Please let my husband stop and smell the roses.
Let him appreciate what he already has.
February 4, 1998
Archbishop of Atlanta
Most Reverend John F. Donoghue
680 West Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Dear Father Donoghue,
I am writing this letter to let you know that I have had a miraculous conversion last September 1997 at the apparition site in Conyers, GA by the visionary Nancy Fowler.
It all started back in 1996, when my mother-in-law came to visit us in Norcross, GA. My mother-in-law wanted to go visit the Monastery in Conyers (she was interested in obtaining information on the retreats). Well, my wife got directions on how to get there but when we took the exit no. 42 off the I20, we made a wrong turn. Instead of taking a right, we took a left and ended up at the apparition site where the visionary Nancy Fowler lives.
We visited the info-center and the apparition room. I remember at the time, they used to have the picture books that the Pilgrims had taken. Some of the pictures were incredible, and I wanted to see more of them, but we were in a rush to leave, because our trip was to visit the Monastery and my mother-in-law was very anxious to leave. Therefore, we left for the Monastery. Other than being exited about the pictures, nothing unusual happened to me. I remained fast in my old ways, work, work, and work.
Last year around September 1997, my parents came to visit us and planned to stay with use for a few weeks. One of their good friends, whom while the Virgin Mary used to appear every 13th of the month he would take a trip up to Conyers to pray and listen to the monthly messages for the United States. The friend used to tell my parents about this apparition site, and they were interested in visiting it.
The last week of September, it was getting time for my parents to leave back for South Florida and they wanted to visit the apparition site in Conyers. My wife my parents and myself took a trip to visit the apparition site. We went and first stopped by the apparition room, then the info-center and after walked to Holy Hill (a 10-15 minute walk).
While we were at the info-center, I wanted to show my parents the picture album, but it was no longer available for display. The volunteer said that they were getting back to basics, concentrating just on the messages from our Blessed Mother and Jesus. We looked around, and started to leave. As we were walking out, the volunteer told us that they prayed the Rosary at 3:00pm and we were welcome to join. I said thank you, but never had any intentions or interest in praying. One good reason is that I did not know how to pray, I have not prayed since I was a little boy (10 yr. old or younger) in Rome Italy.
We started our walk to visit Holy Hill, and you find out very quickly that the ground that you are walking on is rugged, muddy and lots of red clay to get your shoes and clothes dirty. That did not stop us, and arrived at Holy Hill. As you look around, the site is very ordinary and nothing spectacular was going on.
We walked back to the apparition home, where I parked our truck. For some reason, we went back inside to the apparition room, and they were just getting ready to start the Rosary. As the volunteer started, he asked the pilgrims to volunteer to lead each decade of the Rosary. For some unexplainable reason, I felt such a huge feeling to lead one of the decades and volunteered for one. As soon as I did, I wondered why I just did this, but felt incredibly good about it. I quickly asked my wife to tell me what I was supposed to do. When it came to my turn, I followed the prayer sheet and felt very good. I did not know what was happening to me, but I felt such a peace and love and such an urge to pray from the heart. The Rosary lasted about an hour.
Once we walked out of the apparition room, I felt like I was looking at the world with a different pair of eyes. We went back into the info-center, and took some of the literature and books with the messages.
From that point on, I felt my life changing. I did not look at the world the same way that I did just an hour ago. During that week, I started reading the messages, my wife was teaching me how to pray and for the first time in my life, working 14 hour days to make money was no longer the most important thing in my life.
A the end of the week, my wife told me that she saw such a 180 degree change in my attitude, and shared a secret with me. She told me that just before we started to pray the Rosary, she wrote a request to the Virgin Mary and placed it in the petition basket. The message was as follows: “Please let my husband stop and smell the roses, so that he can appreciate what he already has.”
At this time, my parents decided to stay another 2 weeks so that we could all go on October 13, 1997 to the apparition site for the anniversary messages of the Virgin Mary to the US.
On October 13, 1997 we arrived at the apparition site around 7:00am (still dark outside), and it was already packed. We found four empty spots right in front of the info-center, and parked our chairs there. At 12:00pm every body started to pray the Rosary, and we all joined in. During the Rosary, my mother saw the miracle of the sun. She kept pointing and looking at the sun, but my wife, father and I could not see it, looking at the sun blinded us all, but my mother kept on looking and pointing it out to us. A little bit later, I smelled roses for a moment, my wife smelled it a few times, and my father did not see or smell anything. After the Rosary, Nancy Fowler announced the message from the Virgin Mary over the speaker systems. Then we all went to Holy Hill to pray and take home Holy Water from the well that Jesus blessed.
My parents left a few days after the apparition with a renewed love for God.
During the following week, I felt all the sins of my last 35 years on my shoulders. It became so unbearable, and heavy. I could not function. My wife did notice, and asked me why I was so unhappy. I felt such an urge to tell my wife all of my darkest secretes, so I did. I cried like a baby. This did help, but was such a minute relief. A great urge came over me to go to confession.
It was over 25 years since my last confession, I must have been less than 10 years old and living in Rome Italy. I finally got the courage to go, and to prepare my self, I made a list (long) of all the sins that I could remember, and went to confession. Crazy enough, my penance was to stop and reflect on everything that God has blessed me with. Is not this weird, this is the same message that my wife placed in the petition basket at the apparition site. I knew that God really did forgive me, and it was Jesus that forgave my sins, through the priest. It was too much of a coincidence, that my penance was, the same message (request) that led me to my conversion.
From that moment, I felt great about my self, I had nothing to hide. The weight of my sins was removed from my shoulders.
Well to summarize what happened to me, my life as changed completely. I now go to Mass to receive the Eucharistic Jesus each day, pray the Rosary each day, and do penance. During that hour praying the Rosary, I know 100% without a doubt that the Virgin Mary touched my heard and brought me back to her son Jesus.
Please feel free to call me anytime with any questions or comments at … or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God’s peace be with you,
Marco L. Napoli