They have been to Rome to be blessed by Pope John Paul II
They were taken by 2 Very Happy New Catholics in 2004
Their names? Tom age 77 and Terry age 71
|Hoppy and Mary Mother of GOD|
Here is the story:
Well, of course, a Convert would want a small Blessed Virgin Mary - Mother of GOD - or maybe 10 - you just do want them because suddenly you realize how wonderful it is to have this great new Faith and Truth!
You want everything.You want Rosaries wherever you are, you want every Catholic book known to man, you want medals on a chain, a chain so loaded with medals that you could not swim, as you would drown from the weight of the medals of the Saints. I can see why some people would think you had lost it!
The YOU, by the way, is me.
But then, again, my husband was a bit much, too. He had been sick with the flu the winter before we came into Full Communion and our Granddaughter, Brooke Anne, had let her Grandfather borrow her prayer bear. Tom came home and said, "Brooke showed me how to pray with her bear." He showed me how the bear was kneeling and his hands were in prayer mode. Tom faithfully slept with the prayer bear, smiling as he thought of Brooke Anne and her instructions . . . but he did get better.
One morning Tom came down and asked if I could wash Brooke Anne's bear as he was well now and wanted to return it. I did and he did return it.
Soon after, Brooke presented her Grandfather with his own prayer bear named "Hope" and a great friendship, because of Brooke Anne, grew between this older man and a bear he called Hoppy. The bear was on his pillow every night. In the meantime, on the other side of the bed, we had this older woman, excited in her faith, with a hand clutching her Mary Mommy and saying every morning how warm her hand was as the Blessed Mary Doll got very hot during the night.
So it was soon time to visit Rome. We were excited as, although we had been to Rome 5 times before, we had never been there as Catholics. We knew all the places a Catholic went but we had been sound Protestants. We were going to be staying in a Convent, Casa di Santa Brigida. I had called and spoken with them and knew it was going to be wonderful and it really was! As we packed I, of course, took my Blessed Mary and asked Tom if he planned to take Hoppy; of course, this 77 (just) year old man said, "Certainly!" Why did I ask?
So off we went - first to Paris to see our son and his wonderful family. Great experience there as the Catholic Church, almost directly across the street from them, opened for the first time since WWII and was only opened the one night we were there. The Bishop celebrated the Mass. We were swooning over GOD making everything happen, and we felt for sure it was all just for us.
Then off to Rome! The nuns at St Brigida loved us - we were old and very new Catholics and they must have hummed about us, as everyone loved on us. They could not do enough for us. We had a corner room with wonderful air and a fountain. We loved everything about the convent. Every night Hoppy went to bed with Tom and Mommy Mary went to bed with me. Every morning the nuns came and made everything bright and new for us, arranged Hoppy and Mommy Mary for us on our pillows as they made the beds. As the week went on we bought some tiny little nuns - all dressed in St. Brigida dress - and they arranged them in little lines every morning without fail. They played like children in our room. By the way, it is so wonderful there they say, you don't have to worry about jewelry or money - just leave it out. Nothing is ever taken. We did just that.
One morning Tom awakened with a cold. I went down alone for breakfast. When told Tom would not be down because he had a cold, the Mother Superior raced to our table, asked about him and then, when I went up, Tom was out of bed, wrapped in warm blankets, sitting in a chair, eating and drinking and 3 nuns were fussing over him. Mother Superior got a doctor who was also staying at St. Brigida, who had met Tom and knew his medications for heart. The doctor came to our room, said he was going with me and the Mother Superior across the courtyard to get the proper medications for Tom. Off we went, marching across the courtyard - single file, led by Mother Superior, followed by the doctor and I came walking close behind them. It was about 2 blocks in length. We had the proper language, the proper meds and the right Mother Superior, count on that. Everything was done properly and Tom? Well he was well by dinner time and came down for dinner. Don't ask - but it had to be the prayer of the nuns and the love of all.
Back to Hoppy and Mommy Mary - we took them to the Wednesday Audience with the Pope. Of course we did! We also took all of my medals that I had brought from California to Rome. We had a few Rosaries we both had purchased as gifts. There is a time in the audience when they say the Pope will bless any "religious" object you have, so UP our arms went with Hoppy, Mary and bags of other things - medals and rosaries. We were sitting by a little boy who was shy but when he found Tom, this wonderful older man, was going to get his 'prayer bear' blessed - he raised his bear! It was a wonderful time.
So we returned home to California - fully blessed. Tom had his Hoppy in the bed, until the day he left us, for a much better place, 2 years later. For a short time, Tom was in the hospital after a fall and would not let me bring Hoppy, as he was concerned someone might "take" him. When he returned home he was happy to see Hoppy. It was our game. It was a game just for the two of us; we just loved being young and fun and very loving. They were good days!
So you see them here? Hoppy holds Mary, Mother of GOD for me during the day. They both sleep with me now that Tom is gone. I might have put him in the grave with Tom but the story is better to keep him here. The other day, my daughter in love was here and saw them on my bed. Out came her iPhone camera - click - a picture - she mailed it to me in a letter.
I thought you might like to see a blessed bear and doll . . . pretty worn now, but very loved by me, as I live alone. Blessed Mary used to be all blue but she has been held many nights. Hoppy needs a shower but he is a happy Hoppy. It is good to be a kid again. You might like to try it if you have not done so recently.
Matthew 18:1* At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, 3* and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.