I love telling this story and thinking about it in times of despair, doubt and fear. A few years ago I was staying at my grandparent’s house on my dad’s side, I was struggling with my vocation to enter a convent. I had so many obstacles at the time: student loan debt, the order I wanted to enter was closing their novitiate- possibly forever- and I did not have the support from that side of the family. I could tell they wanted to understand, but sort of thought it was a “waste of my life.”
You will no longer converse with men, but with angels. Our Lord to Teresa of Jesus
That above quote is where the story begins. One particular night I was staying in the guest room at my grandparent’s house contemplating being a bride of Christ and how despite my great love for Him as a Spouse, my situation looked hopeless. Would I ever enter? That night, I simply had no earthly help, I couldn’t talk to the family I was staying with so I prayed to my favorite angel who I have always called on in times of fear since I was a little girl: the valiant Saint Michael the Archangel.
At that time (season of my life) I had just started praying the Chaplet to Saint Michael, which has some powerful promises attached to it. My favorite promise- “those who recite this Chaplet will have one angel from each of the 9 thrones (choirs of angels) assist you to Holy Communion.” Every Catholic store I went to sold these Chaplets, but they always looked cheap, NOT durable and usually fell apart. That night, with great confidence I asked Saint Michael for a sign of hope in my vocation- not from earthly friends, but heavenly friends- that if I did indeed have a vocation to be a bride of Christ he would somehow the very next day give me a “strong , durable and lasting” Saint Michael Chaplet .
I went to a Latin Mass at a parish not far from my family’s home, I had only been there once before, and had made some very good friends from my first visit ( a year previously). After Mass I ran into one of my friends I met from the last year. We were catching up when I suddenly felt inspired to ask him if he had a Saint Michael Chaplet- mind you, these Chaplets are sort of rare and not recited as often as the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Seven Sorrows Rosary or the normal Rosary. This friend also happened to be named Michael, and just like that he reached into his pocket and pulled out Michael’s Chaplet. He made it himself and said it was touched to the site where Saint Michael appeared in the 6th Century in Italy (The Church celebrates this feast on May 8th). He was basically holding a Saint Michael relic!
I could not believe it, it was a beautiful Chaplet! Everything I asked Saint Michael for- strong, durable and lasting…and made out of wood! I did not dare ask Michael if I could have it; not after I found out it was homemade and the story behind it. However, just like that he insisted I have it, that he had another one at home. I truly believed this was Saint Michael in the disguise of my earthly friend providentially named Michael. We often read in scripture how our Lord sends messages through His Holy Angels. Gabriel (who’s feast we commemorate today) appeared to tell Our Dear Lady She is to be the Mother of God, Elijah was administered to by an angel to not give up, “arise Elijah, you have yet a long way to go” and many of the great saints saw angels in the form of others to keep them on the right path.
They say Saint Michael is a great patron and protector of Carmelites, this is a great period of trial as I am no longer in the Carmel I entered in 2017. I often look back to that great sign of hope Saint Michael gave me through the Chaplet to remind me that, like Elijah: I have yet a long way to go. The distance is not what I feared, but whether or not I did indeed have a vocation to be His bride. I still have this Chaplet in my possession as proof that Christ’s answer must be- “Fiat!” I clutched this Chaplet in Carmel and I have to keep clutching it as I follow the call of Our Lady in starting a new Carmelite Order for Her Heart and Fatima message. Will you pray for me? The lives of the saints often do not make sense to the world, but to God…. everything is as it should be.
Dedicated to you, Saint Michael who I would be lost without.