I Prayed To Sophie
It was June 13, 2012, the 95th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima‘s second apparition. It was a Wednesday at 2:00pm when my wife Julie and I went to Assumption Cemetery to visit and talk with Sophie. I wanted to take a few photos of her crypt, but all the flowers were wilted. I asked Julie, “Do you see any flowers that are not wilted that I can borrow and place in her vase for some photos and then return later?” She said, “No, they are all pretty tired.” We talked to Sophie for a while and I told her of three people who desperately needed her prayers. Bruce Marks and Steve Hock were dying of cancer, and Kathleen Bunnell, who had an undiagnosed disease that was very painful and debilitating.
We had been there about five minutes and we began to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the three people. There was no one else visiting and no wind; it was in the courtyard of the open-air mausoleum. As we prayed, we were immersed in the scent of roses. It appeared suddenly as if a cloud had descended on us. I felt as if a bouquet of roses had been put in front of my face or as if I had entered a florist shop filled with the sweet fragrance of roses. I could also feel it on my skin like thick humid air found in the tropics...
I looked around to see if someone had come in with a large quantity of roses for a crypt, but we were still alone. As I walked several yards from Sophie’s crypt to look for another source of the fragrance, the scent faded and then it was gone. We have never smelled such a powerful aroma of roses in our whole life.
I started telling my friends at St. Rose of Lima Church about the experience we had at the cemetery that day. Then on Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I saw Kathleen in the Adoration Chapel after morning Mass. As I began to tell her what had happened when we were praying for her at Sophie’s crypt, her face began to glow and she said, “Was that on Wednesday afternoon?” I said, “Yes, how did you know?” She said, that "on Wednesday afternoon she suddenly felt so good; all her pain had left but she did not know why. It was the best she had felt in such a long time," but unfortunately the pain returned later. (We continued to pray to Sophie for Kathleen, and on September 6, 2012, we saw her in church walking at a normal pace without her cane. I asked Kathleen, “How are you feeling?” She replied, “I feel so much better. I have returned to college and I am doing so many things.”)
I have pondered the meaning of this event over and over. Why did I have this wonderful blessing of smelling all these roses? Then I realized that on June 13th, on the 2nd Apparition of Mary to the children of Fatima, our Blessed Mother Mary told those precious children that Lucia would stay for a while but the two youngest children Francisco and Jacinta Marto would soon be going to heaven. Mary was telling me that as those sweet children had gone, so has Sophie. She is in heaven! Blest be God!