Alair Pereira do Lago1
July 11th, 2008
First of all, I would like to tell an extraordinary fact related to our daughter Filomena.
After facing infertility during 10 years, we had our son Ricardo in 2002. Then, we had a desire to have another child. However, this pregnancy was difficult. In October 2004, my wife Mônica decided to pray for the intercession of Saint Philomena through a sacramental created by St John Maria Vianney and approved by the Catholic Church, which is composed of prayers and a cord that can be worn like a belt as a small penance. Nevertheless, it was taught to us that using it tied or not on the waist, normally a knot appears in the cord as a signal that God decided to make your prayer happens through the intercession of Saint Philomena. Mônica prayed for the pregnancy in October 2004 and put the cord away in a drawer. Then, a knot - which is made by Saint Philomena when your request is allowed by God - appeared in December 2004. In January 2005, we confirmed the pregnancy. Nobody at home did this knot!
At the beginning, we desired that the baby would be called Teresa, due to devotion of the saints named Teresa. However, telling this history and showing the cord to our friend Alexandre, he suggested us to call our daughter Filomena, which corresponded to an old desire of mine that was increasing. It is an old fashioned and uncommon name, but it would facilitate Filomena to remember how much she was loved since her conception. We were in doubt until the day before her birth. We asked for the gift of discernment and it came when a second knot appeared in the same cord of Mônica - at this time asking for a pregnancy of a friend - and the pregnancy was confirmed in the conception of Gabriel. The cord and the knots are shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: The Cord of Saint Philomena was created by St John Maria Vianney. The two knots in one end and three knots in the other end already are in the cord in memory of the five wounds of Jesus. The colors of cord are white and red in honor of Her title of Virgin and Martyr. The three knots commented appeared spontaneously, predicting about the conception of FILOMENA, the conception of GABRIEL and the end of the silence (COMMUNICATION) regarding the announcement of Filomena conception.
We thank God, the St Philomena and everybody that taught us this devotion to make possible Filomena’s conception. It could not be different. One day, a knot appeared in the cord of my son Ricardo, and his intention was simple as to thank for his sister Filomena. This letter was written in thankfulness, as well as to execute a difficult task that will be explained ahead regarding a small miracle.
In fact, our history with Saint Philomena started in January of 2004, when I was with Mônica, her sister and her husband talking about the difficulties of them to get pregnant. This conversation also took place with a third couple, Cláudio Heckert and Norma Heckert, which are really devoted of this Saint. They had learned this devotion with a priest called Alfonso Rodrigues, of São Gonçalo church (in João Mendes square) in São Paulo, and they taught us about this. In that day, Cláudio recommended that my brother-in-law also used the oil of Saint Philomena (another sacramental) for one month, and gave the cord and oil for us. I and Mônica were very glad about that, because it could be a good path to our lives. However, my brother-in-law returned everything to us in the following day. Mônica had her suspicions related to this devotion, but I decided to follow the recommendation in their place. More than a son, I prayed for their destination.
I confess that for me, it was weird to use this sacramental, perhaps for my catholic ignorance related to the gifts that God granted to the Catholic Church through all the centuries, and to a modern culture totally contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, culture of which we are all children. Anyway, I took some drops of the oil and started to use the cord under my sweater, because I felt more comfortable in using the cord than taking the oil. After a while, a knot appeared in the cord. The first one appeared when I was not wearing the knot. Then, I made other prayers for different people and other knots appeared. It was difficult to verify the attendance of each request, but the knots were concretes. Mônica raised some doubts related to the knots because it could have been done by Ricardo (he didn’t speak yet and he learned to give knot in his sneaker some years later). There were more than ten knots, and it happened that Ricardo could not have had access to the cord in some cases, so the doubts were eliminated. This brought me more trust and hope to Mônica.
Another day, a friend was also suffering from infertility. Knowing about the knots, she asked Mônica to pray for the intercession of the Saint for her pregnancy. A flabby knot appeared in the cord of Mônica (mine were more tightened). She judged that it was not a reply from Saint Philomena, and that it could have been done when handling the cord in the drawer. However, in that night our friend called us to tell she was pregnant of Fernanda Maria. The flabbier knots than mine were untied, but the faith necessary to beg for the pregnancy was opened.
After the knots of Filomena and Gabriel in the cord of Mônica, and later in the birth of Filomena, I continued to pray, but the Heaven became quiet for a while (regarding the knots in my cord that did not appear anymore). However, one knot did appear in Ricardo’s cord! And his pure intention was only to thank God! If for me it was evident that the knots were not needed, it was also evident that I could know how to be more grateful... If the gratitude to God and to Saint Philomena came fast, it also came more slowly the perception that the the plentitude of knots were part of the teachings of Heaven. Heaven desired me to communicate what Heaven wanted to inform to the people through a simple retired man called Cláudio Heckert. For me, it was always easier to explain the history of the knots and the history of Saint Philomena than to explain to the interlocutor that this devotion was given from this man that affirms to see and talk to Jesus and to Our Holy Mother Maria. There was some half-heartedness and ingratitude of my part to not tell all the truth. It is easier for all of us to accept that Jesus has risen and appeared to Mary Magdalene in the Sunday of Resurrection, as explained in the Holy Bible, than to accept that it happens even today!
In December of 2007, I worked in Lyon, and once talking to a friend in the University, Cintia, the conversation fell to the origin of the name and the history of Filomena. She mentioned that was facing difficult problems and commented that "needed a miracle", given the circumstances of her life. I gave her one cord with the recommendations. While we talked, I found adequate to confess my experience of the silence of Heaven regarding the knots, in a way that her prayers would be more efficient and pleasant to God. I told her that my conclusion for receiving so many knots was the teachings from Heaven to make me believe and trust on what was told through Cláudio Heckert (it was not my merit). While I confessed my half-heartedness, I also had a perception that the silence had finished. In the same month when we returned to São Paulo, we found three knots in three different cords: the cord of Filomena, the cord of Ricardo, and another one by which I begged for a friend. This third knot is shown in the Figure 1, commented with the word COMMUNICATION. It was the first knot with higher complexity that appeared to me.
In fact, when the sacramental was given to us, Cláudio said that many graces had been promised by God for them through the intercession of Saint Philomena. In some way I could verify this. All the extraordinary events described above helped me to certify the testimonies and stories given by Cláudio as proceeded from faithful source. However, it should be said, it was not the knots that took me to that conclusion, but many other events without material consequences that went in the direction of my own pains and moral hardness, that sometimes are worse than physical pains.
Certainly that there exist different graduations, but I believe that the moral sufferings of an orphan is different from someone who has rheumatic pains. For our happiness, we are not orphans! However we live as if we were… We were educated to live as if we were orphans, and we live as children of street abandoned to the dominium of gangs. Corrupts and corruptors, gangs that are interested on themselves and do not love us as Our Father loves us. They do not rule themselves, nevertheless they rule a world apparently each time more mismanaged. The conviction of not being an orphan and of being loved by a Father are always consolations for us as well as the meeting of an orphan to his/her lost father; even if it implies a mission and a predicted sign of great sufferings. The suffering can be observed and foreseen from many signals that the globalized world offers to us like: immobilization of the American economy sunk in its financial crisis; predicting the derailment of the global economy (U.S.A.); the never-ending rapid war of Iraq and many signals of imminent wars; a globalized inflation with eminence for the increase of food prices and energetic sources. The science exhibits a lot of warning signals given by the Nature that the civilization is crossing its threshold: the global warming acknowledged by the scientists and declared as irreversible2, natural catastrophes in places that never occurred before as the recent earthquakes in Sao Paulo, Catarina tornado in Santa Catarina and the melting of the polar ice caps; natural catastrophes more powerful as the Asian Tsunami, Katrina hurricane, earthquakes in China, clouds of insects in Africa, etc. What is generated by men and what come from the Nature point toward the end of civilization. According to Cláudio, who I’m so grateful, recent messages from Jesus also indicate it:
The world is wailing, beloved sons!
The world wails the lamentations of farewell!
The world is vanishing...
And sons, many children of God do not notice the world agony
Do not pay attention to the events that,
preceding the big catastrophes,
are warnings from the coming of the Lord!
In fact, little children, the King comes.
Beloved, for this reason, you are invited for this mission!
The King comes, you must say,
The King comes, you must cry out,
The King comes, you must sing!
And the world will hear you!
And how many sons, because of your love, will come back to the house of the Father!
God trust on you!
You always rely on my help!
When our Father asks us to not follow the gang’s path that invade the streets, when He asks us to study instead of having fun in excess, He does that for Love, for the well being of His child, because He desires a profession to him/her, the capacity of being helpful and serving others. He desires the achievement of his own child. It is also an act of love that the Father remembers us that the day of the final examination is close. Then, He invites us to make our homework, to understand the topic and to study for the test. As soon as the work is initiated is better, because learning in the last hour is more difficult and never complete. Justice will be made, when there are so much disorder and injustice. The King will come to finish with the gangs in the kingdom, to demand justice, to wash the feet of His friends, to dry the tears of those who cry as a reason of joy. Blessed are they who mourn...
If I tell everything that is above to my friends is due to a great friendship. Besides ungrateful, I would not be friend if I remained quiet.
Alair (see http://www.ime.usp.br/~alair/FilomenaAndTheKing)
1Assistant professor in the Instituto de Matemática e Estatística da Universidade de São Paulo. Document available in http://www.ime.usp.br/~alair/FilomenaAndTheKing
2If the scientists agree that there is a global warming in last decades, many experts claim that the action of nature itself and not of man is the main cause of increasing amounts of carbonic gas.