Sister Mariae Agnus Dei knows God worked a miracle in a young woman’s life as she sat inside a New York City Planned Parenthood, waiting to abort her unborn baby.
How the miracle happened, though, the Sisters of Life superior at the St. Frances de Chantal Convent in the Bronx has no idea.
She told the National Catholic Register that it happened about a decade ago when an 18-year-old single woman prayed for a miracle for herself and her unborn baby.
Feeling distressed and alone, the young woman did not have strong family support. Though she hesitated about an abortion, she made an appointment anyway.
“God, if you don’t want me to do this, please send me a sign,” the young woman prayed before leaving for her abortion appointment. Two friends went with her to offer their support, according to the report.
“She sat there in the waiting room, filling out the paperwork — and she was restless,” Sister Mariae Agnus Dei told the Register. “So she went over to the brochure rack and was drawn to one brochure in particular.
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“By some miracle of God, our informational brochure had made it into the waiting room of Planned Parenthood — and to this day we don’t know how! She read the brochure and started to cry. She knew this was the answer to her prayer,” she continued.
Sister Mariae Agnus Dei said the young woman immediately left the Planned Parenthood with her friends and took a bus to the Sisters of Life in the Bronx. She remembered meeting the young woman for the first time and sitting down with her to chat over lemonade and cookies.
The sister said the young woman just needed someone to listen and offer support, and she chose life for her unborn baby. A few years later, she said the young woman graduated from college with honors and later married a “super awesome guy.”
The young woman was one of thousands of mothers and babies who have received help through the Sisters of Life, a pro-life ministry founded 30 years ago by the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York.
Currently, Sisters of Life has 116 sisters in the United States and Canada who dedicate their lives to praying and helping mothers choose life for their unborn babies, according to the report. Among other things, they offer material support, temporary shelter and post-abortion healing programs.
In New York, where Sisters of Life began, Sister Marie Veritas, the evangelization mission coordinator, said the devastation of abortion is particularly strong.
“New York is like a microcosm of the culture,” she told the Register. “You see the currents of materialism, hedonism, the exaltation of personal autonomy very clearly here. And in that, you also see this aching thirst for God: People ache to encounter a love that will answer the cry of their hearts.”
Sister Marie Veritas said they treat each woman and child as a person, not just a number.
“We have served thousands of women over the past 30 years. Each one is a gift. We are not looking at numbers. … We approach one heart at a time,” she said.