Isabelle and Her Rosary

 “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.” ― G.K. Chesterton (b. 1874- d. 1936)

I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me an inspiring story of her Catholic Slovenian grandmother, Isabelle, and her Rosary. The story is as follows:

Isabelle (b. 1901- d. 1997) immigrated to the United States in the twentieth century after fleeing the civil unrest, and eventual Communist takeover of Slovenia. Isabelle then married a fellow immigrant Slovene; and bore and raised twelve children. My friend was one of the many grandchildren on Isabelle’s very flowering family tree.

Isabelle was loved by her family, and one thing the family fondly recalls about her was that she loved the Rosary. Her granddaughter remembers Isabelle as always having the Rosary either in her hands or near her; so that if there was a lull in her activity, she was seen to pick it up and finger it while praying silently. If asked what she was praying the Rosary for, Isabelle often said for her long-distant home country, Slovenia; in particular, that it might be freed from Communism.

Why did Isabelle think that praying the Rosary might lead to such a political change in a distant country? (my friend asked me this indirectly)

Because Isabelle believed that the recitation of the Rosary (which is repeated intercession to Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady, as one remembers the events of their lives) could change world events; because of what the Blessed Virgin Mary said in 1917 at Fatima.

One of the primary requests of Our Lady at Fatima was that every Catholic pray the Rosary each day for, among many things, world peace. Our Lady promised that if the Rosary was recited, and that people amended their lives, a period of peace would ensue. If not, wars would follow (a read about such historical events is helpful here), which they did. Isabelle believed the Church approved messages of Fatima, and followed through on Our Lady’s request by praying not only one Rosary each day, but as many as her duties allowed. Isabelle was known to stop her Rosary at times and mark her place in it with a safety pin. Her granddaughter fondly recalled that Isabelle was buried with her well-used Rosary with the safety pin marking her last Ave Maria.  

In conclusion, before her peaceful death, Isabelle lived to see the freeing of Slovenia from Communist rule, a freeing which took place without war and bloodshed; which leads to this question: Did Isabelle have anything to do with such a political change? I will not be surprised if she, and her Rosary, had a role in the change.

We will know at the end of time.

So, let us, like our Catholic ancestor, Isabelle, an unknown (except to her family, and to God!) wife and mother of twelve, take up our beads, and pray, as Our Lady asked at Fatima: for peace in the world, in our families, and in our hearts.

Let us also remember what Our Lady said at Fatima: in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph (para by SF).

May you have a good day.


~Image: Our Lady of Fatima.