Posted May 25, 2010:
That’s Impossible!

How many people has Our Lady of Combermere touched, and how many prayers has she answered? Only she knows. Here are three of her stories.

Back in the 1960s or ‘70s, my mother and my Aunt Bess drove to Combermere for a week’s stay. My mother’s wrist was so painful that she had to drive one-handed all the way. I’m not sure what was wrong with it; I think she wrenched or sprained it.

As soon as they pulled into the parking lot, Mom said, "I want to visit Our Lady of Combermere first."

So they did, and a few minutes later, on their way to the dining room, Aunt Bess asked my mother how her wrist was.

"What wrist?" she asked. "Oh my, there’s no more pain."

Mary Beth Mitchell

When I first visited Madonna House in the 1960s, I was a new Catholic. I had a wonderful week there and of course I took lots of pictures, including quite a few of the statue of Our Lady of Combermere.

When I went back to my job, people gathered round as I told them all about this amazing place I had discovered and showed them my pictures.

Only two of the people I worked with were Catholic, two men from the art department. That afternoon one of those men stopped me and asked to see the pictures of the statue again.

I thought that, being Catholic, he was interested in such a unique statue of Our Lady, and so I began to tell him about Frances Rich, the sculptress who had made it.

But no, he wasn’t interested in that. He was mesmerized by one of the photos and kept studying it. He asked me questions about the camera I had used. He seemed perplexed when I told him it was just a simple Kodak Brownie.

Finally he said, in a voice filled with awe, "There is no way you could have gotten that lighting in that picture without having a spotlight behind the statue. The light is coming from behind the statue. That’s impossible!"

I had no idea what he was talking about. With my untrained eye, it looked like just another photo to me.

The next Sunday he went with his family to church, something he hadn’t done in several years.

a staff worker

One morning shortly after 9 a.m. as I walked to the gift shop—I was working there at the time—I saw a car parked in the shop’s parking lot.

I went up to the window and saw a couple sitting inside eating sandwiches. After greeting them, I said, "The gift shop isn’t open yet; it’ll open at 10. But it’s fine if you want to stay here until then."

"We’re not here for the shop," said the wife. "We’ve come to visit Our Lady of Combermere. We left Toronto at 4 a.m. We have a new granddaughter, and she was born with something seriously wrong with her.

"We prayed to Our Lady of Combermere and told her that if she cured her, we would make a pilgrimage to her statue. The baby’s fine, and here we are."

Paulette Curran


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