Before I begin to tell you this short story of what took place, let me be very clear that before this happened I had no clue Our Lady Of The Way or her icon even existed.
Wednesday night prior to Holy Thursday I dreamed I was in a church just like the one you see in the second photograph. It looks very similar to my local Redemptorist Church in terms of colour and pillars etc. My father is with me and looking at the icon I say, “It’s the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The Italians call her, “Our Lady of The Way”.” Even in the dream, I had no idea what it was I was looking at and assumed it to be the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
I wake up and tell the dream to my wife as a bit of enterntainment. I go to confession at my local Church after which I’m given the penance of saying the “Hail Holy Queen”. Guess whose icon I end up saying the penance in front of? Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I laughed to myself and said, “Ah, Our Lady of the Way”.
I began to wonder if “Our Lady of the Way” was actually a real devotion. I thought to myself it would be cool if it was a real thing seeing as the earliest Christians called themselves, “The Way”. I put off googling it all day until the early hours of the morning around 2AM when I couldn’t help but google it. The reason for the fear of googling it is because I didn’t want the goosebump feeling of it being real and having to deal with the fact that the dream was true and was a supernatural visit from Our Lady as such.
I’ve a hard time accepting that such a red scarlet sinner like myself would ever be graced with such things. Then I google it and find out it’s real. I can see why in the dream I mistook it for Our Lady of Perpetual Help as the icons are very similar. How come I guessed it correctly in the dream and said she’s also known as “Our Lady of the Way” by the Italians to my Dad?
I google it and discover that she is the Patroness of the Jesuit order and of Pilgrims on their way to pilgrimage. St.Ignatius of Loyola prayed before her icon prior to his journey to Jerusalem. I have no other option than to accept the possibility this dream came from Our Lady. The reason for this is because I’ve never seen this icon before in my life nor in my 14 years of being Catholic have I ever known there was such devotion to/or title of “Our Lady of The Way”.
The icon and devotion also turned out to be Italian and in Rome too so when I said the Italians call her this in the dream that wasn’t inaccurate either. Now I’m left wondering why? Why did it have to be “Our Lady of the Way” and what is she saying to me? Maybe Our Lady wants me to go on pilgrimage somewhere to straighten myself out? I recall the last few weeks thinking I needed something like this and perhaps it’s a confirmation from Our Lady that I should go.
I am literally not a holy person and my spirituality is mediocre at best. I’m not just saying that to be humble it really is, but maybe that’s why she wants me to go somewhere. It’s a pity she comes to me at a time when I’ve no money to go anywhere least of all Rome where her icon is.
A lot of strange things as you who read me regularly know (and those who know me a lot better who are few) have happened to me in the last 14 years. Why? What is this strange fascination with me? Why not an atheist or someone who is some sort of agnostic or something? I don’t know. It’s not like I’m capable of anything great just a simple man with nothing special going on in his life and I meant that, I’m such a failure of a human being if only you knew me. I’m not a success by any worldly means so don’t understand any of it.
Hopefully, Our Lady of The Way can show me the way and help enlighten me in the midst of all this.