MIRACLES IN OUR TIMES: EXOTIC DANCER TURNS TO MARY
AND LEADS HOLY LIFE OF MASS, ROSARYThe more we listen to our guardian angel or the Lord, the more they speak to us. That was discovered by a woman in Massachusetts who experienced a dramatic conversion from life as an exotic dancer to a promoter of the Rosary -- leaving us lessons along the way.
This is all according to the book, Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary's Intercession, an anointed work by Christine Watkins that details a number of incredible life turn-arounds.
Druggies. Homeless. A New Ager.
Raised in a violent, broken home, Angela was ostensibly Greek Orthodox and had a Catholic mom, but they didn't practice their faith and she knew nothing about God, Jesus, or the Blessed Mother. By age age sixteen she'd had an abortion, and not too long after found herself earning a living as a stripper at a seedy nightclub.
That was when the tremendous change suddenly came upon her.
One June day as she was getting ready to head for work, "an unexplainable force or feeling," like a "wall," was put inside of her. At the very moment she felt the wall, her intuition told her, "God won't let me go to work today. God won't let me go to work today."
The feeling grew stronger the next day. "This time," said Angela, "I sensed God was telling me to quit." Remarkably, she did. Within days, she was no longer earning big money as a stripper. No one could figure her out. Soon after, she felt "told" to stop taking birth control pills and having premarital sex. "I don't know how I knew to stop, because I hadn't read or heard anything about it being wrong or that it could abort a baby," she reflects. But she listened, and more was spoken. She felt told to go to a church. She didn't know where, and ended up at an Assembly of God, where it was like the preacher was talking right to her ("If you need to be cleansed, come up to the altar," which she did).
Soon, she called her father (who had left the family for another woman). She felt compelled to forgive him. Despite what he'd done, she did -- and gave him a picture of the Blessed Mother! , she was "told," was important. The relief she felt was immeasurable.
At a Marian charismatic prayer session, she met a woman who told her about the Rosary and fasting . This was right after her conversion, but Angela did it immediately. and Friday
Her boyfriend didn't know what to think. She was dressing more conservatively. She was fasting. She was wearing medals. And now, no sex. "By this point," she told Watkins, "just three and a half weeks after my conversion, a love for Mary began to grow in my heart, and I started saying out loud, 'I love you, Mother Mary.' I bought four roses for her, two pink and two white, and put them in my room."
She obeyed God when He told her to sell her house, even though doing so seemed out of the blue, as well as improbable -- and it sold miraculously. She felt compelled to become a Catholic -- and the cardinal would give her special permission for early entry. She felt told to go to the reputed apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina (the site under study by a Vatican commission). "I loved it there and didn't want to come home," she says. "Mary's sweet presence was everywhere, and I felt like I belonged. Wherever I went, people were , and the whole town seemed to go to Mass. In Medjugorje, I felt that I should confess all the sins from my life."
Just three months after being a stripper, she was climbing a holy mountain in the rain and sleeping at the summit.
Upon return, she began teaching everyone she could to pray the Rosary.
After a Cursillo weekend, she closed her eyes and fell asleep.
"About twenty minutes later, electricity suddenly began to run through my entire body," says her account in this splendid book. "Terrified, I thought I was being electrocuted; but at the same time, I sensed something supernatural might be happening. I kept my eyes closed, worried it would stop if I opened them. Loud ringing pounded my ears, and a strong jolt of electricity rattled my head. And then, with the eyes of my soul, I saw the outline of a figure appear at the foot of my bed. I couldn't make out any details, but I knew who it was -- a person very familiar to me. 'Mother Mary!' I cried out.
"Then electricity raced through me more powerfully, and in my head, I could hear a loud, vibrating sound, exactly like a tape rewinding." Images of people appeared.
She thought she was about to review her life.
"Then Mother Mary left, and in her place, standing at the foot of my bed, was Jesus.
"My soul recognized Him, although the details of His facial features were hidden. He extended His Hand before me -- a very large Hand that He placed right in front of my face and over my head.
"An extreme heat came from His Hand, and my face felt like it was on fire. This lasted a second, but it was so painful! I thought that if I looked in the mirror, my face would appear black and charred, so I didn't dare open my eyes, but allowed my face to continue burning, with the thought that I was being purified in order to grow more holy, like Jesus.
"Then behind Jesus, a large wooden Cross appeared and then vanished, three times in a row.
"After that, I didn't see or feel anything. I just lay in my bed with my eyes closed, hoping another vision would appear."
It didn't but she was left with an intense, urgent desire for the Eucharist -- which led to her pleading with the cardinal for quick entry into the Church. She became a Catholic the day after the Lourdes feast day. She now feels "free as a butterfly." She has the charism of joy. There is no more anger in her -- only love and peace. Her mother now attends Sunday Mass with her -- while her boyfriend goes with her every day! Her job now: she is a home health aide for the sick, elderly, and dying. She doesn't know what more God has in store with her but is open to whatever He wants. There is no more fear. "It's amazing to really feel faith and live it," she says. "Since my conversion, I walk out of the house and say, 'Ahhh, I have nothing to worry about. God is with me.'"
[resources: Full of Grace and The Fruits of Medjugorje]