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The story behind the photograph: My husband and I were staying with our friend, Father Joseph Matthew (administrator), at a quiet private novitiate in Rosemead, California when we discovered this image on the courtyard sidewalk. The date was January 1st, 2012 (feast of the Solemnity of Virgin Mary, Mother of God). Our son, Jake Byrne (Wisconsin Badger) was playing in the 2012 Rose Bowl in nearby Pasadena. The rose (notice the rose theme) is a symbol for the Virgin Mary, who is also called the Mystical Rose.

Father Joseph Matthew, whom my husband has known since childhood, had been watering potted plants on the sidewalk. He testified that the water, staining the sidewalk, had formed this image above. The circular mark in the center bottom was where the pot rested.

We were in Rosemead because of Jake’s football game. Jake had started for the Wisconsin Badgers for the last four years and after the game, he would leave college and enter into training camp to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Jake, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, has worked really hard to get to this point. He’s always been a determined, thoughtful, kind, and faithful son. (You can read more about Jake’s determination here.)

Back in January, standing before this image of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, I prayed to God, asking Mary to also pray and intercede for a blessing for Jake as well as blessings for other loved ones.

If we can ask our friends to pray for us, and we, as Christians believe in eternal life, then I see no reason why we can’t also ask the Virgin Mary to pray before the throne of God, for our intentions. She, after all, bore the Son of God in her womb. And not only was she a follower of Christ, she watched him suffer and die an excruciating death on the cross for humanity. She felt the pain a mother would naturally feel for her son. She must love us all so very much, to stand by and watch something I could not imagine watching, especially if it was my son. I hold the Virgin Mary dear to my heart and consider her my Mother in Heaven, a saint above all saints.

Tomorrow begins the NFL draft and it goes until Saturday. We are hoping for a victory, for Jake to be drafted.

I am a mother, praying for her son. Surely, the Virgin Mary understands that.

Go Jake! We love you!

*Follow up: Jake signed with the New Orleans Saints. How fitting!