In the spring of 2007, my husband Joel and I realized we were expecting our first child. We were so excited and shared the news with our family and friends on Easter Sunday. A few weeks into the second trimester, I started experiencing some signs of miscarriage, and my doctor sent me immediately to Mercy Hospital for an ultrasound. When I arrived at the maternity floor, I immediately noticed Saint Gerard Mejella prayer cards scattered throughout the waiting room and hanging in organizers on the walls. (Thank God for Catholic hospitals!) I grabbed one and started reciting the â€œForÂ A Mother With Childâ€ prayer on the back of the card. I clinched onto that card as the nurse led me back into the exam room. When the technician finally got the ultrasound connected to me and working, we could see on the monitor that the babyâ€™s heart was not beating; I had miscarried, and my beating heart broke in a million pieces. After collecting ourselves, my husband Joel and I immediately went to the hospital’s chapel and sat and prayedâ€”with that prayer card still in my hand even though I was no longer “with child.” Â On that prayer card it reads,
While on earth, you always fulfilled Godâ€™s designs; help me, too, always to do Godâ€™s holy will.
The words â€œGodâ€™s holy willâ€ really hit home. I felt Godâ€™s presence with us; I knew we would be okay if we followed and trusted in His will. I felt peace and confidence that He would eventually grant us with children.
Christmas 2007, we found out we were expecting again, but this time I was guarded about sharing the good news in the event I experienced another miscarriage. I anxiously held my breath for much of my pregnancy; my prayers were for Saint Gerard and our Blessed Motherâ€™s intercessions to carry me through. I was so thankful when our healthy and beautiful baby girl finally arrived on September 1, 2008. We named our daughter Lucy, after Saint Lucy, whose name means light. AndÂ thanks be to God, she truly has brought so much light into our lives. As Joel and I have been reflecting today, he reminded me that I spontaneously started singing “You Are My Sunshine” to Lucy when the nurse handed her to me for the first time. MyÂ life was truly illuminated the moment I saw her.
I still have that Saint Gerard prayer card in my wallet. Its corners are now beaten up a little and a small coffee stain gives it a little character, but it means so much that I always carry it with me. Daily, I see that prayer card and I am reminded to ask for Saint Gerardâ€™s continued intercession, but now reciting the “For Motherhood” prayer also printed on the back of that card. Today as the Church honors the life of Saint Lucy, I also ask for her intercession and that her devotion to Jesus will shine forth as a guiding light and witness for all children.