Thanksgiving for passing the Nursing Licensure Exam
My story started way back 1989, when I first set foot on American soil from the Philippines. I am a Registered Nurse by profession. Way back then, healthcare force in the USA were mostly recruited from foreign countries especially from Philippines. I had to hurdle difficult exams to be able to get a visa and work permit to come here. I really had to pray hard too, since I had 4 children and I and my family, were hoping for a better life if I could work here. I arrived here October of 1989, and started working at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, NY after settling with all necessary papers. I worked as underboard, that means I still have to pass the Nursing Licensure Exam here in the US to complete my title as Registered Nurse in the USA. It was a difficult transition period and culture shock for me, coming from a different country. But, every time I feel the pangs of hardship and loneliness I am always motivated when I think of my family back home. So, my drive is back to keep going. Working nights and studying and reviewing for the Licensure exam was torture. But I never gave up. I ask God for assistance in my prayers and masses and visits to Shrines.
That time the Licensure Exam was given twice a year, Feb and July. A lot of nurses said, that you better pass it on February otherwise, you are really in trouble with the July exams, because it was known to be difficult and low passing percentage, especially with foreign graduates. Unlike now, it is computerized. Before, the exam were given 2 days in test papers. I remembered I came home after each day of the exam day with my head wracking with so much pain which contributes to sleeplessness. After the exams we were allowed to resume our job. You think the torture is over, no. The waiting until you will find out the results is agonizing. The final day came that I felt the world crushes on me. I FAILED! It was very hard to accept. I cried for days. Celebrating with others in our apartment was adding insult to injury. I did not even think of the next day. Then time came denial time is over, the rest who never made it had to start all over again. I had to process my thoughts on how to get to work and do your job well and think about the review class on off days plus staying late, to study. Oh, the cold was unbearable too. I suffered from ear infection and got dizzy all the time, and hoping to retain in my brain all I studied. So, July came. I and the rest of the flunkers had to march to Pier 90 [the venue of the exam] for the 2 days of torture. True enough, the exam was in my opinion impossible to pass. I said to myself that only, through God's grace that I will make it.
Another 3 months of sleepless nights and anxiety until the results are in. I continued my prayers, rosaries and whatever novenas I could get hold of I avail of it. I did not know about Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine not until around Sept of 1990. This is the month all of us flunkers were anticipating for the verdict. I and my friends were all nervous and restless. But Our Lady's heart opened through a colleague, Ginette Sixto, from Haiti and had been in the Shrine many times. She then told me about Our Lady being gracious and miraculous and that she will take me there one day right after work. I worked 12 hours then, from 8pm-8am. I thought to myself that this was spiritual cramming, and perhaps I am pushing my luck too hard on Our Lady. But the other side of my heart told me that there is nothing impossible with God, through Our Lady's intercession and I never doubted to go with Our Lady.
Everything was planned for our trip and I was excited and looking forward for that day. I did invite some of my friends, flunkers, to come along too, but seems no one believed. The big day arrived and Ginette, told me she can't come with me due to a valid reason I could not remember. I was disappointed but it never dampened my spirit to go ahead and meet Our Lady, who is going to help me big time.
I had all the instructions written including the train schedules and some telephone numbers for the shrine and a motel in downtown Doylestown where I could stay for the night. Because I was so determined to seek God that day, through Our Lady, I was not at all tired or fearful. I thought I had wings that day. I took the train going to Philadelphia at Penn station in NY which took me at least 3 hours and I had to transfer to a local train R5 to Doylestown another 45 minutes to an hour ride. R5 train stopped at Doylestown at 2 pm. It was a very quiet town and even the offices at the train station, there was not a single soul I saw. One gracious lady called a cab for me, just to be told that it is gonna be another hour wait since that time there were only 2 units running. I waited patiently for the cab driver to pick me up. I did not realize that it took me more than an hour to wait. The ride up to the Shrine was not bad passing through the woods, a little winding. As soon as we were on top of the hill and I had the full view of the Shrine it was like heaven! What surprised me was there were a lot of people and some kind of festivities. It was a special day, unbeknownst to me, not only because it was a Polish day, but it was the Holy Mother Church celebration for the nativity of the Blessed Mother. It was September 8, 1990. I was kind of lost in the crowd of Polish people, but not too lost to find the inside of the church. When I saw the main altar I was just blown away with the images of the Holy Trinity and the Icon of Our Lady. I felt the warm welcome embrace of Our Lady. I could not help but cry as I knelt down to pray and thanked God and my guardian angel for a safe trip. My joy almost clouded my main reason I was there, that was to petition Our Lady's intercession to help me pass my exam. I felt I was putting a lot of demands and pressure on Our Lady, because it is not that I made a novena to Her, no, Ginette just told me about Her obtaining miracles from Her son and I just rushed to Her side for a MIRACLE. I pleaded to Her with my tears before the Icon at the place for lighted votive candles . It was truly a special day! Praying before Her Icon was like time suspended in eternity. It was almost like seeing the hands of God through Our Lady, receiving all my tears and my prayers. I entrusted to Her my new life here in the USA and my family back home in the Philippines. So, my day was complete. I stayed overnight in one of the motel in downtown and attended 7am mass the next day. I got acquainted with the cab driver since he became my personal chauffeur in my stay at the Shrine and in Doylestown. He was Goddsend too.
After Sept 8, I had subsequent trips to the Shrine. I told a lot of friends about Her and relate to them Her story. They listened but it did not motivate them enough to go and meet Her too. Perhaps, they were doubting Her. Perhaps, I overblown my personal experiences with Her at the Shrine that they were just waiting for a proof of Her power to intercede. Waiting to see if I will pass the exam.
Sept 21, 1990, the much awaited day, I PASSED the exam. The National passing percentage was low as well as the foreign graduates. I cried and thanked God for Our Lady who interceded for me. I called my family back home to announce the MIRACLE of Our Lady's intercession and also to greet my son James, who celebrated his 14th birthday that day. Since that day Our Lady and the OLOC Shrine has been a special part of my life. I made a lot of trips to the Shrine to petition the status of my husband's and my children's [4 of them] visa to be approved so they can follow me here. I remembered a trip to the Shrine by myself, I had all the necessary papers blessed by the priest. It was winter, I remembered being treated to a cup of coffee and cookies by a priest, I could not remember, if it was the late Fr. Marion. I would not miss the huge bell at the old chapel whenever I come to the Shrine, and also to pray in that old chapel. I promised Our Lady that as soon as my children gets here, the first thing I would take them to is to meet Her. Of course, I kept my promise to Our Lady. When my children came I hired a friend to drive us to the Shrine in August 1991. As I prayed before Her, I was so proud in my heart for Our Lady who made everything possible. It was like saying in lay term "Job Well Done My Mother". My children grew under Our Lady's watch. We made more trips there than going to other places. My children started school and another good thing Our Lady did, they never had to go back one year behind in school. They all advanced and pass the exams administered by their respective schools. They grew up to be good children, not giving us problems Our Lady and the OLOC Shrine has a special place in their hearts now that they are grown up and have their own lives, the direction to the Shrine is very easy for them. Whenever my son James, who lives in Texas with his family, comes to visit, we always go visit the Shrine the whole family. Not only James, but in laws from as far as Hawaii and West Virginia, never failed to visit the Shrine. They too have their own miracle story of Our Lady's powerful intercession. And my friends whom I invited initially to come never made it in the exam. Eventually, they responded to Our Lady's invitation. They took the exams again and passed it. Only Our Lady knows how many people with problems I invited to visit Her at the Shrine.
It is so amazing to witness the Shrine's transformation from way back then. Just like how our lives and our hearts are being transformed by Our Lady's presence in our lives. She does not want us to stop at Her because She leads us by our hand to Her Son, Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament. She wants me and everyone else to live our lives for God, that everything we do is to Glorify Her Son, Jesus. I continue to pray to Her to intercede for me for restoring functions to my kidneys, if not a suitable kidney donor. I had been on dialysis since Ash Wednesday of 2010. It is difficult for me especially if I am in pain. But it is during my greatest pain that I have to love Jesus the most. I know Our Lady is with me. May I follow God's will in my life through Our Lady's guidance and love.
Thank You So much Our Lady for inviting us to your Shrine in OLOC and in all the other Marian Shrines. May Your love constantly propel us to live our lives and always to say YES to Jesus just as You did when the Angel Gabriel announced to You God's message. You are the only one Who can Mother us all. Thank You for saying "FIAT" to the Father. Thank You for giving Your Son, Jesus, to us. Thank You, Jesus, for saving us. You want us to sanctify our lives and eventually become Saints.
I love You Blessed Mother. I love You Jesus. Praise and Adore the Holy Trinity! I pray one day I and my husband will have a chance to visit the original Shrine in Poland.
Thank You Holy Spirit for inspiring me to put into words the many blessings that God bestowed through the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
Thanksgiving for healing my son
Oh! Holy Spirit come and enlighten my mind to the mind of God.
On the 9th of July 2010 there was, what I believe, a miracle at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Here is how it began: On March of 2005 my son, Steve had a heart attack at age 36. As the EMT’s put Steve into the ambulance, I called on our Lady and Mother to watch over him. At Doylestown Hospital he had two stents put into his artery. Ten days later, on Good Friday, he had two more stents put in. I prayed to Our Lady at the foot of the Cross of Jesus.
In April of 2009 Steve was hospitalized again and two more stents were put in.
In June, 2010 after weeks of symptoms, he was in the hospital for two more stents (one was a re-stent) at which time he has a heart attack after the procedure. One week later another stent was placed. This makes a total of nine (9) stents.
Steve continued to have symptoms and went to his Cardiologist on Thursday July 8th, 2010.
Steve called me the next morning, Friday and we talked about whether he should go to the Emergency. He did not want to take a nitro for the pain since he was at work. He decided that if the pain did not lessen, he would go to the hospital.
I came to the Shrine for the 11:30 Mass after talking to Steve, and after Mass I prayed the Rosary and stayed for Adoration until 1:15. In my prayers of Adoration to Jesus, I asked for help for Steve. I took out my picture of Pope John Paul II, that I carry in my Magnificat Prayer book, and with his picture in front of me I prayer for healing of Steve through the intercession of John Paul II.
Steve loved John Paul II and has been reading and watching documentaries on his life. I suggested he pray to him when he was in the hospital. I also have been praying to him for Steve since April of 2009.
Within the hour of my leaving Our Lady’s Shrine, Steve called to say that all of his symptoms were gone! This has never happened for Steve without medical intervention. He has returned to his full schedule of work, exercise and family of four children. Thanks be to God!
Elżbieta, Mariusz, Mikołaj i Błażej
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