Sunday, March 28, 2010

Who Says the Blessed Mother Doesn’t Take Care?

Originally published on Catholic Exchange.

Posted By Elizabeth Yank On July 16, 2009 @ 12:01 am In Touched By Grace |

Menacing clouds blackened the sky as the temperature dropped and furious winds picked up. Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, and torrential rains began to pour. For most people in the tiny, rural, Wisconsin community of Sherman, it meant more rain. But for Advance Cast Stone, a company that manufactures architectural, pre-cast, concrete panels and beams, it meant much more.
On July 16, 2008, sometime before 8:00 p.m., lightning struck, causing an electrical surge, sparking a fire in an outlet box. Fortunately, a firefighter living in the area saw heavy smoke and called 911. Because of the construction and composition of the roof, the fire stubbornly persisted until the early hours of the morning. This was no ordinary fire. Nineteen fire departments from three counties with over 200 men were called to the scene. They completely drained the municipal water tower of a nearby town and then began drawing water from a nearby lake. The blazing inferno caused well over $1 million dollars worth of damage, totally destroying three overhead cranes crucial to their work. Thankfully, no lives were lost.
When the fire had finally died down, black soot completely coated the interior of the large workspace that the employees use to manufacture the panels and beams.
The previous owner, Erhard Garni (now deceased), and father of the present owner of the company had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother. On occasion, when there was left over concrete, the employees would fill a Blessed Mother mold to create an outdoor statute. Erhard’s son, and now third-generation owner, Matt Garni, continued this same tradition.
After the smoke had cleared and it was safe to enter the building, Matt Garni entered to be greeted by an amazing sight. A Blessed Mother statue, which normally stands at the entrance, had been brought inside the day before for minor repairs. There she stood, a pristine (dare I say “Immaculate”) Blessed Mother against a black backdrop, untouched by the black soot.
Even more amazing was the fact that, although there was extensive, heavy, smoke damage, the roof irreparably lost, and three of four cranes lost, the worst damage seemed to be contained in the back section of the building where the fire started. The statue seemed to stand guard over the lower interior of the building, preventing the fire from continuing on to the offices. If it would have, the company would have lost everything. Even in the most traumatic moments, the Blessed Mother truly takes care.
By the way, July 16 is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Catholic Exchange::Who Says the Blessed Mother Doesn't Take Care?

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