This is not a conversion story as such... but is the story of how God showed Himself in my family.
I grew up in a household where violence was an ever-present threat, but never felt alone or scared… and not because I was stronger than all the other children, but because the Virgin Mary was there with me from the day I was born. I always knew it!
I can remember incredible scenes (I must have been 3 or 4yrs old), and although what I saw was unpleasant, I had hope… The hope that only Christ can give; I knew things would be better one day, I didn’t know how or when… but I knew!
I remember drawing Jesus and the Virgin Mary and writing “ Non ti preoccupare Mamma, la Madonnina e Gesu’ ti vogliono bene” “ Don’t worry Mum, The Virgin Mary and Jesus love you”. And I prayed and prayed… I don’t remember what I prayed for… but I remember kneeling down next to my bed, just like the two children I could see in the picture that hung above my bed.
God gave me loving Grandparents and an amazing Granddad through whom I experienced the authority of the father, the love, the kindness and the protection… qualities that come from Him.
My sister was born in 1985, but not much changed.
In 1987 things were quite bad and my parents separated for some time (I can’t remember how long for… it might have been weeks, it felt like months…), so we moved out and lived with my Grandparents.
Then… our life was transformed by a message… the good news of the Gospel! Our Parish Priest, and very good friend of the family, told my dad something AMAZING! That God loved him! That regardless of what his life had been like till then, the guilt and sins he was carrying … that God loved him! That He had sent His only Son so that my dad’s heart (and ours) could change! That if he surrendered to this powerful LOVE he would be saved, his family would be saved. I guess at this stage of his life, my dad had nothing to lose but to try. He was alone. And it was in this loneliness that he was able to see the face of Christ!
It was a wonder to behold, God changed the life of a man that was lost! I have had a little taste of the Resurrection of HIS Victory over Death!!!
With His new life and His presence among us, we were now a family that prayed together, that went to church together, that loved spending time together…
This is how I met Christ! I met Him in my family, through my dad! And although my dad is no saint and is a very fragile man … if it hadn’t been for his weakness, I would not have seen Christ so clearly coming into my life, creating such beauty, such order, such love.