Dawn: CONVERSION STORY
TWO CHILDREN AND A MIRACLE
Audrey Santo is a teenager who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts and has been in a coma, since falling into the family swimming pool when she was three years old. When the doctors told Audrey’s mother to put the child in an institution she refused and brought her home. Given little hope by the medical profession, Linda Santo embarked on a journey of faith with Audrey and her nurse, to a place half way around the world, called Medjugorje. Since 1981 the Blessed Mother has reportedly been appearing to six young visionaries with a call to prayer, penance, faith, fasting and peace. The visionaries are given personal messages, as well as messages for the world on the 25th of the month and each one will have received ten secrets when the apparitions stop. Many miracles and conversions have been reported. Linda Santo sought a healing for Audrey and prayed faithfully and ferverently for it. God hears and answers all prayer according to His Will and Linda’s prayer would be answered but not in the way she might have imagined. Audrey, in fact, came back from Medjugorje in virtually the same state she left in. Most peoples faith would be shaken, Linda’s grew and her prayers intensified! St Agustine said, “Faith is believing in what we do not see and the reward of faith is “seeing” what we believe. Heaven was about to pay a visit to the Santo home. Shortly after returning from Medjugorje, Statues and icons began weeping tears of oil and blood. The first image to weep was Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the America’s! Soon another unusual phenomena occurred when a consecrated host began to bleed. There are now four bleeding hosts on the premises and it is the only place in the world where there are four consecrated bleeding hosts! Pilgrims began coming in the spirit of faith and prayer and soon there were claims of healings and conversions. Little Audrey was looked upon as a Victim Soul, taking on suffering and uniting it to Christ’s suffering to help heal a broken humanity. Victim souls are God’s chosen ones. They have free will but chose to do God’s will. They are completely aware of their purpose and posses Divine understanding. I knew almost nothing about these suffering servants but that changed on April 2nd 1997.
The year before that date, my granddaughter, Katelin Amanda McQuaid, was born with severe handicaps. She was unable to breathe or eat on her own, two simple things we all take for granted. The doctors told us she would be blind by the time she was ten and she had severe hearing loss. She was a deep purple when she was born and because of a lack of oxygen, brain damage was suspected. She had many surgeries and eventually would have a trache, a feeding tube, a tube in her intestines and a tube directly into her tiny heart. Katelin was in intensive care for two months and when she came home she was on machines and had round the clock nursing. She eventually had braces on her legs and twice a year she was taken on a Mercy Flight to Boston Clinic where they could not find answers to her many problems. I went over to my daughters almost every day to help and one day I found her and my son-in-law in tears. I asked what was wrong and I heard words noone should ever have to hear! My daughter said they had been to see the doctor and were told Katelin may have the trache and feeding tube for the rest of her life! Then she looked at me and said “Mom, my little girl is never going to dance, or go to the Prom, or get married and have kids of her own! Look at her mom, what kind of life will she have?” Every time I tell that part of the story I am transported back to that moment and I can feel my daughters hot tears on my cheek, and smell her hair and hear those machines; it is the hardest part for me to tell. I shook my daughter and told her not to talk like that and then I walked out, telling her I wouldn’t listen to talk like that! I left because I didn’t want her to see me cry and as I drove home I was crying so hard I pulled over on John James Parkway. It was there in my car I made a promise to the Lord. I told Him if He would heal Katelin I would make it known and I would work for Him. I asked to be a “Fisherman” and I would bring many people to Him in whatever “net” He provided. Next I vowed to take Katelin to Medjugorje. How God must smile at “Our” plans! Medugorje proved to be impossible but on Good Friday of 1997 my Dad called telling me to come over quickly to see the EWTN tape on Little Audrey Santo. After seeing it I knew immediately this was the place I had to go and it did not escape me that Audrey had a Medugorje connection. We made our plans and on April 1st a Nor’easter hit closing down most travel and our Flight was cancelled. My daughter called in a panic and I told her not to worry I would drive there! Something was calling me to go but it is not a wise decision to drive into a blizzard and yet that is exactly what I did. I had a child-like, expectant faith and I was going in search of the Divine Healer. I found Him at the bedside of another little girl who laid in a coma and I will never forget what happened to us there. I dropped Lisa and Katelin off at Audrey’s while I went to park my car and wait for a ride to her home. Mrs. Santo invited Lisa and Katelin into Audrey’s room along with a few priests and two nuns probably because she saw how sick Katelin was. Lisa had put a trache and feeding tube in a cabbage patch doll to show what Audrey and Katelin shared in common and presented it to Audrey. Katelin crawled on the bed and hugged Audrey and Audrey opened her eyes. The Priest picked Katelin up and blessed her with the tears that were pouring forth from a statue of the Blessed Mother. When my ride dropped me off I walked into the little one car garage converted into a chapel and right into another world! There were about 20-25 statues weeping blood and oil and human nature got the best of me as I picked one up looking for a reasonable explanation finding none! The priests came in and said a beautiful Mass for the 50 people who were there. During the Mass when the ciborium was brought out the hosts were suddenly covered with the miraculous oil and that is how we received them during communion. After Mass the bleeding hosts were brought out to venerate as I approached and looked up the host was bleeding, what appeared to be fresh blood! That was the defining moment when I said, “Oh my God, everything they tell us is true! They, being the Catholic Church and the fullness of the Real Presence changed my heart forever. Being like Thomas, I found myself saying his words “My Lord and my God!” What a gift but there was more to come! After we got home, Katelins trips to the hospital lessened and during the years the Pope designated to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit she was completely healed! She sees. She hears. Gone are the tubes in her stomach, her intestines, and her heart and off came the braces from her legs. Perhaps the greatest miracle of all is Katelin was recently tested, not only is she age appropriate---she is above and received two awards for outstanding achievements this year! She has been in dancing school and in gymnastics! She will never be a Prima Ballerina or on the Olympic team. Ask me if I care! She knows the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory be and those things will serve her far better in this life and the next! Her story has been on television, in the Catholic Paper and First Sunday, on Catholic Radio and in a book called “Memoir of a Miracle.” I am living my promise to God writing, doing Presentations and leading a prayer group known as “The Ladies of the Lord.” We pray for Priests, Peace and personal petitions and promote Eucharistic Adoration, sacramentals, the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. I see our story this way: Katelin is the bait, I am the hook, Our Lady is the line, and Our Lord is the Fisherman! Sometimes what we end up treasuring most in life is something we may never have chosen! In a humble little house in Worcester Massachusetts lies a little girl in a coma who is a reminder that God exists and Miracles do happen you don’t need an open mind just an open heart!
Dawn Curazzato 689-6906