She Never Left Me At All

I will never forget the day when a lady from my community called me aside during a birthday party to hand me a greenish-blue rosary. She told me, “I just felt Mama Mary telling me to give you this rosary and to let you know that She has been PRAYING for you.”

That night, I was stunned. I asked myself, “Really, who am I that she should pray for me? Oh, are you sure? Mary would do that for me? I haven’t done anything good or really great…No way, seriously?” I took the rosary and kept it in my bag.

But then realizing everything, I saw that Mary together with Jesus never left me at all. She has always been there every time I call on her or ask for her prayers.

I remember when I was sent to Madrid, Spain for World Youth Day (WYD) 2011. Our group went on a side trip to Fatima, Portugal. I was so excited that day for when I was growing up, the image of Our Lady of Fatima was my only version of Mary. Remember that movie with the three children calling out, “Hail Mary! Hail Mary! Hail Mary!,” and she appeared on that mountain? I wanted to do the same thing in Fatima, I wanted to shout on top of my lungs and just tell her, “Thank you! Thank you for taking me here!” (Then again, I wasn’t able to do that because of the other praying pilgrims.)

At other times, I felt Mary’s presence too. At WYD in Rio, where our host diocese was the Diocese of Petropolis, the Blessed Virgin would show me how close she was. We were there, walking around the area when our youth guide wanted us to climb up this mountain. I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, here we go again.. climbing. Oh, yeah!” Little did I know, we were going up the Trono de Fatima where the image of Our Lady of Fatima watched over all of Petropolis. And I was stunned, once again. She always lets me know that she is there everywhere I go. I just felt her in my heart, telling me that she is always praying for me.

She showed us all what love really means through her love for Jesus. Her love for God. Her sacrifice. Her big YES to be Jesus’ mom was just one amazing yes that changed the world. And she loves us for being us. No judgments. Her perfection is magnified by her love for us. Because she is perfect, she came to love our imperfections.

So every time I am challenged, I always ask for her prayers, her intercession. Friends, it’s true, Mama Mary will always guide you. The Wedding in Cana? It’s true..Ask for her help. I am very sure, it will reach the Father. Yes, even though we can ask Jesus directly, but you know, Mary can give a little push. That’s how mothers are, right? They will guide, pray and give you a little push.

Sky Ortigas

April Frances or Sky says she is an artist-wannabe but then decided to be a missionary instead. Now she works as a web designer and social media manager at a Catholic Media organization in the Philippines. You can know more about her and her work at her website

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