Dear Family of Mary!
” He sent me to you, to help you to grow in holiness….”
Our Lady tells us that God has sent her to us to help us grow in holiness. Very early on in the apparitions she said to us: “Make progress in holiness through the messages. I will help you. Give your utmost and we will go together, sensitive to the sweetness of life, light, and joy.” (August 5, 1984) Notice that she tells us we can make progress in holiness through the messages! Each one of her messages is designed to bring us into a deeper relationship with God and to build holiness in us. She also said to us: “Dear children, if you live the messages, you are living the seed of holiness.” (October 10, 1985)
Well I want to share with you the transcript of the most recent Fruit of Medjugorje testimony. It is by God’s design that Deb McEllistrem gave her testimony in October of this year! Because she shares something so beautiful and true about how Our Lady helped her grow in holiness through her messages. Deb teaches us all how to go through difficult times, holding the hand of Our Lady. It is very important advice for us now in these most difficult times:
Hi Mary TV! My name is Debbie McEllistrem, and I am from Columbus, Ohio. I am here today to give my testimony about the Blessed Mother and how she intervened in my life during a very difficult time. I am giving this testimony, because in her most recent message (September 225, 2021) she asked us to give witness. So this is my story and my witness.
I’ll try to keep it short, and I will give you spoiler alerts. It is about my husband’s passing when he had cancer. And how the Blessed Mother came into my life and really helped me through that time.
In 2005 I met my husband. I had never been married before, and he had never been married before. Then in 2005 we got married, and in 2006 we had our daughter. Then when she was 5 my husband was diagnosed with cancer. And it was a rare, aggressive form of cancer called, “Double Hit Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma.” Double-Hit means it is two types of cancer at once. As if one type of cancer is not bad enough. He would go into the hospital for 3 to 5 days at a time and then come home for three weeks and then go back into the hospital for 3 to 5 days. He was diagnosed in June of 2012, when my daughter was 5, and he did that until December of 2012. Then they did a whole bunch of scans and gave us the results in January 2013.
I was praying a lot in 2012, asking the Lord for a miracle to heal my husband. I would tell him, “I’m not that good of a parent! You can’t leave me with our daughter, I need him in our life.” She was the apple of his eye. People come into this world with a vocation, and his was to be a father. He was an amazing father. He was wonderful to her.
So when we got the results of the first round of chemo therapy, it wasn’t good. They said, “It doesn’t look good and we will have to continue the chemo.” I had so much anxiety. You can’t even imagine. I would wake up in the middle of the night. I had never understood people who would pace, but then I understood them. I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t pray video game, I was just too distracted. I had all this energy at 2 or 3 in the morning, so I would pace back and forth downstairs on our main floor, and wring my hands. The anxiety level was through the roof. And I thought things like “what if he dies…what if this…what if that…”
You know when someone has cancer they tend to have other things go wrong as well. So he had had a stroke, and he started to have issues with his heart because the Chemo was very aggressive, because the cancer was very aggressive. So there was a lot for me to have anxiety over.
I would talk to my siblings and tell them what was going on but nothing seemed to help. My father was going through a bout of dementia and I didn’t want to burden my mother with more negativity. And so I wouldn’t call her or talk to her. So after about 2 or 3 weeks of just wringing my hands, two things happened.
First, my friend, Roseanne, told me: “When you have anxiety it is because you are looking into the future and you are trying to predict what is going to happen. But the truth is, Debbie, you are not the master of time. You do not know what is going to happen in the future. And the Lord doesn’t give you the grace for 6 months from now, He gives you the grace for right now! That is all He gives us the grace for – the grace for today. It even says that in the “Our Father”, our daily bread. It doesn’t say our bread for 6 months from now. So she said “You don’t get to predict that.”
The other thing that happened was I started to think, “What would my own mother, my earthly mother, Eleanor, do if she was in this situation?” And i thought, “She would pray!” And I thought, what was the biggest thing she did last? Well she had gone to Medjugorje in 1991. So I said, Ok that’s it, I am going to read the messages!
So starting from 1981 all the way through to 2013, if I was up in the middle of the night I would read them, one message, two messages, 25 messages for how ever long I was up I just read the Blessed Mother’s messages. And slowly, over time I started to have peace. What was revealed to me was…Even if i take your husband, I am not going to abandon you…I will always be there for you…
And a priest said to me once, “If the Lord takes your husband, then He Himself, will be that provider that your husband would have been had he been on earth with you. The Lord will be with you and take care of you and give you peace because He has taken your husband.”
And I think that after hearing this and reading the messages, over time…and I wasn’t even good at it…I’m not like (some people) where they think deep thoughts through the messages…I just read them. But I just kept on reading, and the anxiety went away. And I still got up in the middle of the night and I started reading more and more of the messages. It took probably 5 months to read all the messages. There are a lot of messages!
And I told my sister that I didn’t know what I would do now that I had read all the messages. Should I start over from the beginning? And my sister said: No you should watch Mary TV, because Denis and Cathy will give a message and then pray a decade of the Rosary, and then another message, and a decade…So I started watching Mary TV, and this was a long time ago, when Denis would count what episode we were on. And they would consecrate the internet to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and throw their Rosaries, and I would do it with them! I would do it in the middle of the night, and my husband would ask what that noise was!!!
There are two things I want to say:
The first thing is, and I believe it is the most important thing. I believe that there is a sixth stone. Our Blessed Mother talks about the 5 stones, right: The Bible, Prayer with the Heart, Confession, Fasting, and the Holy Eucharist. Those are the 5 stones. But there is a sixth stone. But she would never say there is a sixth stone, because the sixth stone is her messages. And if you read those messages and you have anxiety, they will give you peace. A peace that surpasses all understanding. The peace that you get when you read Sacred Scripture. The peace that you get when you have just received the Eucharist and you are alone with Jesus and you are just communing with Him. The peace that you have after you have come out of Confession. That peace will be yours if you just go through and read the messages!
And you don’t have to think deep thoughts. You don’t have to be Padre Pio, I am certainly not. But just to read them…I believe they are the sixth stone! The Blessed Mother would never say anything that would offend Our Lord. And she is with Him all the time, in Heaven. So whatever words she comes to give us, she gives them for our good. For our salvation!. She even says that, “I come to speak for your salvation.”
One of the messages that she gave us was: “If you can, grasp the Rosary…” And I say all these message, but i don’t really know them all that well. But I only know them because I watch Denis and Cathy, and these are the messages Denis quotes all the time…so “If you can grasp the Rosary! One Rosary alone can work miracles in the world and in your lives.” And so I try to always have a Rosary with me, and carry a Rosary with me to Mass. I tell my daughter that if i don’t have a Rosary with me, I don’t sleep well. So I always have the Rosary with me.
And what the Blessed Mother did, as my husband was going through his cancer – through his last treatments – they gave him 2 weeks notice before he passed. And I just had a profound sense of calm. And people would come up to me and say, “I don’t understand how you do it. I would be a mess, how do you do it?” I tell them that if the Lord puts you in the situation then the Lord will give you the grace to deal with it. He doesn’t give you the grace for 6 months from now…He gives you the grace for today. That’s it, that is all He does.
And so, slowly what the Blessed Mother did was that she started to build a net around me of people who would support me. So I would listen to Cathy and Denis, and my family would be a support, and my daughter was in kindergarten and 1st grade at the time, and the mothers would come to me at pick-up, and ask my how I was doing, and tell me they were praying for me. I had strangers stop me on the street and say things like, “My son works with you at the bank, and you don’t know me, but I and my whole church are praying for you and your husband.” Thousands of people prayed for us!!!!
One reason I want to give this testimony is because in her last message the Blessed Mother says: “Give witness.” But I want to speak to anyone out there whose loved one might have cancer. I want to tell you to put everything on the Blessed Mother. She is your best friend. She wants to be there for you. And she will make your life heaven, even when it is supposed to be awful.
Everyone tells you, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you are doing thing.'” She will build a safety net around you to help carry your through this difficult time. And it is that sixth stone that is her messages that will really help carry your through it.
So right as my husband was passing…he passed on August 4, 2014… the Feast of St. John Vianney. I have a devotion to the Blessed Mother, clearly. But my husband really loved priests! And the Blessed Mother has a devotion to priests. Someone told me, “I wish he had passed on August 5, because that is her birthday. Then someone else said, “She doesn’t care about her birthday. She cares about priests. You might be devoted to the Blessed Mother, but the Blessed Mother is devoted to priests. And that is when she took your husband. And I thought that was powerful and gave me a great amount of peace. To know that on the Feast of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, my husband was in Heaven!
So that was a Sunday and I went to Mass at 7:30 in the morning, and I was praying, “Lord let me know that he is with you. Somehow just tell me that he is with you” And I felt in my heart after communion to look up at the Tabernacle, (and my husband more than anything loved to laugh, and he was an amazing father, so he and Gabrielle would just laugh and joke around.) and as I looked at the Tabernacle I saw my husband just smiling, and laughing and saying everything is OK. It’s great now! You can’t wait to get here. It is so wonderful! So I always remember that. It was the Lord telling me that he is with Him now!! He is in Heaven, and he continues to look out for us!
So I wear my necklace and I wear his wedding ring all the time. It has been 8 years, almost 9 years, since he passed and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. But right after he passed, I was listening to the radio, and the net was still being built by the Blessed Mother around me, and someone came on and announced that they were going to go to Medjugorje! And I thought, I am not going to Medjugorje, I just lost my husband. And then she said: we are going on September 23rd! Which is the feast day of Padre Pio, and my birthday!!! So I thought, Ok I am going. I don’t even know what I am doing. I don’t know if the Blessed Mother is going to pull up a chair and say “Here is what I did and why I did it!” I just decided I am going.
So then I was watching Denis and Cathy, and they said: “We are going to Medjugorje, we will be there on September 23rd!! So if you want to meet us, we would love to meet you! So come out and meet us on September 23rd in Medjugorje!”
So we arrived, and I called Cathy and Denis, and I said, “I’m in Medjugorje!” And I went and met them at the Blessed Mother Statue in front of St. James. And it was like meeting my parents! The start hugging you right away. The don’t even know your name: What’s your name? Give me a hug!”
Then that same day, Vicka’s grandmother had a statue of the Blessed Mother, and and the statue started to glow. And I was able to get a picture of it. (You can see it on the video of Deb’s testimony!)
Her mantle is glowing, green. It was another gift from Our Lady, saying that she was caring for me. I am sure Padre Pio had something to do with it too!! It was the Blessed Mother saying, “I am here with you and I won’t leave you alone. I am still building the net around you and I still love you, and I still think of you as my daughter, and I still want to be close to you, and I am with you…I want you to know you can do anything because I am with you.”
That’s my testimony, and I wanted to thank her for all she has done for me, and for giving me my beautiful daughter who is so wonderful, and to just say thank you. So that’s my testimony!
June 25, 2018 “Dear children! This is the day that the Lord gave me to give Him thanks for each of you, for those who have converted and have accepted my messages and have set out on the way of conversion and holiness. Rejoice, little children, because God is merciful and loves you all with His immeasurable love and leads you to the way of salvation through my coming here. I love you all and give you my Son that He may give you peace. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
You can watch Deb’s testimony on our website, It is really powerful to hear her share such beautiful things from her heart!! I agree with her that the messages are the 6th stone!! They are a lifeline for us in these days. Here is the link:
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!