You may have heard about the incident a couple of weeks ago (October 22) in Ottawa, Canada, when a Canadian soldier was gunned down by a homegrown terrorist, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. The soldier’s name was Corporal Nathan Cirillo, and at the time of the incident he was on duty as a ceremonial guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Canadian National War Memorial.
At the time of the shooting, Cirillo had a standard-issue firearm that, in accordance with standard guidelines, was not loaded with ammunition. Although five bystanders provided assistance to the wounded soldier, he died shortly after he was shot by the terrorist.
Prior to the shooting, a woman named Barbara Winters had walked by the war memorial on her way to a meeting. She was early for the meeting so she decided to stop in front of the memorial and take some pictures. The sun was shining and she wanted to capture the beauty of the memorial site and its honor guards.
After Winters finished taking pictures, she continued walking to her meeting. While she was walking, she heard the gunshots fired by the terrorist. She immediately turned around and saw that the solder had been shot. She then rushed over to assist him.
By the time she got to Cirillo, there were four other people working on him to keep him alive. She slipped in between two of the people and knelt down near Cirillo’s face. She loosened his tie, said a prayer, and leaned over to talk to him.
During an interview that was conducted later in the day, Winters told the reporter what she said to Cirillo:
I told him he was loved, that he was a brave man, and that he was a good man. I said, “Just think of what you were doing when this happened. You were honoring others. Just think of how proud that will make your family. Your parents are so proud of you and your family must love you so much.”
I looked for a wedding ring, but I couldn’t see one. He had gloves on. I couldn’t tell, so I didn’t want to say “your wife.” I just kept saying, “Your family loves you, your family loves you, your military family loves you.” I said, “Look at these people. We’re all here helping you. We’re all trying to do what we can for you. We all love you.”
I just repeated that he was a brave man and that he was a good man, and that he was loved, and that he was respected, and that his military comrades loved him, and that his family loved him.
Was it a coincident that Winters decided to stop and take pictures of the war memorial on that particular day? If she had stopped on any other day, she would have taken her pictures and then left. Was it a coincidence that she happened to stop on the same day that the soldier was shot by a terrorist?
For people of faith, nothing outside of our own control happens by coincidence. For the soldier who died that morning, it was by the grace of God that Barbara Winters happened to be close by when he was shot. According to God’s plan, she was there for only one reason: to provide him with love and comfort during the final moments of his life.
What if you could guarantee that a warm, tender, loving, unselfish, sympathetic woman would be at your side at the time of your death to provide you with the same degree of love and affection that Winters provided to the soldier during his final moments?
What if I told you that there is such a guarantee?
The guarantee I’m referring to is attached to The Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion. Earlier this year, I wrote a series of articles that explained this particular devotion. You can find the articles on my website at Adoration.com under the category: “Seven Sorrows of Mary.”
The Seven Sorrows of Mary is a simple but powerful devotion that is available to help us deal with our daily challenges and struggles. The devotion focuses on seven different events that occurred in the Mother of God’s life:
1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple.
4. Mary’s meeting with Jesus on the way to Calvary.
5. The death of Jesus on the cross.
6. The piercing of the side of Jesus, and Mary’s receiving the body of Jesus in her arms.
7. The burial of the body of Jesus in the tomb.
When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bridget and introduced The Seven Sorrows of Mary devotion, she promised that whoever honors her daily by meditating on her seven sorrows will, in return, receive seven special graces from God. One of the graces our Lady promised was this:
I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their Mother.
Would you like to see the Mother of God and hear her loving and compassionate voice during the final moments of your life?
In order to take advantage of the guarantee that the Queen of Heaven will be at your side at the time of your death, it is sufficient to follow a daily ritual of praying a total of seven Hail Marys while meditating on the seven sorrows — one Hail Mary for each of the seven sorrows.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo received a special gift when a woman he’d never met comforted him during the final moments of his life. You can receive an even greater gift if you’re willing to commit to the daily practice of honoring the seven sorrows of Mary.