'God's Love Flows Through Her'

By Deacon Gabriel Cillo, MIC

Thanks to the faith and encouragement of my mom, I have a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. When I was 17, my mom witnessed a healing through Our Lady of Fatima. This event encouraged my family to attend Mass regularly. Before that time, I considered myself Catholic, but faith was not central in my life.

When I went away to college at the University of Central Florida, thoughts of the priesthood entered my mind, but I pushed them aside. After unsuccessfully pursuing a degree in medicine, I started playing in a rock band. I thought playing music and traveling as a musician would make me happy. Instead, it left me feeling empty. So, during my senior year of college, I decided to go on a retreat. After this retreat, my call to the priesthood became clearer.

After college, I became a Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionary for two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Around this time, I consecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin Mary through St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary. Through this consecration, I came to understand the great gift of knowing Mary, who protects, guides, and comforts us.

While I was still a missionary, I watched a trailer for the film Fishers of Men, and I felt the call to the priesthood more strongly than ever. I knew then that I needed to apply to the seminary. I wanted to take vows, live in community, and foster my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Divine Mercy. The Marian Fathers seemed like the perfect fit.

For the past 10 years, God has been leading me along this path, and I beg him for the grace to remain faithful. Through the grace of the Rosary, I have been able to remain steadfast in my faith in Christ. The Rosary helps me to seek God's will above all else. When we place Him first, He provides us with everything we need.

When it seems like nothing else is working in my life, Mary's gentle help strengthens me. She is God's secret weapon, and my devotion to her continues to grow. Jesus waits for us to turn to her when we are in trouble so that we can experience the gift of her motherhood. God delights in letting us experience His love flowing through her.

Learn more about Marian vocations or Support Vocations.


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