found at http://www.holysouls.com/rosarystories.htm
It was September 8, the day the church celebrates Our Lady’s birthday. I had no sooner arrived home from an out-of-town retreat when I received a phone call from my husband Tom requesting that I come down to the hospital right away. Upon arrival at the hospital, Tom broke the news to me that our son Brian was in surgery to repair damage he had done when he accidentally shot himself in the leg and severed a major artery. Tom was there when they brought him in, and his description of Brian was that he looked “ like a casualty victim from Viet Nam.” Then he handed me a bank envelope and said, “Here is Brian’s rosary. It is covered with mud and Brian wants to leave it that way.” I went to the chapel in the hospital and knelt in front of the Tabernacle and prayed countless rosaries until I thought it was time for Brian to come out of surgery. When it was time for us to see Brian, I could not believe my eyes. After Tom’s description, I expected the worst. Instead, I found Brian sitting up and talking and joking with the nurses. He even requested to watch the video “Young Guns!”
During the days that followed, Brian shared his experience with me. Brian told me that early on the morning of the 8th, he had a strange premonition that something was going to happen to him that day. Since it was a beautiful day, he decided to spend some time in the woods nearby. As he headed towards the woods though, he felt the urge to turn around and go back home to get the wooden rosary he had brought from Medjugorje last summer.
When Brian got to the woods he did some target shooting, and as he was putting his gun into his holster, his gun accidentally went off and hit him in the upper right thigh. Brian immediately blacked out, and when he came to, he could not hear or see anything for a time. When he realized what had happened, he yelled for help. He did not recall having seen anyone else in the woods that day though. Brian realized very quickly that he could not walk, so he tried to hop on his other leg. Each time he would try to stand up though, he would fall down again. Weakened from the loss of blood, he fell to the ground and began crawling on his belly It was not long before he noticed he was bleeding so profusely that his jeans looked like they could be used for a Santa Claus suit in December. They weighed him down so much from the blood and the mud he was crawling in, that he eventually removed them so he could continue to move. Brian then removed his shirt and tried to make a tourniquet with it, but it was not successful because his leg had become so swollen. Soon Brian became dehydrated, so he crawled to the mud puddles and sipped the water out of them. He said that he had to stick his lips down into the puddles because of the layers of gas and oil from the ATV’s that formed a film on top of the puddles. He said that by that point, even the stagnant mosquito-infested water in the mud puddles tasted good. During this time Brian’s hearing began to fade in and out, and his breathing became labored. As he continued to crawl from mud puddle to mud puddle, he screamed for help, but there seemed not to be another soul in the woods that day. This went on for 21/2 to 3 hours.
Before Brian discarded his jeans, he took out of the pocket his wooden rosary from Medjugorje. He wrapped it around the fingers of his left hand, and crawled to the next puddle. As he lay on his back in the puddle he relaxed and began to pray the Rosary. Brian said that before he found his rosary he was very angry, but as he began to pray the Rosary he relaxed and came to terms with the idea that he might not make it out of the woods. Dragging himself from puddle to puddle, he continued to pray the Rosary. Finally he reached what looked to be the last puddle. In front of him was a big hill. He made himself as comfortable as possible, and prepared to die. He closed his eyes as he prayed in his Rosary for God to send him an angel to rescue him, or if that was not God’s plan, then to let him die peacefully. “Hail Mary, full of grace…” Then he heard the noise of motors! With what little strength he had left after having crawled approximately 500 yards, he yelled for help. Two men on ATV’s heard his cries and came over and asked him what was wrong. By this point, he was not bleeding any more because he was virtually out of blood. He told them that he had been shot. Then they asked what was in his hand. Barely able to breathe, much less speak, he answered, “My rosary.” The men helped him onto one of the 4-wheelers for the half-hour ride to the nearest house, where they called 911.
Brian’s surgery was successful. Amazingly, the bullet had exited the leg through the back and had not done any damage to the bone, surrounding muscle or major nerve. The next day when the policeman came to the hospital, he told us how very lucky Brian was. He said that if the men on the ATV’s had not picked Brian up when they did, he would not have survived. If they had gone for help and then come back, it would have been too late. He had not much more than 20 minutes left.
When the policeman gave us the names of the men on the 4-wheelers, we called them right away to thank them. Eric Swindlehurst and Christopher Firment both humbly admitted that it was God who saved Brian, that they had just been in the right place at the right time. Both men told us that they had not been planning on going 4-wheeling that day, that it was a spur of the moment decision. They also told us that they almost never go to that part of the woods, and had not been there in months. What is even more amazing is that even with their helmets on they were able to hear Brian’s cries for help over their loud motors. And where they found Brian was the exact opposite direction of the way Brian had intended to go. Brian had been so disoriented, as he faded in and out of consciousness, that he headed the wrong direction in the woods he had been so familiar with since he was a child. Brian was also surprised that the men were able to see him at all because his whole body except for his head was immersed in the deep puddle.
Several months later, as I was telling this story, a nurse asked me how much damage Brian sustained. She was surprised when I told her that he had no damage at all. She said that because of the large loss of blood over a long period of time he should have had kidney, liver, and/or brain damage. He could have lost his leg and he could have gotten a terrible infection from the stagnant water. Other medical personnel I have spoken with agreed. Brian was back at his college classes a week and a half later and began jogging again the following month. Brian even made the Dean’s List that semester for the first time! Our Lady of Medjugorje said, “The Rosary alone can already work miracles in the world and in your lives.” (1/25/91)
There is a footnote to this story, which is just as miraculous as the story itself. The day after Brian was rescued, my husband, who is a U.S. Army Reserve Criminal Investigator, went down into the woods to follow the path where Brian crawled, and took photographs. As he was showing the photos at the hospital, someone noticed that in the mud where Brian crawled with his rosary was an image of Mary! Mary is holding a rosary. Then we noticed another image, which we later concluded was Joseph because Baby Jesus is in the manger near Mary. Several days later as I was showing someone the photo, I happened to have it turned the opposite way, and a lady noticed an image of Jesus’ Crucifixion! Coincidentally this lady’s last name is “Cross” and the day she noticed it was Sept. 14, the feast of the Exultation of the Cross!
During the weeks that followed people began asking me for copies of the miraculous photo. When I had reprints made, I accidentally checked off “ 4 x 7” instead of “4 x 6” and I was surprised to find another image which we did not see at first. Above the cross is a leaf that is shaped exactly like a dove. It took my breath away, as it occurred to me that in the mud we had images from the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, and it was amazing that we found them in that same order. We saw the Holy Family first, then the Crucifixion, and then the Holy Spirit.
Two months later I was sharing this story with a group of people and a man turned the photo sideways and said, “Look at the Lamb!” The Lamb is formed from the images of Mary and Baby Jesus. I could not believe we did not see this in the first place. And what does this have to do with the Rosary? Easy – the Rosary is the story of our salvation, the story of the Gospel, the story of Jesus, the Lamb of God. The Rosary connects us to Jesus and Mary, as we meditate on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
As if that were not enough, a few months later, a 16 year-old student of mine noticed what he described as an “evil face” at the foot of the cross. The young man said that his interpretation was that Jesus is crushing the devil by His death on the cross. And as we pray the Rosary we are crushing the devil also.
Coincidentally, the article about Brian’s rescue, and the disclosure that he was praying the Rosary when the men found him, appeared in our local paper on the morning of September 11, 2001. At Fatima Our Lady said, "Let the people continue to say the Rosary every day to obtain the end of the war." She wants us to pray the Rosary every day. In 1985, Our Lady said, “Tell everyone to pray it,” (3/18/85) and “ Put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hands, you will conquer.” (8/8/85) Brian’s story is proof of that miracles can, indeed, be brought about by praying the Rosary.
You are at Spirit-Digest.com