Stories of Joy - No. 16 - More miracles and graces

In Ukraine — Canada — Serbia — England — USA — Argentina — France — Poland

For her genuine simplicity and her everyday practice of virtue Blessed Josaphata has been lovingly called an everyday saint. It is not difficult to reach her heart, which quickly resonates with another heart in pain, and anxiety, “wherever it beats.” She looks after families, children, the sick and injured, all of the needy, giving us today’s story from Ukraine, of standing by an ex-alcoholic searching for a new life.

I am a medic and an ex-alcoholic. I had an unfortunate incident at work, for which I was sentenced to ten years in prison. At that time I did not know God, but I was searching for Him. When I was released from prison, I did not know which church I should belong to: Orthodox, Catholic or Baptist. I went into a Catholic Church and asked the Mother of God to show me which church I should attend. I was captivated by the Catholic Church and was hungry to learn about it. I received some religious books from the Sisters Servants in Rome and among them was “Josaphata”, with a prayer for her intercession. I started to pray fervently to her so that she would help me to overcome alcoholism. I saw that, alone, I would not be able to resist the temptation. I kept repeating: “Help me, Josaphata, I cannot do it alone; everything is drawing me to sin.” I know the intercessory prayer to Josaphata from memory, and thank God I have corrected my life. Every day I feel stronger in my faith and I enjoy inner peace. Thank you, Sister Josaphata, for helping me.

A young man from Winnipeg, Canada, witnessing an accident in February, 1989, immediately called on Josaphata for help!

An elderly woman with a child was crossing the street on a red light during traffic hour. A car hit them head on; they were both thrown in the air and the boy landed with his head on the pavement. I kept praying while I called the ambulance: “Josaphata, help them; save their lives.” People were screaming: “They are dead, they are dead!” After invoking Josaphata, I was certain they would live. I found out later that both were doing well. Their lives were saved through the intercession of Sister Josaphata.

In 1961, a Sister Servant from Serbia, on mission in England, was given the privilege to fly to USA for the consecration of her brother bishop in Philadelphia; her unusual medical history in the short time she was there is truly a quick-fix by Sister Josaphata.

Before going to USA, I noticed an ulcerated inflammation on my neck. As soon as possible, I had surgery in Philadelphia. The result: sarcoma. The doctors needed to perform two more surgeries to check for suspected metastasis. The Sisters Servants in the United States and Canada prayed through the intercession of Sister Josaphata for a good outcome of these interventions. I prayed while placing a picture of Sister Josaphata on the afflicted area. Both surgeries verified that there was no metastasis, and the interventions a success.

A childless couple in Argentina encountered insurmountable difficulties while trying to adopt a child. The Sisters prayed with them, calling on Josaphata to intercede.

“In a few weeks I was informed of a very poor woman who was looking for adoptive parents for her newborn son. We now have a beautiful boy whom we named Nazareno Emmanuel.”

The doorbell at the Generalate of the Sisters Servants in Rome was ringing very unsteadily as the Sister sacristan approached the door to let in the priest for morning Divine Liturgy. He was already late and when she opened the door she was even more puzzled – the priest, their regular chaplain, was crying big tears down his cheeks but his face was radiant with a strange joy. His coat was badly ripped and very dusty. The cap he usually wore was missing. Her jaw dropped. “I’ll tell you later ...” and he hurried off to the sacristy. We certainly had an interesting breakfast that morning, and he left us his story in writing:

I wish to publicly thank the Servant of God Sister Josaphata for saving my life and for a speedy recovery after a grave car accident as I was on my way to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Seeing the state of my car after the accident, no one could believe that I came out of it alive. I had been invoking Sister Josaphata’s intercession in various situations for a long time and she has never let me down.

Many of us were privileged to have lived in the time when Josaphata’s mortal remains were brought to Rome from Ukraine, when her cause for sanctity was introduced and her biography written, and more than a few — shall I say the whole world — rejoiced when St. Pope John Paul II, in 2001, proclaimed her Blessed and worthy of veneration. Immediately prayers for her intercession flooded Heaven and big, big graces came down to all her supplicants. And everyone said she was gentle and caring and genuinely “for the people, wherever there beat a human heart that needed help and compassion.” But already as early as 1915, four years before her death, God was pleased to grant a big miracle involving her. We have the story. Ivan Loza, born near Lviw and later residing in France, left it for the Sisters, “with love and gratitude.”

Sister Josaphata Hordashevska came every month from Lviw to visit my mother, Rosalia Loza. Sister Josaphata used to come to collect funds for the orphans and for the Sisters’ nursery schools. In 1914 my mother learned that Sister Josaphata was ill in the hospital in Przemysl. She immediately went to see her. On that occasion Sister Josaphata gave my mother a rosary. On March 5, 1915, my mother was beaten up by Russian soldiers who came to rob the house where she was custodian. She was so gravely hurt that she was not able to walk and used to spit blood. She stayed in bed for two months, praying day and night on the rosary Sister Josaphata gave her. One night my mother dreamt of Sister Josaphata who announced to her: “The Lord Jesus Christ has heard your prayer and will cure you.” The next morning my mother woke up completely cured. She lived in good health for many more years and died in 1953. The Lord used Sister Josaphata (still living in 1915) to announce to my mother that He was going to cure her.


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