The Iron Lung and Mother Mary

It was 1949, in Denver Colorado, during the Polio epidemic when Mary Jane was stricken with bulbar polio, at that time a deadly disease. She was placed in a large machine called an “iron lung” that helped her to breathe and stay alive. Despite the doctors best efforts, the iron lung was shut off on August the 15th, 1949. Mary Jane was pronounced dead.

That same morning, Mary Jane’s parents attended Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, during which, they placed a dozen white roses at the altar of the Blessed Mother. Upon returning to the hospital and hearing the news of Mary Jane’s death, Mary’s mother Cleva, replied, “No, she isn’t.” Cleva bent down over Mary Jane, kissed her on the forehead, and said, “Mary, open your pretty blue eyes, I haven’t seen them yet this morning.” Mary Jane heard the words of her mother Cleva, and opened her eyes.

During the time of Mary Jane’s death experience, she encountered our Lord and His Blessed Mother. She felt the warmth of their love all around, and humbly offered herself to them and committed to pray the rosary everyday of her life in thanksgiving for the many gifts God had given her. A commitment she has upheld since that very day.

Several years later, Mary Jane would meet the “perfect partner,” and together they have cherished the gift of their Catholic faith by praying the rosary together everyday.