Welcome to the Catholic Newbie blog. My name is Lyn Mettler and I hope to share with you how I came from being a 30+ year non-believer to a Catholic convert. I was opposed to any sort of organized religion for most of my adult life but in 2011 had a dramatic change of heart. I became Catholic on Easter 2013, and I hope to daily share my thoughts, worries and hopes with you and others on the same journey.

Give God a Minute…

I wanted to share something that has helped me in stressful moments of life that I’ve learned in the last couple of years…

Give God a minute :).

This is something I repeat to myself quite often when I’ve prayed for something and am waiting for the answer.

My Experience

As I walked the journey of dementia with my mom, I found myself in seemingly emergency situations, one after another.

  • She lost the ability to take her medications properly and I didn’t live nearby. Who would give her her medications?
  • She suddenly was unsteady walking and falling down and we needed a walker. How would we get one ASAP through Medicaid?
  • We had to move her out of her apartment with tons of heavy furniture that I wanted to donate. Who would help me move it?
  • She needed to move to an assisted living facility ASAP, moving from one state to another. What facility to move her to and how could we do it as quickly as possible?

It was stressful to say the least.

But God really used this time in my life to teach me to better trust Him. I wish I could say I’ve got that down pat, but I don’t. I still have to constantly remind myself that God is in control, not me, and to give it over to Him.

I learned in each of these situations that if I presented my prayer to God, He did take care of it — just not immediately :).

At the beginning of this journey, she was in the hospital for about a week after almost overdosing on her mediations, as we didn’t realize she wasn’t taking them properly. I spent a lot of time in that hospital’s chapel, begging God for help for what to do.

I am an only child, having to make all the decisions, and had never been through anything like that before. I literally had no idea what I was doing but wanted to do everything I could for her.

I learned to “give God a minute.” I would pray to God, asking him for a solution or someone to help and I would leave it for a few days. Inevitably, a solution presented itself.

Today, I have to remind myself when I make a petition in a stressful moment, that the solution is not always there immediately.

Remember, God is outside of time (that one always blows my mind ;-)), and His ways are not our ways, so God’s time is different than our time. And very often, the solution comes in a way that we didn’t expect. It’s often BETTER than what we were envisioning.


Key Steps to “Giving God a Minute”

For me, there are some key steps to take in a stressful situation.

1. Give everything over to God as best you can. 

This is incredibly difficult. The best thing I’ve found to help with this is the Surrender Novena by Father Dolindo, who knew Padre Pio. There is the written version here, but I’ve found this musical, spoken version below to be the balm that I need. It’s had more than 2 million plays, so I’m not the only one it’s helped.

I highly encourage you to play it in the car, in headphones while you’re walking/cleaning, etc. It’s so beautiful. Fr. Dolindo, who has been named a Servant of God, says it was given to him by Jesus.

If you find yourself in despair and don’t know what to do, give this a listen. It will help – I promise.

2. Pray to God for your needs

Before making your petition, it’s always a good idea to start your prayer in praise and thanksgiving. Then, make your prayer to God, and as the Surrender Novena says, say “Jesus, you take care of it” and do your best to give it to Him to solve, letting go of your worry and desire to control the outcome.

I find that, for me, this often comes with a lot of tears. There’s some level of making peace with any outcome that I think you have to go through and that can be painful. But if you can push through that pain and make peace, that’s when God really starts to act and move.

Another go-to prayer for me is Mother Teresa’s “flying” novena of the Memorare to the Virgin Mary. It is said she prayed it 9 times in a row when she had an urgent need and inevitably the need would be met. It’s a great prayer to use in an emergency when you need quick assistance.

3. Give God a minute 🙂

Recognize that your prayer is not likely to be answered immediately, though sometimes it might be! But I’ve found it helps to have patience and start looking for an answer to your prayer to show up. For me, I always found strangely that it took a couple of days and then suddenly, the solution appeared.

Sometimes, I receive a consolation through a sign like the double rainbow above that appeared literally right over my neighborhood after taking a walk and mulling over a difficult situation. That was one of the most stunning signs from God I’ve ever received. It reminded me that God is with me, He is working in the situation and to trust and have patience.

4. Realize the solution might be different than you expected

God knows all and designs all. He knows the best way to bring good from this situation and how it needs to come about. Very often, a solution you never thought of will be the answer. I’ve found in my life that God comes up with things I never could have imagined that are WAY better than what I envisioned as the perfect answer.

5. If you don’t get an answer…

A wise friend recently told me “When you don’t hear, or don’t know, do nothing. Wait until you know that you know!”

And I’ve found that when I don’t get a solution, say, for example, a financial solution, very often God is turning me in a different direction. He is forcing me to stop an action, a business, a job, a way of life, so that He can redirect me a different way. These are things I would not stop doing on my own unless I no longer could.

So if He makes it so you, or someone in your life, can no longer do something or something just isn’t working, maybe it’s because He’s calling you to something different, a different solution – and that thing is usually going to be WAY better than what you’re doing now or what you thought was the answer. You just have to have the trust and patience to keep going and see what’s on the other side.

How do you find God works in your life in stressful situations?

What the Birds Can Teach Us About Worry

Do you ever stop to notice the birds in the busyness of your day? Do you notice how they seemingly happily hop from branch to branch, sounding loudly in a near constant song? We are so busy in our day-to-day life and so used to the singing of the birds that we hardly even notice them.

For most of my life I paid no attention to birds. They were simply in the background of my world like all the other things that are there that you never notice…

But while at a recent silent retreat, the abundance of birds throughout the abbey grounds captivated me.

These birds started their day by singing the “dawn chorus,” awakening me with windows wide all singing in concert to announce the start of the day. As I heard their singing, the bells of the abbey sounded to call us to prayer. I will forever associate birdsong with those bells and quiet prayer in the early morning hours.

At meals, we sat silently looking out the window at a garden filled with flowers and bird feeders where it seemed like the birds put on a show with constant fluttering about. I was amazed to watch the female cardinal feed the male (so much so I exclaimed aloud at a silent retreat ;-)) and marvel in the varieties and colors of the birds here in the hills of Kentucky – all coming to have a bite to eat in the lovely garden.

Birds Bible - iris Gethsemane

As I reflected on the birds, God reminded me of the verse in Matthew 6:25-33…

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

What a beautiful passage to meditate upon! Let’s consider it piece by piece…

Anxiety & Choice


The first thing that appears to me in this verse is the human tendency toward anxiety. I was watching a show recently where the priest commented that Adam became anxious before the fall. He became anxious as soon as he realized he had a choice.

We are filled with countless choices in our day – some small, some seemingly monumental. Should we eat here or there? Should we go on a diet? Should we switch career paths? What to wear today?

Many of us are filled with anxiety at all of these choices. Adam had one; we have too many to count.

Perhaps this is why in the Bible, we hear the phrase “Do not fear,” or here “Do not worry,” over and over and over again. And this passage addresses exactly that: fear and anxiety and the remedy.

To start with, perhaps God is telling us to let the little things go. Jesus says that life is more than food and drink and clothes. While some people legitimately do not have these basic needs met, those of us who do can drop the worry about these little things.

God Will Provide

There have been many times in my life where I’ve struggled financially and was filled with worry. But really, I had food, I had water, I had clothes. And I had a LOT more than that. It’s more the fear of a loss of a particular lifestyle – and that’s not the end of the world if you have to downgrade your lifestyle. No matter what, I would have food and clothes and water. And beyond that, I was adding unnecessary worry.

Next, Jesus says to look at the birds. They DO NOT WORRY. They just do their thing.

They are flying, building nests, eating and singing. They don’t have reasoning, as we do, so they are incapable of worry, but are they any the worse for it? No, we can learn a thing or two from the birds.

It’s important to note that He also says that they gather nothing into barns, meaning they are not saving up for a rainy day. They are trusting God to provide. Sometimes, I think God strips us of our physical and monetary goods to help us learn how to trust Him. We aren’t trusting in the bank account where we’ve saved up hundreds of thousands of dollars that if we die tonight will not help us, but in God to provide only what we need.

That’s not to say it’s a bad thing to be financially prudent, yet look at St. Francis and his brothers who begged for all they had. And God provided.

Worry Is Fruitless

This next portion is the real zinger in my opinion: Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Uh, no.

Can we emblazon that on our hearts, repeat it to ourselves every day? What good is worry?

While going through many trials and tribulations with my mother as we began to discover she had dementia, I learned a valuable lesson. Stop worrying.

I reminded myself that worrying about her, or whatever the problem was at the given moment, did not help her at all. Whatever the situation, it would either work out well or poorly and me worrying about it would not change that outcome. It would only create more suffering for me in the process. So as best I could, I tried to let go of worry and just deal with the outcome. Again and again, God provided in miraculous ways and in angels sent to help us on our path.

God Wants Us in THIS Moment and THIS Circumstance

Cross Gethsemane

Fr. Mike Schmitz led a great series of homilies during Lent in 2024 about a man named Walter Csizek, a priest who suffered terrible persecution at the hands of the Russians in the 20th century.

Csizek wrote several books about his experience and how he learned to trust God’s will no matter what was happening to him. He realized that God wanted him in EVERY circumstance that was happening, no matter how bad, and all he could do was his best to fulfill God’s will in that moment.

God does not ever will evil, but He does permit it insofar as he can bring good out of it, according to St. Thomas Aquinas.

So if I find myself in a stressful circumstance these days, I say to myself as much as needed, “God desires me to be in THIS circumstance in THIS moment.” It is His will whatever is happening and instead of trying to change it or fight it or argue against it, I need to just do the best I can with it. He WILL bring good from it – whether I see that good or not.

What’s the Remedy?

hymnal rosary

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given you besides.”

Pursue God. Go to mass. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Go to confession and receive absolution. Receive the Eucharist. Talk to God. Sit in adoration. Desire His will above all things. Give God control of your life.

Do the things that you know will keep you connected to the true vine, that will grow your relationship with God, that will feed you with the divine life. And then… trust.

To remind myself of the incredible lesson that the birds can teach us, I came home after the retreat and bought 2 bird feeders for our yard. Now, I enjoy watching the birds and have a constant reminder that they do not reap or sow, but God takes care of them. How much more will He do that for us?

How to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours and Why You Should

During the pandemic when we were all in lockdown, I took the opportunity to rediscover what things I wanted to add back into my life after much of it was taken away – and which things I wanted to leave behind. 

One of the biggest things I discovered during this period was praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Second to attending mass, praying the Liturgy of the Hours is the best way to plug yourself into the liturgy of the Church and strive toward holiness and sainthood.

I’ve tried to pray the Liturgy of the Hours at different times since converting in 2013, but it just didn’t “stick” and sadly, still didn’t stick entirely after lockdown ended.

The prayers felt dry and I felt like I was just “reading the words,” which is how another friend described to me her experience of praying the Liturgy of the Hours. 

But things have changed! Let me show you why as lay people, we are also called to this universal prayer of the Church, and perhaps if you’ve had that same “dry” experience, let me offer some tips for how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours so it can become more meaningful…


What Is the Liturgy of the Hours?

How to pray the Liturgy of the Hours

Though I’m now a 10-year and counting member of the Catholic Church, it was only about three years ago that I really began to understand what the Liturgy of the Hours truly is.

The Liturgy of the Hours is the “universal prayer” of the Church that takes place multiple times throughout the day, including 6 a.m., 9 a.m., Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight. Religious (sisters, brothers, monks and nuns) pray the full Liturgy of the Hours, much of it while gathered together, while priests and bishops are only called to pray a few of them throughout the day.

I’ve visited the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky where the monks actually get up to pray the middle-of-the-night prayer at 3:15 a.m. EVERY DAY. Can you imagine? That’s dedication!

This post contains affiliate links for recommended books, which I may earn a commission to help support this blog if you make a purchase after clicking through. Thanks for your support!

Vatican II calls lay people to also pray this most holy of liturgies that most closely connects the Church and is second only to the praying of the mass.

When you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you are praying with Catholics ALL OVER THE WORLD, including bishops, cardinals and the Pope. How very cool!

The Liturgy of the Hours is a collection of Psalms, Canticles (think Mary’s Magnificat and Zechariah’s canticle), Bible readings, hymns, prayers and even readings from the saints, fathers and Doctors of the Church. They typically take between 5 to 10 minutes to pray alone or could take as long as 20 or 30 minutes when they are sung and prayed in community.

You don’t have to pray the “hours” at the exact time, but somewhere near the intended time is good. But, for example, you could pray “Morning Prayer” (called Lauds) whenever you get up in the morning or after attending daily mass in the morning and “Evening Prayer” (called Vespers) after dinner or a few hours before going to bed. “Night Prayer” (Compline) is designed for you to pray it just before going to sleep and is shorter and easier to remember.

And don’t worry, if you’re praying alone, no need to sing the hymns (how would you know the melody anyway?). Just read them like a poem.


The Office of Readings

Latin Breviary

One facet of the Liturgy of the Hours that I did NOT understand is what’s called the “Office of Readings.” You can pray this set at ANY time of day.

This is one of my favorites, because one of my charisms is “learning,” and this one is FULL of learning. 

In fact, one of my theology professors recommended as theology students we pray this daily to ensure we are fully immersed in prayer as much as we are study.

In addition to the hymn, prayers and psalms, the Office of Readings gives you a MUCH longer Bible reading and follows a sequence, so you are reading parts of Job all together or the story of King David or the judges all together, etc.

Then it’s followed by my FAVORITE part: a writing from a saint or Doctor of the Church. These readings are true gems. They are readings most people would have no idea where to find by themselves and are SO thought-provoking and interesting. 

For example, on St. Thomas More’s feast day (he’s a martyr), we read a letter he wrote to his daughter while he was imprisoned and didn’t know if he would be killed for not adhering to the religion of the state. It’s one of my favorites.

He wrote…

“Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that may be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”

Isn’t that incredible to take a peek into a personal letter from a saint on his deathbed? Amazing!

There’s also plenty from St. Augustine, so wise in explaining our faith, as well as St. Gregory the Great, St. Bonaventure, St. Teresa of Avila and again, readings from saints on their feast days. 

If you want to grow in the knowledge of your faith and grow in prayer, this is an AWESOME way to do it.


Why Pray the Liturgy of the Hours NOW?

catholic liturgy rosary

I personally feel extremely called to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and I feel closer to God than ever.

I see much more clearly how he is guiding me and I see his directions for me everywhere. So much so that it almost seems ridiculous and indicates his unending generosity and tender care.

Vatican II says that praying the Liturgy of the Hours is arranged such that “the whole cycle of day and night can be consecrated through the praise of God.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, Chapter 4: 84) and that “the purpose of the [Divine Office] is to sanctify the day.”

We are CONSECRATING and SANCTIFYING our ENTIRE life, day and night, by praying the Liturgy of the Hours. No wonder it brings about a closeness to God!

We live in a challenging culture, which has disconnected itself from God, making each person his own god with the perceived ability to chart his own happiness and determine what’s right and wrong for himself. Yet, so many of these people certainly aren’t joyful or even happy.

I heard a great quote from a talk given at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame about St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), noting she “gave up happiness to seek joy.” I love that…

We know that we will only find our true joy in God, and it’s a joy that transcends through trials and tribulations whereas happiness is often aiming for an absence of suffering, which we know we cannot escape in this life. This joy manifests itself as a deep internal peace through trust in God and surety that He is leading us along the right path.

I personally feel evil at work in a deep and profound way with grave attacks on the Church, on the family, on our ability to gather as Christians to receive the Eucharist during the pandemic, to pray and just to connect, an essential part of the Church. 

Of course, God is working good through all of this, but I think we must take up our cross and join the battle, and the best way to do so is through prayer.

In fact prayer can effect much more than actions, according to some of the great teachers of our Church. In the book, “The Soul of the Apostolate” by Jean Baptiste Chautard, he says, “A short but fervent prayer will usually do more to bring about a conversion than long discussions or fine speeches.”

He goes on to say that a single burning prayer of St. Teresa of Avila converted 10,000 heretics and quotes a Chinese bishop as saying, “Ten Carmelite nuns praying will be of greater use to me than 20 missionaries preaching.”

I can’t resist sharing two more quotes from that book…

“It is their [meaning nuns, sisters, monks and brothers] secret but active love, which awakens the voice of mercy in every part of a world of sinners.”

“[A cloistered nun’s] fingers play upon the keyboard of divine forgiveness and of the eternal lights; this silent and lonely soul presides over the salvation of souls and the conquests of the Church.”

And I personally felt that on my silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani. It seems that these humble monks, who have been praying seven times a day for the last 150+ years, are holding the world together in their prayer.


Vatican II Invites the Laity to the Divine Office

Vatican II book

What first inspired me to start praying the Liturgy of the Hours again — and with regularity —  was a brilliant podcast from Brandon Vogt and Father Blake Britton. It’s called “How (and Why) to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours,” and it’s part of their awesome Burrowshire Podcast, which is sadly now retired, but you can still listen to the existing episodes. I highly recommend it!

They explain how the millennial and Gen Z generation, especially, though I’m part of Gen X and feel we are a part of that, as well, will be the ones to put the teachings of Vatican II in place in the world.

Vatican II sometimes is associated with the impression of “modernizing” the Church too much, but I recently read the documents, and it’s an incredibly easy read that in no way comes across that way to me. In fact, it’s a stunningly beautiful document. 

What Vatican II is doing is actually taking the Church back to its earliest days instead of the tradition that developed and that was in use before Vatican II. Vatican II is going back to an earlier tradition direct from the apostles and those who knew them. So it’s actually the opposite of “modernizing”.

I recommend reading Vatican II for yourself, as well, so you know where we’re called to take Catholicism into the future. It’s really like a mini-Cathechism.

Vatican II specifically calls the laity (non-priests and religious) to greater participation in the liturgy and life of the Church, including the Liturgy of the Hours.

Here are some of the things Vatican II (in the document Sancrosanctum Concilium) has to say about the Liturgy of the Hours (also called the Divine Office):

It is “the hymn which is sung in the realms above throughout every age” and that you are joining Jesus in “the divine singing together of a song of praise.” (Read my take on why praise should be a part of your prayer).

“The Divine Office is also a source of holiness and of nourishment for personal prayer insofar as it is the public prayer of the Church.” (Chapter 4: Paragraph 90)

“The Divine Office is the voice of the Church, of the whole mystical body, praising God in public.” (4:99)

“It is recommended that lay people also recite the Divine Office…” in addition to priests… as a group or alone. (4:100)


The Practicalities of How to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours

liturgy of the hours - book bible

As most things that you truly want to add into your life, it must become a habit. And habits are most easily developed — and kept — when you attach the activity to something else you’re already doing, part of your daily routine.

My Liturgy of the Hours schedule looks like this:

  • Morning prayer (Lauds) after waking up and having breakfast
  • Daily Mass at 9 a.m. – Office of Readings
  • Vespers on days when I go to Adoration or take an evening walk
  • Night prayer (Compline) before going to bed

I attach morning prayer to my morning routine, part of the activities I do before beginning my work day. If I go to morning mass, I’ll usually take time to read the Office of Readings there before mass begins.

Lastly, night prayer takes place before I go to bed. The trick here is to go to bed before I can barely keep my eyes open, when I’m more likely to skip praying night prayer.

It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. And if you miss one, no big deal. Just get back to it at your next scheduled time.

And after visiting the Abbey of Gethsemani where I heard the monks chant the Liturgy of the Hours multiple times a day, I kind of got the hang of the chant ;-). It’s really quite easy: one note for the first line and then the same note, but go down at the end of the second line and then rotate back and forth. I am no singer, but have been able to master this.

I find I enjoy it so much more if I chant the prayers. It really makes them come alive!

To get the hang of it or to “chant” along with someone else, you can listen to them on Spotify created every day by Paul Rose. It’s called “The Liturgy of the Hours: Sing the Hours” and is beautiful to listen to, plus you can learn some Latin, learn the chant and follow along with the words he is singing.

I think you’ll find, like me, that you miss it when you don’t pray it and that the fruits of this prayer are tremendous!


Universalis App

The Universalis App

In terms of where to find the Liturgy of the Hours so you can pray them, I advise using the Universalis app. It’s $10 for one year, but wonderful and it makes it super easy to pray. It also has some other nice features, as well, in addition to the Liturgy of the Hours, that encourages you to stay in tune with the Catholic Church’s Liturgical Calendar (like saints feast days, etc.).

I’ve also discovered that Universalis now has a wonderful podcast where its creator explains the feasts and celebrations of the Church over the coming week and explains the history and various aspects of the Liturgy of the Hours. Super informative! Plus, he has a British accent, and who doesn’t enjoy a good British accent ;-).

You can also opt for Word on Fire’s book version of the Divine Office (another name for the Liturgy of the Hours) which is a subscription that comes in the mail each month.

I personally don’t like the book version. I like to be able to do it on the go, while walking, at church, anywhere, which is easiest to do on my phone. Plus, if all I have to do is open an app, and click on the hour I want to pray, I’m much more likely to do it!

Laudate is a free app that has the Liturgy of the Hours as an option, but they don’t have the official translation that religious pray. I found I did not like their translation, and praying with Universalis instead made all the difference.

Universalis also has a free one-month trial via their app “Catholic Calendar,” so you can see if you really want to delve into this or not.

If you want to learn more about the Liturgy of the Hours in a very easy-to-read approachable manner, I highly recommend reading “The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours” by Daria Sockey.

You may also want to take a look at what the USCCB has to say about the Liturgy of the Hours.

Questions? Post them below!

Meeting Mary in the Mediterranean

Our Lady of Ta Pinu | Gozo | Marian Shrine

Credit ViewingMalta.com

Before my Catholic conversion began, there were several stand-out moments where I felt drawn to the faith. There were other moments, which at the time I did not recognize, but in which I now see God’s providence working!

I had a light bulb moment when writing a travel article about a beautiful Mediterranean island called Gozo I was blessed enough to visit for my work back in 2006.

I was not remotely interested in Catholicism at that time; however, this island, which is next to Malta in the Mediterranean, is very Catholic and filled from end to end with gorgeous Catholic churches.

We visited one in particular called Ta’ Pinu Basilica. At the time, I just remember going in the church and feeling an amazing sense of peace. I would describe it as the same peace I felt when I first went to mass of my own accord. I really had thought nothing of it until I was writing an article and went back to look at my notes.

Gozo Catholic Church, Basilica of Ta Pinu

Turns out, this church is a Shrine to Mary and is built where two villagers said they heard the voice of Our Lady. Many miracles are said to have happened to people who visited and prayed there.

Here is the story, according to the shrine’s website:

On the 22nd June 1883, Karmela Grima a forty-five year-old spinster and great devotee of the Blessed Virgin, heard a call, while passing by the chapel on her return home from the fields which surrounded the chapel. “Come, come,” she heard a woman’s voice say. She was confused and frightened, and began to run away from the place. The voice called again, and this time Karmela realised that the voice was coming from within the chapel. She went inside and said her usual prayers. The voice which had come from the image of the Blessed Virgin asked her to recite three Ave Marias in honour of the three days Her body remained in the tomb before Assumption to Heaven.

Karmela did as the voice asked and went on her way. Shortly afterwards, Karmela fell ill and remained confined to her bed for more than a year. After this time, Karmela revealed her secret to a friend, Francesco Portelli, who in turn told her that about the same time he also heard a woman’s voice asking him to pray from within the chapel. Shortly after this mysterious call, Francesco’s mother was miraculously healed by the intercession of Our Lady of Ta` Pinu. The lonely chapel became a place of pilgrimage for many people on the island and beyond.

St. Pope John Paul II even visited the shrine in 1990, praying in the Chapel, celebrating mass and decorating an image of Our Lady with five golden stars.

Pope Benedict XVI also mentioned Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu on a visit to Malta in 2010.

I am convinced this is a VERY special place that I had no idea of at the time. I walked where St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI prayed and celebrated mass!

Ta Pinu - Gozo Church

So it left me to wonder if perhaps some heavenly grace and prayers from our Mother Mary and St. Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005, were granted me upon that visit.

It truly was not long thereafter, perhaps not even a year, that I began to feel that calling to go to the Catholic Church.

Ta Pinu Church Gozo Basilica

Mother Mary, you are amazing and I thank you for your blessings! St. Pope John Paul II, pray for us!

Our Lady of Ta Pinu Gozo, Marian Shrine

To read more of my travel articles, head over to my travel site, FamiliesTravelFree.com.

Read More…