He was on the ropes. He was millions in debt. A huge corporation was trying to take his patent, ruin his company, and break him legally. His marriage was full of tension. He wore a pattern on his kitchen floor, pacing. So desperate was Louis P. Saia III that he thought of stalking the executives trying to break him. There was nothing left for him and his wife (even his lawyers were dropping him) and he was so beside himself with anxiety -- an upheaval he describes as nearly worse than if a loved one died -- that he could think of nothing to do but put on his running shoes and try to run it off.

The legal battle -- a true struggle against Goliath -- is detailed in  an article that we linked to yesterday. But there was also an incredible spiritual element. Indeed, Saia's life and marriage and business were saved, as it turns out, by an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It was March 17, 1996, that Saia, of Houma, Louisiana, who operates Pallet Reefer Company, came to the end of his rope, and began running down a gravel road. He was not a religious man -- Catholic, yes, but the kind who thought nothing of missing Mass. That was about to dramatically change.

After dispelling the violent thoughts -- getting rid of what he now perceives as having come from the devil -- he jogged near his home.

"I began to run, and I get about 600 feet down this road and the road turns," he says of that fateful day. "When you make the turn, about 300 feet, is a little office building where we conducted the business that we were all fighting over [an invention for a new shipping container]. And I see someone on the porch. I was thinking, that's my secretary. I wondered why she'd be there on a Sunday. When I got about thirty feet at an angle, I look up to wave to my 'secretary,' but it's not her. On the porch, hands in prayer, is a woman with a white linen veil and a white gown. My thought was, gee, now I'm hallucinating. I rub my eyes and I'm still jogging and getting closer and I shake my head and now I'm 15 feet away -- and this time when I look, not only do I see her, with her hands in prayer, but I see a little bit of hair coming out from her veil and it's blowing in the breeze.

"I see her eyebrows, I see the wrinkles on her gown, and her eyes -- which were very blue. Blue, blue, blue. A blue like I've never seen. Her hair was a light brown, like a chestnut brown. She was dressed in clothes like women wore in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. She was rather short, about 5'3", and I got scared -- too close and I was seeing too much. I decide that I'm going to run past the porch as fast as I can, and that's what I did. I was scared. When I got directly across from the porch -- she was looking straight out -- I looked as I ran past and her eyes hit me and I was stopped cold in my tracks."

Now he was looking at her from only 12 feet away, and her eyes, her incredible eyes, were touching his. From them came a wave of love unlike any he had ever felt. "I mean, my mother loves me and my wife loves me but it wasn't even comparable, it wasn't an iota as compared to the kind of love I felt from her," says Louis, who spoke to Spirit Daily yesterday and has also presented his testimony at church meetings. "Her love, the compassion in her eyes: if you took all the mothers in the whole city of New Orleans and you bottled up their love for their children, maybe that doesn't even come close.

"I didn't get on my knees. I wasn't very religious. She looked like a holy person, and I just stood there and she read my mind. Her face was not smiling and wasn't frowning. It was serious. We were eye to eye and she says, 'I am praying to protect you.'  The thing she says was not only the answer to my problem at that point in time, but an answer to my life. She says, 'Just have faith in my Son Jesus.'"

That simple. That direct. "All these Harvard lawyers and Yale lawyers made my problem so complex, with the business situation, and she solves the business situation but more importantly the situation of losing my life from dying from stress and also my eternal life with one sentence: Just have faith in my Son Jesus."

Now Saia knew who she was -- the Mother of God -- and felt drawn like a magnet. The aroma of roses was so pervasive he could taste it in his saliva. "I walked up to her, not even thinking, and when I got close, she looked as human as anyone," says Louis. "After looking at her, I decided I want to touch her. I moved to do that and when I went to touch the bottom part of her arm, I realized that my hand would go through and I backed off. I had leaned forward and my eyes were four or five inches from her and that's when I could see through her, like translucent, you could still see the linen, but it was like liquid, and I backed off one arm's length, and when I did, she looked again like she was as much flesh as we are -- as human as anyone -- and that's when I decided I needed to get on my knees and pray, so I got on my knees and prayed the Hail Mary. And when I opened my eyes, she was gone."

But in the meantime, like a light switch, Saia had gone from the worst despair in his life -- a despair so bad he says that "death would have been welcome" -- to the best moment in his life. "It happened in a matter of a second," says the businessman. "The peace that I felt -- not only was there no panic, but I had never felt the joy and peace in my entire life like I felt then. And it wasn't leaving."

Indeed, soon after, when his wife saw him, she couldn't believe the transformation. He looked 15 years younger. Incredibly enough, from total misfortune, from abandonment by his lawyers, from what appeared to be sure defeat -- with a huge corporation taking away his invention, and leaving him bankrupt -- he went on to a miraculous victory, a victory so dramatic that it was featured in a national business magazine.

We'll get to that next: the incredible intercession right there in a courtroom and a remarkable ray of light that changed everything and against all odds allowed him to defeat Goliath.

[see Business Week article]

  E-mail this site to a friend

Return to home page spiritdaily.com