Our statue of the Blessed Mother (that's her in my right sidebar) has a special place right in front of our house. She has a spotlight on her so she can be seen by all day and night, and in summer she is flanked by roses as well as lilies that have been collected over many an Easter. I've blogged before about how Eliza loved to hug her while she lived in the garage during her restoration. And you can see in the sidebar the nice job Josiah did on her new paint.
We have had her for years and we remember when she was new and blue. Back at our old house we had built a small grotto for her along with a little flower bed:
And here she is with Mary Rose in one of my most favorite pictures of all time:
But old or new, we have loved her dearly. She stands as a witness to our Catholic Faith and her presence is a constant comforting reminder of Our Lady's love and care. So you can imagine my shock and utter dismay when I walked outside yesterday afternoon and found she was missing!
Where's the Blessed Mother? Somebody took the Blessed Mother! Everyone came rushing outside to stare blankly at her empty spot. To have her just vanish seemed incomprehensible. And to discover such a loss on Our Lady's feast day only made it seem worse. We were all so sad to have our dear statue gone, disturbed to think of thieves in the neighborhood, and greatly troubled to think of what the vandals could have possibly done with her. Michael and the children went driving all around the neighborhood and Josiah traipsed through the nearby woods to see if they could find any trace of her. We emailed everyone in the development to inquire if anyone had seen her to no avail. It was with sad hearts that we attended Mass last evening for the feast of the Annunciation. To see the spotlight shining on the empty space in front of our house was most disheartening.
I couldn't help but mention our loss to a couple of ladies at church. One of them told me how she once had a bicycle stolen and she prayed to St. Theresa and it was brought back to her right away. I inquired, 'Which St. Theresa? ' 'The Little Flower,' she replied. So St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, it was. I told everyone in the car on the way home what Mrs. B. had said. Michael declared we would pray the joyful mysteries and ask St. Therese to bring Our Lady back. I also asked Kateri Therese to ask St. Therese to bring her back, and she earnestly complied in her sweet little two year old voice. I thought to myself, St. Therese this is ridiculous. I have no idea how you can possibly bring our Blessed Mother back but I know that you can. And for once I didn't try to think about it and figure it all out and make suggestions to my intercessors, I just prayed.
I went outside this morning to see if she was back and of course she wasn't. I felt a little funny about it but I dutifully called the police to report the theft, and then sure enough they sent a patrolman out to my house to take the information and see the 'scene of the crime'. I admit I spent a great deal of the last twenty four hours mentally reminiscing about our statue - how our priest had kindly come out to the house to bless our grotto and got stung by a yellowjacket, how the girls used to have tea parties with their dollies next to her, how we used to gather on lawn chairs with friends to pray the rosary in front of her, how we used to have May crownings, sometimes even with singing and a procession, how little ones always love to stop and give her a friendly hug whenever they walk by her...
And then the phone rang this afternoon. It was the police officer calling to tell me they had a number of recovered stolen items including a statue of the Blessed Mother and would I like to come and see if she was mine! (Josiah recalls I was bouncing up and down on his bed as I relayed this information to him.) An hour later we went to meet the policeman and there she was, lying forlornly on the gravel in the rain behind a chain link fence with all sorts of other stolen items. She had been deposited by the thieves on the roadside way on the other side of town. I was incredulous and overjoyed and overcome with gratitude all at the same time. My children tell me I even jumped up and down, but not to worry, the police officer didn't see me. :-)
It was with great joy and relief and affection that we brought her home and restored her to her rightful spot. She is made entirely of stone and weighs around sixty pounds, but amazingly she just has a few chips and nicks. If you ask Kateri where we got the Blessed Mother she says quite matter-of-factly, 'From St. Therese!'
I asked Michael to stop and pick up a rose to welcome Our Lady home, and he brought her three beauties:
We are still so amazed and practically giddy. I said at dinner, Would we be this happy if the Blessed Mother hadn't been stolen? Could we be so very happy if we hadn't been so very sad yesterday? What a powerful lesson for Lent.
So, Blessed Mother, we thank you. St. Therese, we thank you. And when Our Lady was back in place Kateri summed it all up so well declaring simply, I love her.
I do too, Kateri. I do too.