Friday, June 27, 2008

It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding

This day in 1992, I married my best friend.

Our wedding day was a perfect June day. We were married in a Catholic church somewhere in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley. It was a beautiful ceremony, attended by a nice-sized crowd of family and friends.

What I remember most about that day is how surreal it all seemed. I felt like I was in a fairy tale except this one was real. It was the day I had dreamed of my whole life. There was a handsome prince, a princess who wore a beautiful dress, and a royal court made of our most cherished family and friends.

To the sound of harpstrings, I walked down the aisle with my father, whom I know was holding back tears as he gave his youngest daughter away. Cascades of ribbons and roses decorated the pews and the altar as the sun rays streamed in through the upper windows, casting a heavenly glow on the wedding party below.

After the vows had been exchanged and Mass celebrated, and many pictures later, there was a three-tiered wedding cake and even a coach (well, ok, a limousine) that took us off into the sunset when the magical day was through. Everything down to the last detail was perfect.

Even, as it turns out, the date itself.

Let me explain.

Some time after our wedding, I remember a conversation with my dear mother-in-law, who was telling me that, as a young bride-to-be, she had carefully chosen an August wedding date so that she could be married on the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. She had a special devotion for Mary, and this was one of her favorite feast days.

After hearing her story, I was wishing that I too had chosen a special Marian day as my wedding date, but in reality, I had chosen this date because the church was available and the only other date in June was on the 13th. I'm not exactly superstitious, but I didn't want my wedding date to be the 13th.

On our first wedding anniversary, we visited Our Lady of the Rockies in Butte, Montana, which is a 90 foot likeness of Mary built on the Continental Divide. We left a rosary, as is customary for pilgrims to do, along with a heartfelt prayer for the intercession of Our Lady, that she would always watch over us, protect our marriage and help us in whatever circumstances life would bring. As if in response, we saw a spectacular double rainbow on the drive home. I believe that God was letting us know that our prayer had been heard. It was then and still is a source of comfort to know that God listens to our prayers and allows the intercession of His saints in Heaven on our behalf. Mary, being the Queen of the Saints is a special intercessor, indeed!

Then, one day a few years ago, I came across some information about Our Lady of Perpetual Help, whose feast day, it turns out, is June 27th-- the same day as my wedding day! So, unbeknownst to me, my prayer on our first wedding anniversary had already been answered.

Now, I don't know about you, but I can't help but think what better Marian feast day for a wedding is there? What married couple couldn't benefit from that? I couldn't have planned it better if I had done it myself. I was so surprised and pleased that I did have a special feast day after all, that I couldn't help but giggle to myself.

All praise and glory to God forever!

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