Testimonies

Testimonies of the Holy Rosary

Miracle of the Holy Rosary in Hiroshima: August 6, 1945

During World War II, two Japanese cities were destroyed by atomic bombs: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Nagasaki, as a result of the explosion, all houses within approximated 2.5 km from the epicenter, were destroyed. Those inside the city were buried in the ruins. Those who were outside were burned.

Amid the tragedy, a small community of Jesuit Fathers lived next to the parish church, at only eight blocks (about 1 km) from the epicenter of the bomb. They were German missionaries serving the Japanese people. As the Germans were allied with the Japanese, they were allowed to stay. The church next to the house of the Jesuits was destroyed, but their residence was untouched, and the members of the small Jesuit community survived. They had no after effects from radiation nor hearing loss, or any other disease or consequence.

Father Hubert Schiffer was one of the Jesuits in Hiroshima. He was 30 years old when the atomic bomb exploded in the city. He lived another 33 years in good health. He narrated his experiences in Hiroshima, during the Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia (USA) in 1976. Then, the eight members of the Jesuit community were still alive. Father Schiffer was examined and questioned by more than 200 scientists. They were unable to explain how he and his companions had survived. He attributed it to the protection of the Virgin Mary. He said, “I was in the middle of the atomic explosion … and I am still here, alive and well. I was not brought down by its destruction.” In addition, Father Schiffer maintained for several years that hundreds of experts and researchers studied the scientific reasons why the house so close to the atomic explosion was not affected. He explained that the house only had one different thing: “In that house we prayed the Rosary everyday.”

The Rosary of St. Teresa of Calcutta

Jim Castle was tired when he boarded his plane in Cincinnati, Ohio, that night in 1981. The 45-year-old management consultant had put on a week-long series of business meetings and seminars. Now he sank gratefully into his seat ready for the flight home to Kansas City, Kansas.

As more passengers entered, the place hummed with conversation, mixed with the sound of bags being stowed. Then, suddenly, people fell silent. The quiet moved slowly up the aisle like an invisible wake behind a boat. Jim craned his head to see what was happening, and his mouth dropped open.

Walking up the aisle were two nuns clad in simple white habits bordered in blue. He recognized the familiar face of one at once, the wrinkled skin, the eyes warmly intent. This was a face he had seen in newscasts and on the cover of TIME. The two nuns halted, and Jim realized that his seat companion was going to be Mother Teresa.

As the last few passengers settled in, Mother Teresa and her companion pulled out rosaries. Each decade of the beads was a different color, Jim noticed. The decades represented various areas of the world, Mother Teresa told him later, and added, “I pray for the poor and dying on each continent.”

The airplane taxied to the runway, and the two women began to pray, their voices a low murmur. Though Jim considered himself not a very religious Catholic who went to church mostly out of habit, inexplicably he found himself joining in. When the prayer was finished, Mother Teresa turned toward him. He felt a sensation of peace.

“Young man,” she inquired, “do you say the Rosary often?” “No, not really,” he admitted.

She took his hand, while her eyes probed his. Then she smiled. “Well, you will now.” And she dropped her Rosary into his palm.

An hour later Jim entered the Kansas City airport, where he described to his wife, Ruth, the reason why he was holding a Rosary in his hand. he said. “I feel as if I met a true sister of God.”

Nine months later Jim and Ruth visited Connie, a friend of theirs for several years. Connie confessed that she had been told she had ovarian cancer. “I’m going to fight it. I won’t give up,” said Connie.

Jim remembered the Rosary that Mother Teresa had given to him. He told her the story and said, “Keep it with you Connie. It may help.”

“Thank you,” she whispered. “I hope I can return it.”

More than a year passed, before Connie returned the Rosary. “I carried it with me all year,” she said. “Last month, the doctors did second-look surgery, and the tumor is gone. Completely! I knew it was time to give the Rosary back.”

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