He grabbed my rosary and never let go

In 2008, my grandson Cillian was born at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. He was beautiful and perfect, as all children are. Over the next few days, however, he developed severe health setbacks. By day four, he was dying. Cillian was baptized and had surgery later that day, but the surgeons were not able to help him. After that surgery, I placed my rosary alongside him. In was in that moment, the profound happened. He found the rosary, reached out for it, and grasped it.

Now, if you know babies, their natural reaction when you put something to their fingers is to grab it, but it’s not natural at 4 days old  to specifically seek an object out and grab it themselves and not let go! All day, the nurses and doctors were amazed how Cillian held that rosary. He just wouldn’t let go! His parents and I were able to hold him. Cillian’s eyes were closed as I held him, but when his brother and sister entered the room, he opened his eyes, turning his head looking for them. They then were able to hold him. God then called Cillian home.

It was the saddest day of my life, but also the most beautiful, as I understood I held a saint who is now in Heaven with my rosary. I love him so much and hope to see him one day in Heaven. I believe when I get there, he will be standing next to Mary, the Queen of the Holy Rosary, holding the very rosary he clung on to.    

Barbara Rowe is a parishioner at St. Joseph the Worker in Chatham.