Also posted on www.oberf.org
Hello, I would like to share an experience with you.
My first name is Anthony and it was given to me after a promise my father made to his best friend after my parents youngest son had died aged 4 from a burst appendix.
My mother was told that she would not be able to have any more children as she had had a partial hysterectomy after her last pregnancy. Nevertheless my father took to praying that she might conceive once more and his best friend who was catholic told him that in the catholic faith if they lost anything they always prayed to St. Anthony.
My dad promised to do the same and that he would call the child Anthony if my mum fell pregnant and gave birth to a boy. She did and I received the name my father promised.
My birth almost killed my mother and she spent a lot of time in hospital, so much so that I didn't recognize her when she came home. My father repeated the story of my name over and over again to me as I grew up.
My father died in 1965 and my mother in 1981. By the time she passed I had been married several years and had three grown up children.
In 1996 my daughter who was only 19 suffered a stroke caused by a brain hemorrhage and for a short time we were unsure about her recovery prospects. Every night I prayed to every dead relative I could think of and also to every god, saint, prophet and holy person I had ever heard of. I had never prayed so hard in all my life.
One night I had a strange dream.
I dreamt that I told my wife I needed to tell my father about our daughter, and
in my dream she said 'Well why don't you phone him'.
I answered saying that the number I had for him was quite old and that he probably wouldn't be there anymore and my wife said ' Give it a try anyway'. I did and he answered. In my dream I didn't believe it was him and I asked him to tell me where he was born and he answered by giving me the name of a town in the north east. I then asked him where he was and he said he was working in a warehouse in Cecil Street we said goodbye and the dream ended.
The next day I asked my wife if she had ever heard of Cecil Street she thought so but couldn't remember where it was. I thought no more about it for the rest of the day. That night after spending the day with our daughter the phone rang at home. It was a guy that used to work for me who had taken a piece of equipment of mine for repair six months ago and I hadn't seen or heard from him since.
He explained that he had been out of the country visiting his sister as his niece had had a brain hemorrhage. This in itself was quite freaky, but when he told us where he was living my wife dropped a dish she was holding. This guy asked me to come and pick up the equipment from a house he was renting in CECIL STREET. That was twice in two days I had come across this street name. I asked him whereabouts Cecil Street was and promised to call round the next day. The next day I parked my car on Cecil Street and started to look for the house he told me he was renting.
I couldn't find the number as some of the property had been pulled down and the numbers did not correspond. I walked up and down a couple of times and finally stopped a lady who was walking down the street she couldn't help but had a very friendly disposition. I noticed she had a north east accent and I asked her where she was from.
When she answered a warm glow wrapped itself around my head and I felt as though someone had touched my heart. This lady came from the same town my father had told me he was born in my dream. We talked for some time and the lady left to carry on her journey.
I sat on a stone wall thinking about the situation and then started to walk back to my car. Cecil Street has only one other street leading off and as I got to my car I glanced up at the name of this street which was clearly written on a metal sign. it was ST. ANTHONY'S PLACE. By this time the emotions had overtaken me and tears were streaming down my face I knew my father was sending me a message.
I rushed back to the hospital and told my wife and daughter everything was going to be alright. I then started to pray to St. Anthony every night. Six years later my daughter is almost fully recovered and everyday I pray and give thanks for our blessing.