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Jim Castle, a 45 year old management consultant was tired when he boarded his plane from Cincinnati, U.S.A., that night in 1981. He sat ready for the flight home to Kansas City. As more passengers entered, the place hummed with conversation. Then, suddenly, people fell silent. Jim wondered what was happening. Walking up the aisle was the face he had seen on magazine covers and television. It was mother Teresa. Jim realized that his seat companion was Mother Teresa.
As the passengers settled in, Mother Teresa pulled out her rosary and began to pray. Once she completed a rosary she turned toward Jim and asked, “Young man, do you say the rosary often?” “No, not really,” he admitted. She took his hand and then smiled and said, “Well, you will now.” And she dropped her rosary into his palm. An hour later at the airport he was met by his wife, Ruth. “What in the wold?” Ruth asked when she noticed the rosary in his hand. Jim described his encounter with Mother Teresa.
Nine months later Jim and Ruth visited Connie, a friend of theirs for several years. Connie was suffering from ovarian cancer. She said, “The doctor says it’s a tough case.” Reaching into his pocket, Jim gently took out Mother Teresa’s rosary and twined it around her fingers. He said, “Keep it with you Connie. It may help.” Although Connie was not a catholic, he accepted it willingly and whispered, “Thank you. I hope I can return it.”
More than a year passed before Jim saw Connie again. She hurried toward him and handed him the rosary. “I carried it with me all year,” She said, “I have had surgery and the tumour is gone completely! I knew it was time to give the rosary back. It can help another person in need.”
Ruth’s sister, Liz, fell into a deep depression after her divorce. She asked Jim if she could borrow the rosary and he sent it. Later she mailed the rosary back with this note, “I was so lonely and afraid. At night I held on to it, just physically held on. When I gripped the rosary, I felt as if I held a loving hand. It helped me to pull my life together. Now I think, someone else may need it.”
Then one night, a stranger telephoned Ruth and asked if she could borrow the rosary to take to hospital where her mother lay in a coma. Returning it gratefully, after a few days the woman said, “I explained to my mother that I had Mother Teresa’s rosary and put it in her hand. Right away, we saw her face relax! A few minutes later she was gone. Thank you.”
The request for the rosary was continued. Jim always responded by lending the rosary. But always he reminded, “When you are through needing it, please send it back. Someone else may need it.”
Jim’s own life has changed, too. When he found how simple was Mother Teresa, he made an effort to simplify his own life. He says, “I try to remember what really count is not money, titles or possessions, but the way we love and serve others.”
The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. It is believed that the Rosary as a form of prayer was given to St. Dominic by Mother Mary. This scriptural prayer which was called by Pope Pius XII as “a compendium of the entire Gospel” became one of the most popular devotions of Christian life. Without doubt rosary always nourishes and strengthens our spiritual life. “Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Marys which purifies the monotony of your sins! (St. Josemaria Escriva)