|Fr. Michael E. Sevigny|
VisionIn the “Year of the Eucharist” 2004, and the month of October, while on an extended Marian Pilgrimage, something quite magnificent happened in my life. As is true of most Pilgrimages, the Lord takes one out of one’s comfort zone and ordinary environment, and invites one into a special time of listening and transformation. Pilgrimages can be thresholds of great grace.
It was in the midst of Pope John Paul II launching his Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, and having been bathed and wrapped in several weeks of intense prayer, adoration, and private meditation, that a most profound experience happened in my life, in the form of an intense dream. The dream happened in the very early hours of the morning while I was residing in a private home at the foothills in Medugorje, referred to as Blue Cross or Apparition Hill.
The dream was of Our Lady, Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Peace. I saw Our Lady before me, kneeling in prayer. She was dressed in a full-length blue dress; in the front of the dress was a full-length blue Scapular. Her hands were extended, holding a pleated full-length blue Scapular. She remained in prayer, moved very close to me, and placed the Scapular over my head. The Scapular rested on my nose, and Our Lady tugged on it so that it rested on my shoulders. No words were exchanged, just a very peaceful and deliberate placing of this Scapular on me. As the Scapular rested on my shoulders, Our Lady remained, looking at me, while still in a position of prayer. Having placed the Scapular on my shoulders, She simply began to move away until I could no longer see Her.
On waking that morning I realized that something magnificent had happened to me, clearly a grace, a gift had happened in my soul. A great joy and inner peace were very present.
There was a need in me to share this dream, but with whom; who would understand? There was a need to understand, and so I searched my inner soul for meaning — definitely an interior change had taken place; a mystery was sealed on the fabric of my soul. The mystery found Our Lady at the foot of the Cross and it resonated deep in my heart. It was calling me to stand close to Our Lady at the very foot of the Cross. From that very moment I realized a charge; a mission was given to me.
Now, after much discernment and speaking over the years with various spiritual directors, it has become clear that I am being called to embrace something new. On the floor of this graced Third Millennium, standing before me is the awesome task, the joy of discovering and the unfolding of this grace.
Clearly, after having shared this dream, a spiritual director told me that the reason the Scapular rested on my nose was to allow Our Lady the opportunity to draw real close and to tug that gift into my heart. Immediately on hearing this, a great joy, a peace, an incredible light happened in my soul. It became clear that I was being called to embrace a new way of living. Presently, it has been almost seven years since this dream occurred and it has stayed vibrantly alive in my heart. It continues to be a grace that is unfolding.
This dream, already sealed on my heart, was carving an inner space, creating an indelible presence in my heart. It was calling me into a deeper sense of peace within my own being and allowing me to extend that gift into the lives of others.
Experiencing this dynamic of peace touching my interior being was only enhanced and enriched with the encounter of the document, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. This document has influenced my discernment and has been a guiding light to discovering this mission: to be a missionary of Peace, a missionary of the Eucharist.
This document issued forth a Year of the Eucharist and coincided so dynamically with my “apparition dream.” The dream occurred in the month of October when the document was promulgated; it became a new portal to understanding this timely inner grace.
Sharing my dream and encountering other men and women with a similar desire to contemplate the gift of peace and embrace it as a way of Gospel perfection, along with the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, with a special Vow of Peace, serves as a wellspring, a bubbling foundational gift for the development of our new religious community. This Community is to be known as the “Apostles of Peace, A Marian Community,” set on Eucharistic contemplation and of Peace, to stir deep in the womb of the Church a new amazement and joy for our Eucharistic Lord!
Fr. Michael E. Sevigny, O.F.M. Cap.
Founder of http://www.apostlesofpeace.org/