Philip Frederick Rodolphe Girard
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” St. Augustine
In His Own Words
(Occurred in January, 2017 - Recorded January 24, 2020)
I would periodically pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and help. I had a dream one night. All of a sudden I was in the Middle East - in colour - and there was a procession carrying a statue of Jesus and all of a sudden; and this just was mind altering for me, the face came alive and looked at me and I was so overwhelmed with love and mercy; it shook me to my core. And that’s my first spiritual experience that I call; was real to me.Acts 2:17, 21 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)17 ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,and your young men shall see visions,and your old men shall dream dreams;21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
As his son, I find my dad's story remarkable - it is a story of hope and redemption; a story of Divine Mercy. I found it miraculous that he had returned to his faith at 78 and was standing beside Angelina and I the day the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of the Cape was formally installed on Mother's Day at Blessed Sacrament Parish in 2017. He joined the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. He joined us on pilgrimage to Canada's National Marian Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape at Cap-de-la-Madeleine in 2018; but not before consecrating himself to Jesus through Mary on August 15th, personally writing out the full version of St. Louis Marie de Montfort's extended Marian Consecration prayer by hand!
If this was not enough, it was discovered that his grandfather was born one month after the miracle of the ice bridge at the Cape! Not only that, it would turn out that his grandfather's lineage dated back to one of the founding families in Trois Rivieres; the Boucher family whose son, Pierre, built the first chapel at the Cape!
So, my dad's story is one of conversion but it is also one of God's providence. It is one that reminds us of the Church's heritage in the New World dating back to Champlain in the 1600's. From the Founding to the Crowning; From the Swine to the Shrine!