“We went in haste” to the “Lady of Lourdes Grotto” in Maraval, a borrowed phrase from Our Lady of Garabandal.
In those days, we were always longing to be near our Lady at the Grotto – I say we because two or three of us would visit together.
Drawn by our love for Our Lady and our need to have an oasis to be refreshed, we often gathered at the Grotto to be under her mantle. Many a miracle, big and small, we believed occurred at this grotto. One such miracle I shall share with you.
In 2010 my vision became very blurred and was diagnosed with an eye condition called Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy of the cornea. Simply put, I was slowly losing vision in both of my eyes. The right eye was worse off and needed urgent attention.
So, I was carded for surgery, a corneal transplant. Fear of the unknown ensued because not many people I knew had done this type of surgery. Plunged into this fear, I gathered the funds with help and the surgery was performed.
Days later, to my horror, instead of getting better my vision seemed to be getting worse. Many people had been praying for me from the Living Water Community and Teams of Our Lady, both of which I am a member, and many other intercessors.
Each time I visited the doctor, I became more anxious because he said very little, except to say that one has to wait the allotted time to see if the graft would hold.
I knew that all was not well and as my vision dimmed, my anxiety grew. I continued to pray, but many days my prayers were tears. The allotted time came and went and yet still I could not see.
Finally, the doctor revealed to me that the graft had been rejected by my eye and that I had to redo the surgery. My heart sank. I was devastated. At this time, I cried out to God for mercy.
A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes given to me by a friend who had travelled to Lourdes, France stood at my bedside and each day I begged our Lady’s intercession for healing and deliverance.
That very day, having returned from the doctor, my husband and four children prayed with me. I seemed to be at my wit’s end. I also cried out to my deceased mother to pray for me.
As in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”, well, in the early hours of the next morning after the family prayer, as I turned on my bed, I could see my husband’s face when previously I could only see the outline of his face.
My joy was complete, as it was the week after Easter Sunday. I attributed this renewed sight to Our Lady’s intervention. I could see!
Each time we visited the grotto after Mass, it was as if drawn by an inner call. To me, whatever healing is needed comes to us by Our Lady’s intercession, not only through the physical.
I knew our mother welcomed us as we said the rosary, and ended with a hymn to Our Lady, thus we become more open to the love and peace of the Lord. The Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Maraval is a special place, a piece of Heaven on Earth. If ever you cannot make it to Lourdes shrine in France, come visit our grotto at Maraval. —Nicolle Lezama, parishioner