Thursday, January 26, 2012

Praying To Find Freedom

I feel as though I'm writing in as a member of the St. Anthony fan club, a good thing. Over the past 15 years or so I have referred to the following story as my "favorite" St. Anthony story.

It was in the early part of the summer of 1993, I was at home in New Orleans and my Cuban born Mother-In-Law (Mami) and Father-In-Law (Papi) were in town visiting. I was alone in the den sitting next to Mami when I began the conversation. I remember I began by telling Mami how I believed in prayer and I related a story or two of things that had happened in my life and how it seemed to me that my prayers were answered. After telling Mami of my belief, she looked at me and said : "It was in early 1962 and Papi and I were trying to leave Cuba. My oldest 3 children (all teenagers) were able to get out of the country and were at a Catholic home in Miami since the previous October. I knew at the time that I was pregnant with your wife Ani. Castro's government at that time had a policy that they wouldn't let you leave the country if they knew you were pregnant.

One day, it was in late March or early April, when I went to Havana to visit my brother. Upon entering his home I noticed a statue of St. Anthony in the den. When I saw the St. Anthony statue, I immediately started praying ....'St. Anthony, you have to get together with St. Jude and find us a way out of Cuba. We need to leave the country soon before they know I'm pregnant. Please intercede for us and help us get out.' She told me that she prayed fervently for weeks and weeks and nothing happened, but she kept praying. And then: "the next thing we knew paperwork started going back and forth sometime in late May and early June and the next thing we knew we were leaving Cuba." With a twinkle in her eye, Mami looked at me and said, "Do you know what day we left Cuba?" We left Cuba on June 13th., 1962." She looked at me and said, “Do you know what day June 13th. is? June 13th. is St. Anthony's feast day."

The next morning, Mami was drinking her dark black coffee and she said to me, "You remember how I told you the story of our leaving Cuba yesterday? Yesterday was June 13th., 1993, 30 years to the day we left Cuba." What a story, eh, you know why I call it "my favorite St. Anthony story."

Thank you to M.K. commenting on The Path Less Taken blog for this amazing St. Anthony story~