The Power of the Rosary: man who accidentally shot himself saved in miraculous way   

by June Klins

It was September 8, the day that the Church celebrates Our Lady’s birthday.  My son Brian decided to go target shooting in the woods.  As he was putting his gun away, he accidentally shot himself in the right thigh.  He blacked out, and when he came to, he realized what had happened and began hopping on one leg to try to get back out of the woods to get help.  

It was not long before he noticed he was bleeding so profusely that his jeans looked like they could be used for a Santa Claus suit in December.  Unable to walk, he fell to the ground and began crawling on his belly.   Each time he would try to stand up, he would fall again. He removed his shirt and tried to make a tourniquet with it, but it would not work because his leg had become so swollen.   It was not long before he became dehydrated, so he crawled to the mud puddles and sipped the water out of them.  By that point, even the stagnant water in the mud puddles tasted good. During this time his hearing began to fade in and out, and his breathing became labored. As he began crawling from mud puddle to mud puddle, he screamed for help, but there seemed not to be another soul in the woods that day. This went on for two and a half to three hours.

At some point, Brian reached into his pocket and took out the wooden  rosary he had bought in Medjugorje this past summer.  He wrapped it around the fingers of his left hand, and crawled to the next puddle.  As he lay on his back in the puddle he relaxed and began to pray it.  Dragging himself from puddle to puddle, he continued to pray the Rosary.  Finally he reached what looked to be the last puddle. In front of him was a big hill.  He made himself as comfortable as possible, and prepared to die.  He closed his eyes as he  prayed, “Hail Mary, full of grace…”  After a bit he heard the noise of motors.  With what little strength he had left after having crawled approximately 500 yards, he yelled for help.  Two men on ATV’s heard his cries and came over and asked him what was wrong.  By this point, he was not bleeding any more because he was virtually out of blood. He told them that he had been shot.  Then they asked what was in his hand.  Barely able to breathe, much less speak, he answered, “My rosary.”  The men helped him onto one of the 4-wheelers for the half-hour ride to the nearest house, where they called 911.

 Brian  had severed a major artery in his thigh, and had to have bypass surgery to repair it.  Amazingly, the bullet had exited the leg through the back and had not done any damage to the bone, surrounding muscle or major nerve.  The next day when the policeman came to the hospital, he told us how very lucky Brian was.  He said that if the men on the ATVs had not picked Brian up when they did, he would not be here today.  If they had gone for help and then come back, it would have been too late.  He had not much more than 20 minutes left.

When the policeman gave us the names of the men on the 4-wheelers, we called them right away to thank them.  Eric Swindlehurst and Christopher Firment both humbly admitted that it was God who saved Brian, that they had just been in the right place at the right time.  Both men told us that they had not been planning on going 4-wheeling that day, but only went because of a chance of rain the following day.  They also told us that they almost never go to that part of the woods, and had not been there in months.  What is even more amazing is that even with their helmets on they were able to hear Brian’s cries for help over their loud motors.  And where they found Brian was the exact opposite direction of the way Brian had intended to go.  He had been disoriented as he faded in and out of consciousness.  Brian was surprised that they were able to see him at all  because his whole body except for his head was immersed in the deep puddle. 

Our Lady of Medjugorje said, “The Rosary alone can already work miracles in the world and in your lives.” (1/25/91)  Brian’s compelling testimony  corroborates that. 

There is a footnote to this story, which is just as miraculous as the story itself.  The day after Brian was rescued, my husband, who is a U.S. Army Reserve Criminal Investigator, went down into the woods to follow the path where Brian crawled, and he took  photographs of the scene.  As he was showing the photos at the hospital, someone noticed that in the mud where Brian crawled with his Rosary were the images of Jesus and Mary! Mary is holding a rosary.  Several days later as I was showing someone the photo, I happened to have it turned the opposite way, and we both at once saw an image of Jesus’ Crucifixion!  Above this scene is a leaf that is shaped exactly like a dove.   It took my breath away.    A reprint I had made of the photo came out lighter than the original, and on that copy you can see an image of  Baby Jesus in the manger near the image of Mary. So we have images of the birth, life and death of Jesus, as well as the Holy Spirit, which is what we meditate upon when we pray the Rosary! 

Our Lady wants us to pray the Rosary every day.   At Fatima She said, "Let the people continue to say the Rosary every day to obtain the end of the war." The Rosary connects us to  Jesus and Mary, as we meditate on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  It’s a chain of love that we are asked to pray with our hearts.  In 1985, Our Lady said, “Tell everyone to pray it,” (3/18/85) and  “ Put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hands, you will conquer.” (8/8/85)   Coincidentally, the article in our local newspaper about Brian’s rescue, and the disclosure that he was praying the Rosary when the men found him, was published on September 11,  the same morning that our country was attacked.  Hopefully some people will learn from Brian’s experience the power of the Rosary, and how miracles can, indeed, be brought about by praying the Rosary.

 [June writes for the "Spirit of Medjugorje" newsletter, based in Erie, Pennsylvania]

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