Mary Our Mediatrix

Mary’s Garden Established May 15, 2010

Mary’s Garden Established May 15, 2010

Happy Sunday & Feast of Corpus Christie,

I can honestly tell you Our Blessed Mother is always on my mind. The fact the entire month of May is dedicated to Our Lady gave me the opportunity recently to reflect a little more often on Her intercession in my life and the history of Joseph's House. 

Mary is the reason I am able to share with you the story of Joseph’s House. She welcomed me, a great sinner and most wayward, prodigal daughter of God humbled by the near death of my child, and delivered me to the feet of Jesus through Her prayer, the Rosary. I have not found appropriate ways to thank this most loving Mother, Mediatrix of Our Lord’s Mercy and Grace and so I simply try to explain how She changed my life.

The inspirations given for Joseph’s House were three-fold. And when Our Lord placed the first two steps in my heart in Adoration on St. Joseph’s Day 2010, I can remember saying to Him, “Lord, you know my husband and that’s NEVER going to happen!”  The next thought heard in my heart was, “Start with a garden.”

I left Adoration that day filled with excitement and anticipation and yet had no idea how I was going to ask my husband if I could plant a garden behind his business.

I felt there was an urgency to placing the garden where Our Lord directed, however the fear of rejection of the idea was high. Finally, on May 5th, 2010 while walking near our church, we stopped at the Grotto of Our Lady to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the healing of our son. I looked at Our Lady and whispered quietly in my head, “I don’t know when to ask him about the garden.” The immediate answer placed in my heart was, “Ask him right now.” And so, I blurted out the request to put a garden behind his business and the man who has said no to my crazy ideas throughout our entire marriage said nothing. He just stared at me.

About an hour later my husband said to me, “The piece of property where you want to place the garden is your property, and if you want to plant a garden there it’s okay.” And so, with the help of my dear friends the Seiler and Hubbard families, my family and all of our employees, the garden was established on May 15th, 2010.

This year’s garden was planted this past Thursday May 31st, the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. This feast day is most important in our family history and also in the history of Joseph’s House as it is the anniversary of my dad’s passing and the anniversary of the first fundraiser for Joseph’s House hosted by Tom and Leah Valenti. I remember this event at the Valenti's 5 years ago vividly as I prayed for my dad along with his friends in heaven to help me speak to a group of strangers about something deeply personal and seemingly impossible. Prayers were answered and the event was so successful we came to understand this mission impossible called Joseph's House, WAS possible, because it was a mission of Our Lord.

Our neighbors around our business have thanked us for bringing beauty through this celestial oasis to their impoverished area, and after 8 years this little garden is thriving. This past Friday someone came to me as I prayed there and told me of the many graces he receives while attending to Mary there. He is not Catholic but has grown fond of Our Lady and the quiet time he spends with Her daily. He shared with me stories of his children and his history and I learned things about this man I would have never known if not for Mary. He told me about the homeless people, business people and families who come to visit this tiny haven of grace & solitude. I am constantly astonished by the miracles having occurred because of Our Blessed Mother’s presence on a desolate corner in the heart of a business district. I am awed by the stories shared in Her presence, the hardened hearts softened and transformed, and how everyone rallies around to keep Her safe and Her space beautiful. How could these most miraculous happenings be the result of this most humble garden? Only because the garden belongs to Mary, and She is the supreme intercessor of nurturing Christ in our hearts.

Joseph’s House is the end result of this little garden on the corner of West Belden Ave and Van Rensselaer St. in Syracuse. As a young girl, Mary was given an inspiration to run to Elizabeth on the Feast of the Visitation to serve Her cousin thousands of years ago, this little garden dedicated to the same young Mary has given us and many others the inspiration to reach out to serve as well. This garden was not only the first step in the building of Joseph's House, it has also been the catalyst for conversions and for thousands of people to learn more about Jesus, His Mother, and Joseph's House. To understand all this began with Mary and Her Prayer of the Rosary tells us all of Her extraordinary intercessory power.

Let us continue to thank, praise and ask Our Most Blessed Mother to instill within us the same humility, trust and faith gifted to Her and always say “Yes” to Our Lord. Let us always confide in Her Immaculate Heart, call on Her as our most trusted Mediatrix of Mercy and Grace, and praise Her for Her many sacrifices, so we may continue to serve all those finding their way to our Joseph’s House door. Thank you to all for all you do in service of Our Lord  and for our moms and little ones. God Bless You My Friends! A prayer of praise to Our Lady follows.

Love and prayers,


A Reflection on Mary's visit to Elizabeth

Ave Maria Stella

Hail, bright star of ocean, 
God's own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva's name.

Break the captives' fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy forevermore.

Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.