Tag: Intercessions

How A Man Falsely Accused Of Murder And Rape Got His Name Cleared Through St. Pope John Paul II’s Intercessions 

How A Man Falsely Accused Of Murder And Rape Got His Name Cleared Through St. Pope John Paul II’s Intercessions 

Touched by his story, Pope Francis later embraced Tomasz Komenda in Rome, during one of his Wednesday Weekly Audience.


It’s a real miracle. An incredible, inspiring story. 

In 2000, a 23-year-old Polish man, Tomasz Komenda, was accused of rape and murder of a young 15-year-old girl. Despite his denials, he was found guilty due to scientific “proof” — two experts confirmed that the teeth marks found on the victim’s body matched those belonging to Komenda.

Once in prison, the young man was in a veritable hell. Rapists were harassed, humiliated, and sometimes even tortured by their fellow inmates. And Komenda couldn’t rely on the prison guards to ensure some sort of protection and order. As he explained in an interview with a Polish TV show, they “looked away.”

His prayer to St. John Paul II

As he was unable to convince anyone of his innocence, the young man looked for help elsewhere. Although an unbeliever, he started praying to John Paul II. At the top of his bed, the Polish pope looked at him, smiling, in a photo given to him from his mother. “If you are a saint,” prayed Komenda, “You are in heaven with this girl. If you must take me up there, take me now. If I must be free, let me be free.”


TOMASZ KOMENDA

AFP

Six months after this cry from the heart, a policeman knocked at his prison cell. He didn’t believe in this young man’s guilt and would help him prove his innocence. After a year of legal disputes Komenda was cleared. “The Holy Father heard me,” he shared joyously. And when he was released in mid-May, he immediately promised to go to Rome to thank John Paul II, at his tomb.

“Only those who keep their word are respected” claims a Polish proverb. And Komenda kept his word. Less than a month after his release from prison he was in St. Peter’s Basilica, surrounded by his mother and father, where he prayed privately in front of the altar where John Paul II is buried.

Pope Francis touched by his story

Komenda was unaware that his story had reached as far as the Vatican. The Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who also happens to be Polish, had got wind of the story. The now freshly-appointed cardinal contacted the family and invited them to accompany him to St. Peter’s Square, where Pope Francis holds his general audience on Wednesdays.

TOMASZ KOMENDA

AFP PHOTO | OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Divine Providence has a way of doing things. The family got as far as the pontiff himself, and were asked to say a few words. Touched by what he heard, Francis spontaneously held Komenda in his arms for a long time. He then asked his photographer to take some photos of him with the young man.

The story doesn’t end there. The Komenda family were invited to dine with the then-Archbishop Krajewski. The meal was prepared by a once-homeless man named Enzo, who had also spent many years behind bars. “I will prepare him a feast like he has never had before!” exclaimed the chef.

Virgin Mary Helps Police Officer Save The Life Of 3 Women

Virgin Mary Helps Police Officer Save The Life Of 3 Women

In 2006, Federick Yap was a new Fairfax County Police officer working the graveyard shift and looking for a place to file a report. He decided to pull into the parking lot of St. Thomas à Becket Church in Reston. 


“I didn’t realize I was in front of the Virgin Mary statue (and) I didn’t put any strong emphasis on it because being Catholic, it was normal for me,” he said. “And then I don’t know how it started and why it started, but I just offered a short prayer to the Virgin Mary and made it a practice (before every shift).”


Federick Yap was born and raised by his single mother in the Philippines, where he was baptized as a Catholic and attended Catholic school — He graduated from San Beda University in Manila, and moved to the United States in 1987. He got married and is the father of two children – a daughter in middle school and a son in college. The family attends All Saints Church in Manassas. For the past 12 years, he’s worked as a patrolman.  

Despite his Catholic upbringing, he never really considered himself very devout, nor did he have a lot of experience with praying the Rosary. But one memory from his youth has always lingered under the surface, even years later after he immigrated to the US in 1987. 

And it took some 20 years for him to discover why.

Every day after school he’d go running. His route took him passed his Catholic high school, where he’d usually stop to get a drink from the water fountain. As it was usually the same time each day, he’d always see one of the nuns, Sister Sophia, walking the hallway praying the Rosary. He would say hello, they would talk a little, and he would return on his run. Not a big deal. He couldn’t say why, but he always felt “close” to Sister Sophia after witnessing that, day after day.

Fast forward to Reston, Virginia, where Yap is now a police officer for Fairfax County. One night early in his police career, Yap pulled into the lot of St. Thomas Church  to park his cruiser and write up his reports — only to find himself parked in front of a faded statuette of the Blessed Virgin. He decided to offer up a simple prayer in three parts: one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be. The habit became routine, always ending with “I love you, Lord, I love you, Mama Mary.” Eventually he began to pray the entire Rosary.

The Power of Three

Divine intervention often isn’t as dramatic and obvious as what is shown in movies; it usually happens subtly, quietly, and most often reveals itself only in hindsight — those without faith might even mistake it for coincidence or random luck.

It took Officer Yap many years to connect the dots over three separate incidents he faced while on the job. All three involved women in danger. And for him, it was no random coincidence.

The first incident was in 2011. The call was for a suicidal woman, according to an article in the Arlington Catholic Herald. When Yap and another officer arrived, they watched in shock as she drove her car into the Potomac River. Even though Yap wasn’t trained in water rescue, he and the other cop were able to get the woman out of the car to safety.

The second time was in 2015. Just starting his shift after the prayer, the call came in: a woman shot multiple times by her husband. A team of officers was able to get the injured woman out of the house safety, with Yap staying by her side, applying pressure to her wounds, all the way to the hospital, where she was treated and eventually recovered.

The third time was in 2016, according to the Arlington Catholic Herald report. He went to his prayer spot as usual, and when he finished he looked at the Holy Mother as her face appeared to convey to him, “I’ll see you later.” Shortly afterward, Yap responded to a call with another officer: a woman was in danger of harming herself. Arriving at her home, they approached the locked garage. Hearing two car engines running, they broke inside — finding the woman in her car, unconscious from the fumes. They opened the garage doors and dragged her from the vehicle. Yap swears that as he was administering CPR he saw the face of the Virgin Mother in front of him.

Significance of the statues

The theme of the “number three” came up in other various ways for Yap throughout the years, including in a trio of rosaries that were left on one of the statues at the church. But Yap did not connect the dots about his devotion and the three women he helped save until his work restoring a statue of the Blessed Mother.

MOTHER MARY STATUE
Federick Yap, a police officer for Fairfax County, kneels in front of a statue of Mary that he refurbished at St. Thomas à Becket Church in Reston. Yap begins every shift with a prayer in front of the statue.

Courtesy of Frederick Yap

As his devotion grew over the years, Yap took to repainting the faded statuettes of the Virgin surrounding the church in his spare time, even though he had no previous experience. But he didn’t make the connection between the Rosary, the three women he saved, and the statues until he was working on the third one.

“Three statues, three women that I saved,” said Yap, who is married with two children, a college student and middle-schooler. “Wow, it reminded me that the Holy Mother is there to watch us. She’s reminding me about the beauty of what I did for those three women. ‘Look what you are doing,’ she seemed to say, ‘you are making me beautiful’!”

Yap feels so grateful for rediscovering the rosary again, in a much deeper and personal way, so many years after meeting Sister Sophia in the hallway. While not everyone might have the same experience with the Rosary as Yap, he feels that everyone could benefit from making this habit a part of their daily life, whether at work or home.

MOTHER MARY STATUE

Courtesy of Frederick Yap

“Every day it gives me a better understanding about life, and it makes us kind,” he says. “We get the kind of energy that helps me to understand what ever we do, whatever we say, kindness and humility should be part of it.”

Yap believes Mary’s intercessions helped him – along with other police officers and medical professionals – to save the lives of three women during his time on duty, as each save occurred after prayer. “she is the protector of women”, he said. 

What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them (3)

What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them (3)

The Printer Of Cologne 

The celebrated printer of Cologne, William Freyssen, gives the following account of how his child and wife were restored to health by the Holy Souls. 

William Freyssen got the order to print a little work on Purgatory. When he was correcting the proofs, his attention was caught by the facts narrated in the book. He learned for the first time what wonders the Holy Souls can work for their friends.

Just at that time his son fell grievously ill, and soon the case became desperate. Remembering what he had read about the power of the Holy  Souls, Freyssen at once promised to spread, at his own expense, a hundred copies of the book which his firm was printing. To make the promise more solemn, he went to the church and there made his vow. At once a sense of peace and confidence filled his soul. 

On his return home, the boy, who had been unable to swallow a drop of water, asked for food. Next day he was out of danger and soon completely cured. At once, Freyssen ordered the books on Purgatory to be distributed, feeling sure that it was the best way to obtain help for the suffering souls, by interesting a hundred people in them. No one who knows what the Poor Souls suffer can refuse to pray for them. 

Time passed, and a new sorrow fell to the share of the printer. This time his dear wife was stricken down and, despite every  care, grew daily worse. She lost the use of her mind and was almost completely paralyzed, so that the doctor gave up all hope. The  husband, bethinking him of what the Holy Souls had done for his boy, again ran to the church and promised to distribute 200 of the books on Purgatory, begging in exchange the urgent succor of the Holy Souls. 

Wonderful to relate, the mental aberration ceased, his wife’s mind became normal, and she recovered the use of her limbs and of her tongue. In a short time she was perfectly restored to health. 

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