Franny’s Poor Angel!

It is taught by the Catholic Church that we all are given a guardian angel the moment we are conceived in the womb and created by

guardian angelOur Lord.  Hebrews 1:14: “What are the angels then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by Him to help those who are to receive salvation.”  Since it is God’s plan that we are all called to be with Him in eternity, it stands to reason that we all are given this angel as a guide throughout life.

According to the book, Get Us Out of Here, by Nicky Eltz, some of us have more than one angel.  Eltz spent quite a bit of time interviewing Marie Simms, an Austrian Mystic.  Marie claimed to have been visited by poor souls in Purgatory for much of her life. (She died in 2004)  The book is fascinating.  According to Marie all of us have at least one angel.  Doctors and Religious have two guardian angels.  These angels stay with us on earth and in Purgatory until we make it into Heaven.

When I read Marie’s testimony of Doctors having two angels; I immediately thought of my sister-in-law who is a Doctor.  I called her mom and told her that her daughter had two guardian angels.  She was not surprised and said she had known that for quite some time.  When asked to explain, she told me that when my sister-in-law was very little she told her mother that she had two angels.  She even knew their names, Meredith and David!

I too was not surprised.  I have always heard that little children often times can see and sometimes communicate with guardian angels.  In rare cases adults, such as Padre Pio, have also had the ability to communicate with an angel.

That got me wondering about my sister, Franny’s, angel.

I am ten years older than Franny, so I witnessed her grow up.  At a very young age, Franny had a very real but very imagined friend.  I would sit on my bed doing homework and listen to her have very involved conversations with this invisible girl – I cannot remember her name.  It got to the point where I asked my mother if something was wrong with Franny “in the head.”  My mother told me lots of kids have imaginary friends and she would grow out of it.  I remember thinking that my mother had to be wrong.  There was no way any “normal” child could have such lengthy discussions with an imaginary friend.

Now I wonder if that could possibly have been her angel.

Now let me tell you about Franny.  She was accident prone, a free-spirit, and definitely T-R-O-U-B-L-E!  I have always felt sorry for my parents for the stress raising Franny must have caused; but now that I think about it, her angel must need a serious vacation!

I witnessed her guardian angel in action.  She could barely walk and was standing beside the kitchen cabinet one day while my mom was fixing dinner.  I was sitting on the floor trying to get her attention.  Suddenly my mom dropped a knife.  I had a clear view of a knife barreling straight down, sharp side down, heading for my sister Franny’s head.  All of this occurred in the blink of an eye.  I clearly witnessed the knife make a sharp left turn and fall on the floor beside my sister.  I was shocked.  I knew enough about physics to know that nothing could have made the knife turn like that.  I jumped up and quickly told my mother what I had just witnessed.  My mom saw God’s Hand in everything and she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Must have been her guardian angel.”  I thought there was no other explanation.

By the time Franny was two she had made multiple trips to the emergency room.  There was a burn from a floor furnace, stiches on the lips from a fall while climbing on a high chair…

My favorite story of all is the quarter.  At the age of seven, Franny was home from school due to having pneumonia.  I guess she was bored and decided to fling a quarter in the air and try to catch it with her mouth.  She was really good at this.  In fact she was so good that the quarter eventually went straight down into her throat!  I was in my room and could hear a huge commotion in the kitchen.  When I entered I saw my dad holding Franny upside down while hitting her back.  Franny was red and choking.  My mother – the nurse- was frantic and screaming.  My dad yelled at my mom to grab the car keys. (The hospital was only about two miles away).  My frantic mother yelled that she did not know where her keys were and ran into her room to find them.  I could see my car keys.  I grabbed them and my dad and I took off for the hospital.  My dad was driving and Franny was sitting on my lap.  Lo and behold, as soon as she was upright again, she swallowed that quarter.

We drove up to the emergency room and my dad instructed me to take my sister inside and inform the nurse that she has pneumonia and had swallowed a quarter.  I was mortified and asked him why he was not going in.  He calmly stated that he left in such a hurry, he did not put any shoes on his feet.  I brought my sister who was breathing but still sobbing, into the emergency room.  My dad left to get shoes.

I told the nurse what happened.  She began filling out paperwork.  She looked at Franny crying and asked her what was wrong.  Franny told her that her back was hurting.  The nurse said, “That is probably from the pneumonia, honey.”  Franny immediately set her straight, “No, it hurts because my dad was hitting it!”  Again, I was mortified.  The nurse just laughed.  She took Franny get an X-ray.

At that moment a mad woman came barreling in the emergency room driveway in a red station wagon.  I knew the car and I knew the woman – it was mother!  Poor thing, she had no idea if her child was alive or dead!  She walked in just in time to see Franny coming out of X-ray and then a clear picture of a shiny quarter already settled in her stomach.

That quarter stayed in Franny for six months.  When scans showed it could not be passed and was in danger of blocking her intestines, it had to be surgically removed.   My mom called it her thousand dollar quarter!

Over the years there have been many more Franny tales and adventures.  She is married now and has two beautiful children.  Of course she still makes trips to the emergency room, recently breaking her foot!

I just have to laugh and say “Franny’s Poor Angel!”


C’est Bon,




I’m a Soul Woman

An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory

An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was born on All Souls’ Day, (November 2nd).  This has led to a curiosity with regard to souls and purgatory.

My parents are in their seventies.  I have very early memories of seeing my parents cleaning and painting tombs of loved ones in preparation of All Souls’ Day.  To this day, even though my parents are no longer young and agile, they continue their loving care of the graves of departed family members.  Praying and attending mass for deceased family members was the normal custom of my family and my local community.

As a child, the thought of purgatory was scary.  I knew witches, goblins, and vampires were creations of imagination; however, purgatory was a real and scary place.  A place people went to suffer for sins committed.  A place for “purging”.

As an adult, purgatory still seemed scary.  Jesus seems so loving and forgiving in the Good Book; it did not seem possible that purgatory was part of His plan.

Then I read Sister Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.  Jesus told Sister Faustina, “You are the secretary of My mercy; I have chosen you for that office in this and the next life.”  The Diary was kept the last four years of her life.  She died in 1938 after filling several notebooks of her divine revelations, visits from poor souls in purgatory, and the gift of the Divine Mercy Chaplet which was dictated by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  It was through this Diary that I finally understood the meaning of Redemptive Suffering and the depth of Our Lord’s Mercy.

Recently I have read another great book.  “Get Us Out of Here“, by NIcky Eltz is a captivating interview with Maria Simma, an Austrian mystic.  Ms. Simma, who passed away in 2004, was visited most of her life by holy souls from purgatory.  She gives a personal account of details the souls have provided her regarding church traditions, child rearing, guardian angels,….I could not put the book down!  Very fascinating to me was the fact that the souls begged for prayers, masses, and for generations to care for their tombs of beloved family members.

I am no longer scared of purgatory.  I want to enter God’s Kingdom clean and worthy.  I think of it as entering a very clean, immaculate house.  If I have trampled in the mud, I will want to hose off my shoes and wipe them clean.  It is a sign of respect for the house I am entering.

And besides, if I end up in purgatory, the next stop is Heaven!

In the meantime, I have scheduled masses for my loved ones who have passed away.  I pray for the souls in purgatory every day.  And I plan on taking over mom and dad’s tomb duties this year.  It is time for the next generation to remind the young ones never to forget those who have passed on – they may need our prayers!

1 John 2:16-17

“If you see your brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray to God, who will give him life.  This applies to those whose sins do not lead to death.  But there is sin which leads to death, and I do not say that you should pray to God about that.”


C’est Bon