Witness Stories & Testimonials
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Turn Around – 4 Babies in One Morning — From Cynthia & Maureen
Our story happened early one morning in October 2015, when a friend and I went to pray outside Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia (during 40 days for Life).
We were praying the Flame of Love rosary and meditating on the Hours of the Passion. Since there were two of us, we decided to take turns counseling women on their way into the facility, so that there would be uninterrupted prayer.
Soon a young woman came out from the clinic, crying, her phone to her ear. She was saying, she “couldn’t do this”. It seemed the person on the other end wanted her to go back in. My friend was able to walk her around the corner (out of sight) and gently minister to her. Even the “escort” from PP seemed to back off, which was quite unusual. While I was still out front, a woman in scrubs came out looking for her, but went back in. Then a man came looking for her. (We guessed it was their “security“ guard, because he was wearing a gun). Not finding her, he went back in also. Just after that, my friend came around the corner with the young woman. I watched her gently whispering in her ear, while the woman still had the phone to her other ear – so unsure!) We kept praying the Flame of Love to blind Satan. My friend gently guided her past the entrance to Planned Parenthood, and instead walked with her to a Women’s Center that would truly give her the help she needed.
When my friend came back, a man approached her. He had gotten out of a car that was parked on the corner – he was very tall and wearing a gun. We did not know what to expect. He said, “I just have to give you a hug. My partner and I watched the whole thing…alleluia!!” He was with Philly Civil Affairs unit, assigned there to “protect” the clinic. About an hour later, this young mom came back to show us an ultrasound picture of her beautiful baby, she had tears of joy!! We all hugged and gave a prayer of thanks and shared the power of the Flame of Love with her!! The most amazing thing is that we did not even notice initially when this young woman entered the clinic; she was not ministered to by us on the way in. That shows the power in the prayer! Also, another woman (who had brought her friend for an abortion), felt moved to speak to her inside, telling her that she had regretted her own abortion. After she saw that we wanted to help, she approached us about her own situation (about to become homeless with a 5-year-old son). Since then, she has been in touch with people who are helping her. She also asked for prayer for the woman she brought that day, hoping that she could get her out in time. Sadly, it was too late. But we continue to pray for her healing.
There was another woman there that day who was there for fertility help (of all places). Thankfully she left with an NFP website and info we were able to share.
Another incident happened, (yes, all in one morning!) A van pulled up out front looking for Planned Parenthood, but for some reason didn’t see it (?!) and the two women from the van walked back one block and went to Prolife clinic “by accident”. They appeared agitated when they were dropped off, but an hour later came back to their van looking happy, and we heard one look up and say “Oh, there it is” (Planned Parenthood), giggled to themselves, and got in the van and left!! Thank you, beautiful Mother, for this gift for the times that we live in!!
We were all struck that day by several very telling things as a result of the Power of the FOL. We have never seen the PP escort so docile, she actually left early! Usually we cannot get near the women. Also, we have never seen civil affairs people on the side of Life – while on duty. This was a beautiful man who was placed there by God that day. It turns out he is a pastor in Philly and has a tender heart for these women. There were also a few dads ministered to that day as well. They took the Flame of Love prayer card!
The Shining Cross — From Claire
On Holy Saturday morning (2015), I noticed that the usual view from my kitchen window was different. At first I thought the sun must be reflecting off the St. Anastasia’s Church Steeple to make it look so much bigger and brighter than usual. (I’ve seen the same view out my window for 10 years). Since my cell phone was nearby, I grabbed it and snapped a few pictures. I then switched it to take a short video (6 minutes), because by that point, the steeple looked like a flickering flame to me. While I was recording, dark clouds began rolling. The contrast of the Cross at the top of the steeple lit up against the darkness was so striking. I shared the pictures with my friend, because we had just asked our pastor if we might begin a Flame of Love Prayer Cenacle, and were given permission. I took this happening as a little gift from God that we were on the right track in our parish.
The darkness may roll in, but the Light of Christ will shine bright! There was also a smaller lit Cross under the Steeple’s larger “lit up” Cross. To me, that was symbolic of Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, interceding for her children, and inviting us to join her.
The Flame of Love Prayer Cenacle calls God’s children to intercede with Mary, Our Mother, at the foot of the Cross for our priests, the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the conversion of all souls. We pray others will accept the invitation. Since that time, we have a morning, afternoon and evening weekly cenacle. The hour spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is really powerful. It truly is a “Holy Hour”.
Bit by Bit — From Denise
It was March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. Feeling burdened and insecure, I had gone to the Adoration chapel to make a visit and to seek divine assistance. Later that evening, because of my suggestion, our faith enrichment group was going to read The Flame of Love, an abridged version of Elizabeth Kindelmann’s diary. Although familiar with the FOL Movement since late last spring, I could not articulate much about it, let alone facilitate a study. So why was I going to do it? Although filled with fear and apprehension, it did seem like the next step to take.
I had been introduced to the Flame of Love by a fellow parishioner the previous May, who asked that I read the book. After fulfilling the request, all I was able to glean from the book were obstacles, sacrifice, suffering and frustration. “I didn’t ‘get it,’” I told my friend. I was unable to understand the message, “the Cause,” the urgency. His response was that this experience was not unusual: be patient and trust that our Lady would make it known to me. While full of doubts, because he is a humble and holy man, I remained open.
Along with reading the book, he asked if I would be willing to introduce the Movement to our parish – that added to my burden.
On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, a Flame of Love conference was held at a neighboring parish. I invited some people from our parish to attend, so that there would be help if I made the decision to become involved. The conference was wonderful, and although I still did not “get it,” something kept pulling me along. One of the speakers shared that the effect of the Flame of Love had softened his heart towards difficult people. He was now able to listen and not be on the defensive. He was able to see them and love them as Christ does. “Wow, I would love to have that gift!” I thought. Another speaker relayed how it helped release him from different inordinate attachments that kept God from being the center of his heart. “Sounds good to me!” He also spoke of the power of the Flame of Love to blind Satan. This blinding would enable us and our loved ones to be open to grace so we could truly see, and move away from sin. “Sold! Where do I sign?”
I left the conference knowing that the Flame of Love was something I desired for myself and my loved ones; but I still didn’t know how to explain it. This only increased my frustration. Sometime after the conference, while talking to my friend, I expressed my dilemma of not quite grasping the full picture. He told me to praise God for the progress made and suggested that I read Elizabeth Kindelmann’s full diary. He also thought that praying the rosary with the Flame of Love petition inserted into the Hail Mary, would be helpful, as well as praying about fasting. Elizabeth was asked to fast on bread and water three days a week and devotees are called to strive toward achieving this.
I began in earnest to read, pray and start fasting once a week. It soon changed to two days and then eventually three. Urgent prayer intentions spurred me on. As attacks from the devil arrived in all directions, the supernatural power of prayer and fasting became obvious and more vital. While not understanding what the Flame of Love is, I could see how much it angered the evil one and how he was trying to keep me from staying the course. Because of the attacks, I reached out to family and friends for prayers and assistance to persevere.
In mid-January, our pastor agreed to let us have a book distribution sometime in the spring. He suggested that “the team” find out all that we could, to be equipped to answer any questions parishioners may have. We were invited by the Flame of Love core team to attend seven seminars that would explain the Flame of Love. That sounded like a good idea, so we decided to attend. The seminars were very informative, and on the feast of the Flame of Love, February 2, we participated in a beautiful Flame of Love ceremony, in which the Flame was passed on to us. I didn’t feel any different, but knew that feelings weren’t always the most reliable barometer when receiving grace. I needed to walk in faith that if they said I received it, I had.
The seminars extended to another session of teachings. Having promised our pastor that we would find out all that we could, we continued to attend. I could see how some of the people were on fire with the Flame of Love. They were excited and had an enthusiasm I envied. I believed in my head that I received it because I could see small changes in myself. But I could not feel it in my heart, so I was frustrated!
I remained faithful to my commitment and continued to pray and fast. Still filled with doubt, I asked God and Our Lady to let me know if I “had it.” The answer placed on my heart was, “to walk by faith and not by sight.” Great, I thought. Well, I’ll just continue to take the next step and do what is asked of me.
The next thing needed was to get help with the parish book distribution in the spring. “Maybe I’ll suggest to my woman’s group that we read the Flame of Love – that way we’ll have the extra hands needed at the Masses.” After asking they agreed, so reading the Flame of Love with my group was the next step. The day had arrived, and we were just hours away from beginning to read the book. I was supposed to be the expert. I had attended many sessions about the Flame of Love, and was now part of the core team, but still could not articulate what it was or be on fire about it. I did not want to let my friends down by my lack of “knowing,” and knew I needed Divine Help.
Sitting before the Blessed Sacrament I began to pray the Flame of Love rosary. I pleaded with Jesus and Mary to help me, telling them I’d do anything that they asked. But I couldn’t be a sales person if I could not articulate the product. After finishing the rosary, I prayed to St. Joseph. Since it was his feast day, I asked that he give me the gift of the Flame of Love. Just as in Bethlehem so many years ago, he and Mary looked for lodging for Jesus; I was opening my heart to receiving Jesus, the Flame of Love.
A thought came to my mind after making my plea. “Why don’t you see if they have the Flame of Love book here and take a look at it? It would be a good way to prepare for this evening.” I had no idea if the book would be there, since this was not my parish. Walking over to the little stack of books, there it was! I picked it up and asked St. Joseph to open my eyes and heart and began to read the last section of the book. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The words were flowing from my eyes to my heart. “Why didn’t I see this before?” I then began reading the front section and the same thing happened. I felt like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. “Were not our hearts burning within us? (Lk. 24 vs. 32).
The confusion, the obstacles, the suffering and sacrifices that Elizabeth had experienced, all made sense to me now. Jesus and Mary were entrusting her with a powerful mission for the salvation of souls and they would use all of this to both purify Elizabeth and bring about the Cause!
Oh my dear sweet Jesus! Thank you! Thank you, Mary! And most of all, thank you dear St. Joseph! In an instant, my eyes were opened. I was like the blind man who could now see and wanted to shout out to the world the Good News! I knew that I was changed deep within and would now be able to accomplish the mission that God had placed upon my heart.
When I look back to that blessed day, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, I sigh deep within, in awe and wonder of the way God works in our lives. Sometimes the road is clear and there are not too many obstacles. Other times, it is like walking in a dense fog, depending on God’s light to reveal the next step. God knows each of us and the best way to bring us to holiness. He will give us the grace to achieve any task He has set before us, but we must do our part and be open to the grace to walk in His holy will, especially when the road is unclear. We must surround ourselves with holy men and women of faith so we can “stay the course.” I thank God for those people He placed in my life so that I would not miss out in receiving this awesome grace, the Flame of Love, for myself, and hopefully in the future, for my loved ones.
Cheering as Satan is blinded and we are free to walk in God’s will and grace, I am eternally grateful and humbled for any role I may play in passing the Flame to others. Praise God and His sweet Mother!
St. Philomena – Our Little Friend — From Clare
A friend sent me a Novena Prayer to St. Philomena a few years ago. Even though I didn’t know a lot about her, or even feel like I “clicked” with her, I included her novena in my daily prayers.
Later, I was invited to attend Flame of Love teachings at St. Philomena’s parish in Lansdowne. I live with chronic illnesses, but was able to attend for a short duration. While praying the FOL rosary in chapel together, I noticed a beautiful banner of a young girl, who I assumed was Saint Philomena. I said to her, “I’d like to get to know you, St. Philomena”, and left it at that.
Then, As the Spirit Leads Catholic radio invited people to attend a healing mass. The main celebrant was Rev. Jason Kulczynski, of the U.S. National Center of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena, in Oreland, Pa. He was bringing a relic of St. Philomena and giving a talk about her. I attended in hopes of learning a little more about this saint, who I was beginning to love, but didn’t know why! Later, I felt nudged by the Holy Spirit to obtain blessed oil from St. Philomena’s shrine in Italy, and to share it with the Leaders in the Flame of Love Team. Although I wasn’t able to attend for a while, the prompting wouldn’t go away, so I gave the blessed oil to my friend, Denise, to bring to the FOL Team and share with them.
Apparently, St. Philomena had been a topic at the prior meetings, but I wasn’t aware of this since I was not able to attend regularly. The group saw this as a “signal grace” from God that confirmed them in their mission to spread the Flame of Love throughout the world. We have since learned that St. Philomena is the Patroness of the Children of Mary. We are in good company! It appears that St. Philomena wants to be a part of spreading the Flame of Love! We use her blessed oil, after blessing each cenacle member with holy water, at the end of our FOL Cenacle Holy Hour at St. Anastasia’s parish. We are learning about this little saint together, but more importantly, she is interceding for us, loving us, and praying with us each week.
I researched more about our Little Friend St. Philomena, and found this information about her from the “Universal Living Rosary Association”:
“St. Philomena: Virgin, Martyr & Wonder Worker”
“The very name of Philomena contains the words: filia luminis, daughter of light. She is the enlightener of a dark and corrupt age confounding the sneers of materialism. She is the Patroness of the Children of Mary. Her mission today is to draw us into the Immaculate Heart of Mary through imitation of her heroic virtues of purity, obedience and humility. St. Philomena is an anchor of HOPE in this dark age of despair”. St. Philomena, Powerful with God, Pray for Us! Amen!
Our Holy Mother Helps Another Mother — From Maura
I want to share with you an experience I had connected to Flame of Love. My son and daughter in law were very worried and concerned about the impeding birth of their baby. The baby was almost two weeks late. Their first child had been delivered by Cesarean section, and my daughter in law really wanted to deliver this baby naturally. Her midwife and obstetrician thought it was possible. But at her weekly check up, another obstetrician frightened them and talked about possible complications and birth defects to the baby. My son was beside himself and wanted a C Section soon. My daughter in law however, felt that God really wanted her to be patient and wait for labor. They were both very distressed.
That evening I was at The Flame of Love Cenacle at Assumption church in West Grove. One of the cenacle group members had kindly asked about the progress with the baby, which she knew we were anxiously awaiting. At the end of prayers, she asked the others present if we could say three Hail Mary’s for the baby and its parents. I could feel the power of those prayers and was so grateful. After church, my son called and said they had met with their obstetrician who assured them the baby was NOT in danger. They had felt the power of an intercession too and I told them we had been praying for them. They were so grateful. Two days later, natural labor occurred (no C Section), and the baby was a healthy 9 lb boy who was safely delivered on Sunday. Mary was with us!
The Doctors’ Dilemma — From Valerie
As background, Val’s daughter has Crohn’s Disease and needed bowel surgery. She was very, very ill. Her mother had asked for prayers, and this is her story. Val writes:
I want to send a personal note of thanks for all the prayers and support shown to me and our family while our daughter was in the hospital. I cannot tell you what all the Holy Hours and Mass intentions offered, as well as Rosaries and Chaplets have meant to all of us. My daughter went through a complex surgery that was complicated by an infection which was not due to the surgery, but was an abscess from her underlying disease. The surgeon said she was very ill during the entire surgery. Also, there were complications during surgery involving equipment problems. It was during this time, though I did not know what was happening in the Operating Room, that I was literally holding Mary’s Hand, praying the Divine Mercy chaplet with the chaplet Rosary which had been given to us from Medjugorje. I did not let it go for several days.
The second day after the operation, my daughter was still very ill and had become septic. I was terrified. The doctor thought another major surgery may be required.
I went to Adoration – I told Our Lord about His Promises – ask and you will receive! Ask anything in My Name! He put on my heart that He wanted me to forgive and trust the surgeon and all the doctors and nurses. My attempt to micromanage the situation because I am a nurse was not helping, and that I needed to have faith! A priest friend, Father Onunwa, had basically told me the same thing earlier in the day. Let her rest and let the doctors and nurses work.
So I prayed a Flame of Love Rosary and headed to the hospital again, and who walked into my daughter’s ICU room but the husband of one of my Flame of Love friends! He is an endocrinologist, and the doctors had a theory that my daughter’s elevated heart rate might be due to adrenal failure. It turned out that this was not so, but I just had a feeling that his walking in was a sign that our prayers were about to be answered – a Flame of Love connection walking right in to see my daughter. That night her heart rate came down and the next day her fever was gone. She had also been 24 hours on a big antibiotic and the medicine was working! No need for more surgery! The next day the surgeon told me that he had no idea why she was doing so much better- but she was! They had not definitively come up with the explanation for the infection, and they did not know why her situation turned around so quickly. I told him that at this point pretty much the whole Archdiocese of Philadelphia was praying for her! He said he could not discount the role of prayer. My daughter is doing much better- she still has a few weeks of postoperative recovery and another surgery coming up. I have no doubt that the Hand of Our Lord was with the surgeon in the OR and also in the turnaround in her condition.
I want to express my gratitude to all who prayed so diligently for her and to Roseann (Flame of Love) who sent her a blessed rose from the St. Rita’s Shrine in Philadelphia.
Biopsy – Be Gone! — From Gloria
After mass one Sunday, I was introduced to The Flame Of Love. My friends from Saint Anthony of Padua parish told me that I needed to read the book and how powerful it was. Having a deep devotion to Our Lady and going to Medjugorje and Lourdes, I kept trying to comprehend it. Time after time I picked the book up and then put it down. I got to the point where I was so frustrated that I threw it in the trash.
One Friday afternoon I decided to go to the Prayer Cenacle at St. Anthony’s and see what it was all about. After I had gone a few times to the Prayer Cenacle, my husband discovered a lump under his left ear. The doctor confirmed that, yes, it was a (lump) mass! The doctor gave him an antibiotic and told him to come back in two weeks. After taking the antibiotic, the lump did go down a little. I continued praying the novena and blessing the lump with St. Albert’s holy water, from the Carmelite Monastery.
After two weeks we went back to the doctor. He said we needed to get an ultrasound and a biopsy. He gave us a prescription saying it was a mass! We were scared to death. I continued to ask Our Lady to please intervene for us! When we went to get the ultrasound they also saw the mass. Our next step was the biopsy. It was scheduled for late in the afternoon. I must say that I was literally shaking with fear, praying that it wasn’t malignant and ashamed of myself for not giving it up to the Lord and trusting!!!!
We sat at the hospital and waited literally two hours before getting the biopsy, and we couldn’t understand what was taking so long. The doctor walked into the room saying; “I don’t know why you are scheduled for this biopsy, there is nothing there”!!!
We went into shock, we couldn’t believe it!
With tears streaming down my face, I flew out of my seat and hugged and kissed the doctor. I talked to Msgr. McHenry about it, and with the biggest smile ever, he said “There are miracles every day Gloria”! I truly believe that through the Flame of Love my husband was healed! We praised and thanked Our Lady and Our Dear Lord for the Flame of Love and this special miracle!