Tag Archives: Prayer

Justice Postponed

After waiting to hear what happened, I finally received news of the sentencing hearing yesterday. Here’s the update from the DA:

“The newly appointed defense attorney filed a “Motion for New Trial” yesterday. He is essentially claiming “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel” as his basis for the motion. So . . . the sentencing was continued to April 22 at which time he will argue the motion. He claims he will have a couple witnesses, including the defendant, testify at the hearing. We will file an opposition to the motion for new trial and cross examine any witnesses that may take the stand in that regard.”

I was hoping this update would bring good news and reason to celebrate. Instead, I’m feeling disappointed and am really struggling to believe that this trial is going to end soon. I just want to move on with my life, but am concerned that the defense is going to win the motion and I’ll have to go through the entire trial process again. I’m striving to cling to the words & scripture that Fr. Agustino CFR continually reminded me in our conversation yesterday: “Do NOT be afraid, TRUST & cover yourself in prayer!”

Thank you to all of you who have been praying so faithfully for me, my recovery, this trial and for the defendant. I don’t know how I would survive without the incredible love and grace that comes from all your prayers! Please pray that I can have peace and accept the outcome of yesterday’s hearing. And please continue to pray for the defendant that she may come to know the incredible love, mercy & forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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What went down when I gave my Victim’s Impact Statement!

This morning I finally gave my Victim’s Impact Statement! I wasn’t too nervous since I had some amazing support with me in the courtroom and in spirit. My friend Scott who is an attorney was there and gave me a lot of great advice for addressing the judge and the defendant as well as reminded me that our Blessed Mother was there with me. The district attorney who worked on my case during the preliminary hearing was also there and was also very encouraging. All of your prayers calmed my nerves and gave me the strength to stand up and speak. I’m so grateful for all the love, prayers and support you all have given to me during this difficult time!

Since the defendant has a new attorney (who finally showed up this morning!) the sentencing hearing and their appeal for a new trial has been continued to March of next year so he can have time to read the trial transcript and figure whether they will request a new trial, and, if so, on what grounds. Even though the Defendant’s legal maneuvering delayed her sentencing – again – the judge allowed me to deliver my victim’s impact statement since I flew all the way from Michigan to do so. During the hearing the defendant was busy smiling at her friend and family member who were there whispering to her and taking pictures of her in court until the Bailiff took their camera phone away.  The defendant was very callous and nonchalant about what was going on, often smiling. She did, however, listen intensely while I spoke. After I finished she wanted to make a statement of her own, and asked the judge if she could do so. The judge was going to allow the exception (since she made one for me) all the while cautioning her and her attorney that anything she said could still be used against her. In the end she decided not to speak. While this was happening, one of the defendant’s family members turned around to me and gestured for me to pass my info to him! I was shocked since neither she nor her family are allowed to have any contact with me. When we left the courtroom her family member and friend were trying to stay very close to us, listen to us, and intimidate us. They were speaking very loud trying to get my attention and were waiting around for my attorneys and friends to leave probably so they could approach me. My attorneys and friends who were there were all tall (except for Irene the DA for the preliminary hearing) and shielded me from them. We had to move down the hall but the defendant’s family members still followed us and the DA even blocked the elevator until the door closed. Thankfully, a police officer was also in the elevator with us.  This trial just keep getting crazier & crazier!!!  But everyone there said my impact statement was effective and everything went well. The judge paid close attention to what I was saying and appeared moved when I told her about what it was like being cut in the hospital, and how much pain I still feel today. Here is what I said (as much as I can remember):

My Victim’s Impact Statement:

Good morning your honor. My name is Rosario Rodriguez. I would like to share with you how the events of June 29th have affected my life and then say a few words to the defendant. On June 29th I was robbed and shot in the chest by the defendant. The bullet missed my heart by one centimeter.  The fragments of the bullet hit my lungs and they collapsed. It crossed my chest and tore my esophagus. I nearly died. I was rushed into surgery. They took muscle from my side and used it to patch my esophagus. The surgery took 8 hours. After I got out of surgery I could barely keep my jaw up on my own I was so weak. The days in the hospital I was in intense pain and very week. When I was released I couldn’t walk on my own and everyone had to do every thing for me. As you can see I’ve come a long way. But I’m still in constant pain from my incision. There is a lot I still can’t do. I can’t lift my luggage or carry bags that are too heavy. I can’t reach for things high in a cupboard. I’m still not yet fully independent and have to rely on others for many things. I’m in intense physical therapy and as I’m worked on tears from the pain stream down my face.

To the defendant: I want you to know that I have forgiven you for what you have done to me but I hope and pray that you come to take responsibility for your actions. I hope you realize that you nearly killed me. That your actions didn’t just nearly took my life but they affected many people… my family, friends and people from all over the world. Many times as I hold my cousin’s baby I think that you were one centimeter away from my cousin only telling her baby stories about me and that she may not have ever known me. You could have caused my parents so much pain if they had to bury me in the ground.  I hope you can come to realize just how much your actions affect other people and know that what you did was wrong and come to change your life. Like I said I do forgive you and I pray for you every day that you may come to know the incredible love, mercy & forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Day of Sentencing

This Friday, Dec.10th is the sentencing hearing and I will be making a victim’s impact statement. Please pray that I will have peace and clarity and that I will be guided by The Holy Spirit to articulate whatever He wants me to. That the words I speak will move the judges heart to give a very long sentence. As well as move the defendant’s heart, mind & soul! Please continue to pray for her conversion, that she may come to know the incredible Love, Mercy & Forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I also ask for prayers of provision! I arrive in Los Angeles this Wednesday the 8th and as of now I still don’t have a place to stay or someone to pick me up from LAX!  Yikes! Striving to trust that God WILL provide in His time!

Thank you & please know…. I pray for everyone who’s praying for me everyday! You’re especially lifted up in prayer at daily Mass.

God is Sovereign! ~Rosario Rodriguez

*UPDATE* Thanks for all the prayers!!! I JUST found a place to stay!!! Woo-hooo!!!! Thanks St. Francis Xavier & ‘friends’! God IS Sovereign!!!

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Pre-Trial is this Thursday…. Here we go Again!

This Thursday (Oct 7th) is a Pre-Trial. The defendant is being retried after one of the counts she was charged with resulted in a hung jury. Please continue to pray that justice be served and that the defendant comes to know the great love, mercy & forgiveness of Our Lord.

Special prayers for her please as this day is the Feast of Our Lady of The Rosary! (My name day!) Thanks!

Depending on the outcome of the pre-trial I could be flying back out to LA soon to testify at the trial. I arrived back home late Monday evening and am still suffering from jet lag which isn’t at all usual for me. I very rarely am jet lagged but I think it’s because of all the emotion and stress from the trip that has my head spinning and heavy and I am completely exhausted.

I’m  also still waiting to hear from the District Attorney when the sentencing hearing will take place from the charges she was found guilty on. I really want to attend the sentencing and address the judge and the defendant. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it so please pray that God will provide me with the means to attend and be heard. Thanks!

(I’m completely exhausted & my head is spinning so if I sound short or incoherent, that’s why!)

Our Lady of The Rosary, Pray for us!

Our Lady of The Rosary

St. Philomena, Pray for us!

St. Philomena

 

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I Testified Today

I testified this afternoon. It was hard and there were tears but thanks to your prayers I was able to focus and answer the questions as truthfully and as best as I could. Thank you a MILLION TIMES for your prayers!!! I couldn’t have gotten through this without all the grace and peace that came from them!!!
I’m on call but the District Attorney doesn’t think I’ll be called back. Thankfully I can leave the building as well as downtown. I just can’t leave Los Angeles until the trial is over.
Thanks again for all the prayers!!! I’m so grateful for each and every one of them!!!

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Tough Day but A LOT of Peace!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!!!! I could feel them despite how hard today was. I didn’t end up testifying. They finished selecting a jury but need to still select a couple alternative jurors. Which they will finish Monday morning. So I will be testifying as soon as they are done doing that.  The court closed early at 3pm today for the Jewish holiday.

While meeting with the district attorney (who is doing an amazing job!) I found out that the defendant is trying to blame me for the shooting!!! When I heard this it broke my heart. I couldn’t believe that after committing such a brazen act toward me that her heart is so hard that she would also lie about it! I also felt A LOT of pressure knowing that I need to be very detailed and every word I say carry’s a lot of weight. I freaked out feeling that I might get something wrong or not remember everything correctly and was going to fail. I sent out a txt to some friends asking for prayer and then broke down crying for a little bit. At that time my good friend Melissa walked into the witness waiting room, so I filled her in and she sat right down and prayed with me. I also began receiving encouraging txts from my friends telling me that they stepped up the prayers. I calmed down and experienced A LOT of peace! Which I know was from all the grace & prayers being lifted up for me!

Then the attorney from the preliminary hearing came by and was a great support! We hung out for awhile and caught up and then I mentioned to her some problems I’d had with bills and victim’s advocate so she took us to their office and everyone was sooo kind and generous! We were able to straighten everything out and felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I don’t have to worry about all of that anymore! Praise God!!!

After we figured all that out they were kind enough to let us stay and wait in their office which was a lot nicer then the witness waiting room so we waited for the DA to contact me. Once 2:45pm came we knew that I wouldn’t be testifying so we headed down to meet up with him and find out when he would need me on Monday.

Thank you AGAIN for all the prayers!!! They were needed and were GREATLY felt and appreciated!!!!

I’ll definitely need them again on Monday. I’ll keep you posted as to how this plays out. Thanks again! ~Rosario

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Testifying Today!

I received an email from the District Attorney last night saying that they hadn’t finished selecting a jury but hope to do so this morning.  If they do I will be testifying this afternoon. I’m to be at the court today at noon. Please, please, please pray that I can have peace and strength during all this! I’m also still praying that she plead guilty this morning!!!

Thanks everyone! I’ll let you know what happens.

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Novena of Masses to St. Philomena!

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to post this just because I feel as though I’m constantly pounding on your doors asking for prayers with novena after novena.  But then after a kind, mini lecture from a family member I realized that it’s out of my control that the preliminary hearings and trial dates keep changing.  And each time the new trial date begins to arrive it’s once again very emotional and stressful for me and I need your prayers! I was also reminded how scripture tells us to be persistent in our prayers. (Which is why we pray a novena for nine days – to show persistency!) So, for those who would like to join me in praying once again….

Beginning Friday August 27 – Saturday September 4th there will be a Novena of Masses said at The Sanctuary of St. Philomena in Mugnano, Italy for two intentions.

They are being said for:

-The defendant who shot me and who is charged with attempted murder. For her conversion & that she plead guilty.

-And for a special intention.

*If you can’t make it to Mass everyday for the next nine days you could pray a novena prayer to St. Philomena (You can find a novena on my St. Philomena – My Patroness Page) & make a Spiritual Communion.

I really do appreciate all your prayers! And please know that I pray for everyone who’s praying for me and that I’ve been experiencing a lot of grace & peace as a result of your intercession. Thanks!

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Novena Prayer To St. Philomena

St. Filomena statue carried during a procession

Today, August 3 we begin a novena to St. Philomena that will end on her feast day August 11th.

Novena Prayer to Saint Philomena

(Composed by St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Cure d’ Ars)

Prayer for Each Day during the Novena.

O Glorious Virgin and Martyr, beloved of God, Saint Philomena! I rejoice with thee in the power which God gave thee for the glory of His Name, for the edification His Church, and to reward the merits of thy life and death. I rejoice to see thee so great, so pure, so generous, so faithful to Jesus Christ, and to His Gospel, and so splendidly rewarded in Heaven, and on earth. Attracted by thy example to the practice of solid virtue full of hope at the sight of thy recompense granted to thy merits. I resolve to follow thee in avoiding all evil and in fully obeying what God commands. Help me, O great Saint by thy powerful intercession. Obtain for me particularly, a purity inviolable forever, a strength of soul always invincible in every kind of assault, a generosity which denies no sacrifice to God, and a love as strong as death for the Faith of Jesus Christ, for the Holy Roman Church and for Our Holy Father, the Father of all the Faithful, the Shepherd of shepherds and of their flocks, the Vicar of Jesus Christ over all the world.

With all the fervor of my soul, I implore these graces from thee, and, in addition, I ask these other benefits from thee with equal confidence in obtaining them through thy powerful intercession. (Here tell the Saint what you need, with simplicity, confidence and humility).

Surely that God so good for Whom thou didst give thy blood and thy life that God so good Who is so generous to thee and through thy mediation, so generous with gifts and favors to us, that God so good Who has loved me even unto dying for me, even unto giving me Himself under the Eucharistic appearances, surely He will never be deaf to thy prayers, nor to my appeals, unless it be that He Himself is in some different way seeking to do me good. Full of confidence, I place all my trust in Him and in thee. Amen

FIRST DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was a virgin… A virgin in such a world and in such an age… A virgin in spite of persecution… A virgin until death… What an example! Can I meditate upon it without blushing? What is the cause of my confusion? What is the remedy for it? 2. Humiliate yourself many times for the reason that has made you blush, remembering Her virginal purity. 3. Assist at Holy Mass in Her honor and visit one of Her statues or pictures, if you can do so conveniently.

SECOND DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was and did not cease to be a virgin… Because she knew how to control the corrupt desires of the flesh… How to preserve, in the use of Hersenses, the modesty of Jesus Christ, holding aloof from a deceitful world and from dangerous occasions. Do you imagine Her in all that? What are the sources of your temptations… of your weaknesses… of your anxieties… of your falls? Try to eliminate these sources. 2. Fly from everything that has injured you. Practice what you have had the misfortune to neglect with regard to purity. 3. As on the first day.

THIRD DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena preserved and increased the love which she had for chastity by means of prayer which is the abundant source of spiritual life… by means of the Sacraments, wherein the soul is washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and is nourished with His Sacred Body, divine gem of Christian chastity… by remembering that Her members were the members of the Body of Jesus Christ, and that Her body was the temple of the Holy Ghost… It is not true that you have these same means at your disposal? What use do you ask of them? 2. Redouble the fervor of all your prayers… Say to yourself from time to time. My members are those of Jesus Christ… the temple of the Holy Ghost. 3. As on the first day.

FOURTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was a Martyr… that she had to suffer… to suffer much… to suffer even unto death, and that she showed an invincible patience in these torments…Are suffering and patience invariably found together in you? You have to suffer rarely… to suffer a little… never to suffer to the extent of dying from it. Now whence is the reason for so much weakness on your part? Do you not want to remedy that weakness? What sort of remedy will you choose? 2. Suffer patiently those few sorrows oppositions and pains which the Lord may be pleased to send you this day. 3. As on the first day.

FIFTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena suffered martyrdom for Jesus Christ… thy wanted to wrest Her Faith from Her… thy wanted to make Her violate Her Baptismal vows, to persuade Her to follow the example of idolaters and apostates. And what does the devil, the world; the flesh and your own heart want from you on so many occasions but the same sort of unfaithfulness? All forms of it are an offence against God. Are these not vain fears, indeed, which make you lacking something in your duties, or which cause you to betray your faith?… O my God, what a shameful slackness!…Take courage at last… 2. To overcome human respect, say to yourself from time to time: It is better to please God than men. 3. As on the first day.

SIXTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena, is dying for Jesus Christ, had to put into practice the maxim of the Savior. “He who does not despise his Father, his mother and even his own life for the love of Me, cannot be called disciple.” She did not hesitate… She sacrificed everything, no matter how Her blood and Her nature raised their voices in protest. In far less difficult circumstances do we show ourselves to be worthy of Jesus Christ. If at some juncture we were called upon to choose between God and creatures, between grace and nature, between the love of God and the affection of creatures, to whom would we give our preference?… Oh! in the future let us no longer fall away from our dignity as sons of God and disciples of Jesus Christ. 2. Let us endeavor during this day to please only God, or to please creatures solely for God’s sake. Let us remove far from us all disordered affection. 3. As on the first day.

SEVENTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena, in dying for Jesus Christ, had to endure the jeers, the sarcasms, the outrages of Her persecutors, of Her executioners and of the majority of the witnesses to Her torture… She was none the less generous, none the less constant, none the less joyous in the public confession of Her faith… If the world gave you a similar chalice to drink would you have enough courage to drain the bitterness of it with the same kind of sentiments? Oh! What do the jokes, the scorn, or the most unjust or bloodiest persecution of the world matter?… Can anything ever dishonor a soul that is honored by God? Fear nothing… Follow out your road… It is leading straight to the possession of eternal glory. 2. Do not allow your heart to be changed if abrupt words are spoken to you, or rough, biting and offensive words, are hurled at you. 3. As on the first day.

EIGHT DAY 1. Consider that when Saint Philomena died, for love of Jesus Christ, to all the things of this wretched world, she entered into the joy of eternal life… Yes I am certain, she said in Her heart: “the supreme Judge will give me the crown of justice which He has promised me in return for all the fleeting goods which I sacrifice to His Love.” She dies… and behold Her in the tabernacle of God, with the Saints who follow the Lamb… Are these the thought which I try to have when I find myself confronted with some sacrifice?… What impression do thy make on my spirit?… To what side do thy make the balance fall?… Ah! in order to gain all, the Saints used to say: “Let us lose it all”… and what shall I say? 2. To-day let us decide on some voluntary sacrifice… Let us do readily and with a good heart everything in connection with our duties. 3. As on the first day.

NINTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena, having sacrificed everything in this miserable world for Jesus Christ, received back from Himself in this world more than the hundredfold of what He had given! What renown! What power! What glory! What greatness humbled at Her feet! What throngs of pilgrims to Her different Shrines! What festivities in Her honor. What tributes of reverence have been paid to Her! What an ardent longing to get possession of Her relics! Thus precisely does God fulfill His promises. Ah! If only we maintained our promises to Him with the same fidelity! But when we deprive Him of His glory, do we not perhaps deprive ourselves of great merit and favor both in this world and in the next?… Courage, therefore… Be faithful in order that God may be faithful with you. 2. Today do some little work of mercy in honor of the Saint. Prepare yourself! By a good Confession to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in a fitting manner in Holy Communion 3. As on the first day.

Let us Pray O God, who in thy great might didst raise up martyrs even from among the weaker sex, grant, we beseech thee, that we who celebrate the feast of thy blessed Virgin and Martyr, Philomena, may be led by Her example and brought by Her to thee: Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Sanctuary of St. Filomena

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Melanie Pritchard’s Miraculous Recovery!

This is a wonderful article about Melanie’s miraculous recovery! As well as a beautiful picture of Melanie with her gorgeous daughter!!

http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=37637

Thank you for all of your prayers!!! What a joy to be a part of The Body of Christ and together be about God’s amazing work!!!

Also, thank you for all the prayers for my recovery and journey. I too am a product of God’s great miracles and am alive thanks to the power of prayer from the Universal Church! I truly cannot express in words how grateful I am for all of you who have prayed for me a year ago and who continue to pray for me.

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