February 14th is a day when love is celebrated by couples. We want to take this Valentine’s Day to honor “the icon of God’s love for us,” (Pope Francis) sacramental marriages! To display the beauty of a sacramental marriage, we are aiming to post one love story a day from our married brothers and sisters until we reach Valentine’s Day. May their stories draw you closer to the Source of their love. Happy reading!
Thomas and Amy, united in the Sacrament of Matrimony on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28, 2009.
In the summer of 2005, Amy was preparing for a World Youth Day pilgrimage in Cologne, Germany when Thomas first contacted her through AveMariaSingles.com. Amy was polite in the initial communications but uninterested because Thomas was older and had an annulment. After a few months, Thomas encouraged Amy to just read his profile, and when she did on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4), she felt she found her heart’s desire.
They made plans to meet in Michigan, since Thomas lived in Toronto, Ontario, and Amy in Madison, Wisconsin. On the feast of Christ the King, they saw each other for the first time in person on Saturday November 19, 2005, near Flint Michigan. Thomas did not sleep much that first evening thinking about Amy. They departed at the end of the weekend back to their hometowns and three days later Thomas drove from Toronto to Wisconsin in a snowstorm to celebrate the American Thanksgiving. Amy knew then that Thomas liked her.
But long-distance relationships are not easy, and they both had (and still have:) a lot of laundry to clean and iron, so it took them a while to make it to the altar. Fast forward to 2009, as Thomas and Amy were making wedding preparations, Amy decided to travel for two months in Peru. She had an invested interest in learning Spanish and always enjoyed travel, so at the end of August 2009, Amy enrolled in foreign language lessons while immersing herself in the Peruvian culture. Thomas met her in Peru during her last week there. Amy’s landlady was a dentist so Thomas received some dental care while visiting (the cost savings paid for his flight!). Since the wedding was very near, they were busy: Thomas was fitted for his wedding suit while Amy ordered wedding invitations, gift calendars, and a beautiful purple Alpaca cape to wear over her wedding dress in wintery Wisconsin.
In Peru they were invited to speak with young people about the importance of abstinence and chastity before marriage. One particular group of girls prayed for them that they would not have long to wait for children (picture included -this was a desire of Amy’s since she herself was a honeymoon conception).
On Monday morning before their nuptials that day, they both individually lead a Rosary. Amy in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel and Thomas in the Church. After their wedding Mass a number of their guests joined them for another Rosary at the abortion center to bring their great joy to a place of great sadness. They continued their celebration on the great Feast Day of the Holy Innocents. As it turned out, Amy’s strange feelings while on their a pilgrimage honeymoon in Molokai were confirmed when they arrived back to Wisconsin; that indeed they had conceived during their honeymoon!
Our current ‘Love Story’
Having been blessed with the ups and downs of 8 years of marriage we both agree that the journey has never been boring, and look forward to the ongoing adventure that God has in store for our family. By His grace we are able to look back and see our trials as a precious gift, helping to purify and strengthen us; certainly the beautiful fruit of children can be counted the most trying but at the same time the most rewarding. Of our five children, two, Andre and Alexander, are here on earth with us, while the other three are with God: Athanasius, and twins Augustine and Anastasia are interceding before the throne of God for us and for the whole world!
Thanks to Amy, one way that we try to keep the grace of our sacrament alive is by reciting our wedding vows (which we memorized) to each other, and we try to do this daily. The goal is to say them as a prayer and to say them with a smile (often that is the hardest part :).
Amy & Thomas (WI)