August 4, 2018
Articule written by:
Assistant Writer & Editor
The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy
Mercy over grief and illness
Vivian Mestey of Manhatten, New York, considered herself just a "regular Catholic" when her story began. She went to Mass and Confession, brought her children up in the faith, but admits to never having had a personal relationship with God.
Then tragedy struck.
"Life changes you," she said.
In 2005, her oldest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. Then in 2007, her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. Furthermore, in 2008, Vivian, herself, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"We had, at the same time, three family members with cancer," she said. "When you have suffering in life, it's your choice. You have two paths. Either you become bitter, upset, and mad at God, because we're human and we get that feeling, or you take the path to serve God and learn of His mercy, and that He is a good God."
In 2011, her daughter succumbed to breast cancer, leaving behind an 8-year-old son, Christopher.
Vivian, though, after years of battling her illness, survived and ultimately thrived. "I kept asking God, 'Why me? Why? I am nobody.' But he had a perfect plan," she said. "When we think we have control in life, you don't control anything at all. He has it all."
Amidst battling her own illness, and while enduring the grief of losing her beloved daughter, Vivian drew closer and closer to God.
Then she received an extraordinary calling.
"I remember at home cleaning the house and I was sweeping and I started talking in tongues, but I didn't know [at first] that it was tongues. I thought, 'Am I crazy? Why am I saying these words? It started little by little."
One day, a friend asked Vivian to pray over her son, who was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors said that he would never walk, see, or talk.
"When I was praying, I started burning up. I thought it was my chemotherapy," she said. Vivian now realizes that this warm sensation indicates healing. "Today, he's nine years old, totally healed and perfect. So that started everything and it just kept going and going and going."
She also grew in her devotion to the Blessed Mother and discerned that Our Lady of Guadalupe was calling her to be a guardian of her image. She said, "My life is totally different. I live for our Blessed Mother."
For the past several years, she's been ministering her special gift of healing to the sick through the Blessed Virgin Mary's intercession. She travels with a 6-by-4-foot copy of the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Today, at Encuentro Latino, she allowed hundreds of pilgrims to venerate the image and touch a prayer cloth to it. She said that through these cloths, hundreds, if not thousands, have reported miraculous healings.
"One thing that I say that is really important is, I'm nobody. Everything is for the glory of God. [It's] the intercession of our Blessed Mother. I'm just a humble instrument ... I still can't believe what I do or what he has chosen me to do. I am very humbled because who am I? I'm not different from anybody. I'm nobody. I couldn't save my daughter. It's not from me, it comes from God. So it's all His will."
August 4, 2019
National Shrine The Divine Mercy
Massachuettes - Encuentro Latino 2018
Vivian Mestey (Spanish) live testimony,