. Benedict medal on it. I had also tied a Green Scapular to his bed.

I'm reminded of this passage from St. Faustina's Diary:

All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person's sins were as dark as night, God's mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God's merciful grace, and then God will do the rest. (Diary, 1507)

Yes, the tears came. I mourn the loss of my father from my earthly life, but I thank God that He did what was necessary to bring my dad to the throne of His mercy.

I am sharing this testimony in the hopes of encouraging those who have family members who do not practice the faith. The Fourth Commandment admonishes us to honor our fathers and mothers, and what more important way to love and honor them than to will the highest good for them, which is Heaven?

Though we may not all receive visible signs, be confident that if you strive as much as possible for the salvation of souls, God and Our Lady will make up for what is lacking. The infinite mercy of Jesus' Sacred Heart and Mary's Immaculate Heart cannot be outdone. Never give up hope!

Stacia Marie Bartovics is a Marian Helper from Hillsboro, Wisconsin.

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Rayan - Jun 21, 2021

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful and inspirational message of faith. God Bess you and

Eternal rest, grant unto your dad, O Lord and let perpetual life shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

- Mar 3, 2021

Jacquelyn - Feb 6, 2021

My profound thanks to you for sharing this! My brother has lost his faith, and I've been vexed.

Your witness both teaches new and reminds of old:

Our Lord is more merciful than what we deem lost ... far more!

The Queen of Heaven, our Mother and His ~ will guide us.

Bless you sister!