Part IV

Lourene Altieri & Dr. Milo Jurkovic Wedding Picture


Miracle of the Wedding Candle

    The last three weeks of July, 1995, were hectic indeed. As with every bride who wants to be sure her wedding is 'the wedding' of perfection, and suddenly things begin to happen at a 'three steps forward and one back', you wonder how it will all come together as planned. Especially when three days before the big event, you find that the tall Unity Wedding Candle riding in the back seat of the car along with items intended for use at the wedding, is now a bent out of shape melted crooked column of wax. Arizona is not all that pleasant in the 120 degree summer heat.

    I had sent my fiancee back to the store with the hope, "Get the exact same kind of candle. It has to have golden letters on it stating, "AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE..." Since he had other errands to do I reminded him that the candle should be picked up last so that it doesn't melt again.

    Two days before our big day he brought the candle with different words on it. I sent him back again reminding him, "AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE!" How proud he was upon return this time with the right candle. It was the last one the store had.

Being raised Catholic, I also wanted my statue of Blessed Mother Mary to be placed upon the white pillar pedestal adorned with soft pink and dusty rose roses. The Unity candle was to be set there also in front of Mary. Our Wedding Day arrived at last!

    As I stepped into place before the Minister, my eyes fell upon the pedestal with the Unity Candle. Mary's statue was not there! It was on the end table near the lamp. (We were married in our home). Well, at least she was in the same room, I thought. As I glanced around, I saw a number of things that weren't as I had planned them to be. It was difficult trying to light the candle, because the fan kept blowing it out. After cupping our hands around the flame, the candle was lighted. We exchanged two white rosebuds and placed them in a vase. I didn't notice the absence of water from the vase until we came back from our honeymoon and found them drooping, wilted and unopened. The place cards didn't get to the reception dinner and in the next room I saw three dozen roses, semi wilted, that were supposed to be given out to those who were in the wedding party and certain other named people.

    I sat on the sofa and looked at the statue of Mary. Half-heartedly, I said, "Well, I really wanted you on the pedestal, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. At least I felt your presence with us, Mary, and I hope you blessed our marriage." My husband sat down next to me and said, "Do you think we can light our Unity Candle now?" Somehow after our wedding ceremony, someone had blown our candle out several times. Each time we inquired, it was a different person who said, "I didn't think you wanted to go away and leave that burning in case of a fire, so I blew it out" (A Unity Candle is supposed to stay lighted until it burns all the way down. It is a special symbol.)

    We decided to go to my former home and stay a few days in order to pack my remaining things and move them into our new home. We thought we'd take a chance, and we lighted our candle again, placed it in a white glass bowl and set it on our glass range top. If the wax dripped it would fall onto the bowl or the range and wouldn't hurt anything. We left for my house.

    Upon returning home a few days later, we first ran into the kitchen to make sure our candle was still burning with no ill effects. What a surprise! My husband and I stopped short in our tracks and I know we both felt the same awesomeness. Our mouths flew open simultaneously as we shouted "Look at our candle! It is the Blessed Mother Mary!"

    The candle flame was a brilliant gold color that reflected its light upon the image of Mary, standing tall against the side of our candle! I shouted to my husband to get our camera as he exclaimed, "Blessed be all of Heaven!" Go get the camera!" I insisted. (We were both in a state of wonderment. I, not wanting to move from my spot, and he seemingly with feet glued to the floor.)

    Meantime, my thoughts raced. If he takes the picture it may not come out well because Mary's image is totally engraved in the pure white wax, and the wall paper in the background had an abundance of little pink and blue climbing vine flowers in it which might obscure the image. I reached under the counter for a cookie sheet and held it behind the beautiful waxen image. When the flash went off, I just knew that the light reflected off the metal, so I picked up a small burner cover and held that behind Mary's image thinking that the larger pink flower would show her up better. Inwardly, something told me that I didn't need all that. Mary would not be lost in the field of flowers on the wall. I requested my husband to take a third photo without anything in the background just to be sure. He asked, "what do you think this means?" I prayed to Mary and asked her that question. Inwardly I heard her speak:

    "This is a reminder to let you know that I am always with you. I have never left you and I will never abandon you. You are blessed."

    Tears filled our eyes as I related the message to my husband. We used up the film quickly and took it in for developing. On August 7th, we picked the photos up and marveled even more. By this time, Mary's image had been leaning forward towards the flame, as she silently and slowly bent over. We thought it looked like she was bowing to the Light. Each and every day we watched as Mary leaned further and further into the Light of the flame. She began to curl around herself.

    Again, we had to leave for three days to baby-sit my grandsons. By morning, August 15th, sadly, our Unity Candle went out. It must have gone out during the night, burning almost all the way down. The figure of the Blessed Mother Mary was now a curled up rounded mass of wax. This mass, if one looks closely, reveals yet another wonder. Mary is still visible, head bowed, and looks as though she is holding a handkerchief to her face or eyes. There is also attached this image, a small camel. Some say it looks like a goat with a yoke, but all agree it is an animal with Mary.

    Mary's gift of Love is her graven image in the wax Wedding Unity Candle. We have the remains of this candle yet we now wonder why we didn't take successive photos of the bending, bowing Lady from Heaven; or why didn't we think to use our movie camera? Our Minister told us to let the candle burn all the way down as a symbol of our Everlasting Love. It is tradition. Perhaps our three photos are enough and the candle remains. It is now enclosed in a glass dome.

    The memories of what we saw are indelibly printed in our minds, but her message is most important. It is a message to be shared...for all of us to look within our own minds and hearts to the Force of Life, the God within each of us. We are blessed indeed, all of us on this Earth, that Mary and Jesus and hosts of Angels care so much for us that we are given signs and wonders....yet they are not so much of a phenomena, but a blessing to those of us who are open to believe and to accept what is given in Love.

    More than one Miracle happened within several days time. I was so excited about this event that I wanted to share it with the world. We have given away over 500 photographs of our special Miraculous Candle. Many people have shed tears of joy at the sight of it. I decided to have an Akashic Life Reading. Read on, please. (Next Page)

Lourene S. Altieri Jurkovic

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