An Unexpected LetterLaurence Tiblis
An Unexpected Letter
It was most unusual.
Margaret Gardner (pictured) came home from school and found an envelope from a priest addressed to her. As an eighth grader, she rarely received letters from anyone, much less from “a man of the cloth.”
No one could figure out how the priest, Fr. Joseph A. Skelly, CM, got her name and address. Fr. Skelly wrote Margaret telling her about the Miraculous Medal story and invited her to become a “promoter.” Margaret was intrigued and read on to discover what it meant to be a promoter with The Miraculous Medal Shrine.
To become a promoter, Margaret would have to enroll eight people as members of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, so she immediately enrolled her grandparents, parents, and brothers. As a promoter, she received a Miraculous Medal, membership card, and Miraculous Medal pamphlet to distribute to the people she enrolled. And, to her delight, she received a special Miraculous Medal with the word “promoter” on it. It’s one of her most cherished possessions.
For many people, the story would end there. But for Margaret, this was just the beginning. She continued to save her money and with the help of her parents, enrolled more relatives and friends. She continues enrolling people every year since.
Once she married and had children, she enrolled her family. As a teacher, she included many of her students. As she developed new friendships or heard of the plight of coworkers, she added them to the list. And her enthusiasm was contagious. Three of her friends became promoters. To date, Margaret has enrolled more than 100 people.
Margaret has received tremendous blessings during her 60 years as a promoter. She writes:
“The Miraculous Medal and the Novena prayers have been my companion on my life’s journey. From praying for a good husband, then children, then grandchildren, I have prayed the Novena and rejoiced in the miracles.
“I have also watched loved ones suffer and die, and feel sorrow and grief.
“And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal has gotten me through the thousands of life experiences in between. I have learned peace and acceptance.”
Margaret still wears the original promoter medal she received from Fr. Skelly in 1961. As she beautifully stated, it’s been a constant in her life from her youth. Through her years of devotion to Mary, through her miracles and sorrow, through her dedication to spreading the Miraculous Medal, Margaret has seen that Mary has been devoted to her, too.