Pro-life prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner thanks Christmas well-wishers
Editor's Note: Mary Wagner, who has been in prison since August 15th, 2012 after trying to rescue children and mothers from abortion, received hundreds of letters and cards this Christmas. She asked Toronto pro-life activist Alissa Golob to pass the following letter along to all of her correspondents.
To all the dear friends of life who wrote to me this Christmas,
Thank you so much for the outpouring of support! Receiving all your cards and letters has been quite amazing for me - and for the staff who deal with the mail - and I wish it were possible to reply personally to all who wrote. But “my cup is overflowing” and I continue to receive many cards daily!
Many of you wrote that you were praying for me, including several Mass or novena Mass offerings. Thank you for this priceless and most powerful sign of love and support (and thank you to all the priests offering the Mass). Others sent verses from the Word of God - truly food for the soul, and it is wonderful to be able to share them with others here. For those of you wondering, yes we have access to Bibles here thankfully!
I received many letters also, and will do my best to reply, however it may take time. There is also the fact that many return addresses were lost, either because they were stick-on labels or because the envelopes were ripped off in the screening process. All our mail is opened and read before we receive it. In addition, some gifts were received but were placed in my property, as we are not permitted to receive gifts, unfortunately.
Some of you mentioned that you had contributed to the legal defence fund. God bless you and any others who have shown support through such generosity. Thank you.
Many of you seemed concerned that being at Vanier over Christmas would be very hard. This is my third Christmas at Vanier, and I’ve adjusted: God gives abundant grace and he has helped me to ponder more deeply the poverty of the first Christmas, the night when our Lord - the King of Kings and our Saviour - was born in a lowly cave and “laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn” (Lk 2).
Jesus, who was born in poverty and lived in poverty, came to “bring glad tidings to the poor”. I am quite at peace spending Christmas here, with the poor, because Jesus is here: “I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25).
At Christmas, a little baby about to be killed and the child’s mother, who does not know what she is doing, are truly those for whom “there is no room at the inn,” as they are abandoned by everyone. St. John Chrysostom said, “do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honour him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked,” or, we could add, when he is in the womb, slated for abortions, be it chemical or “surgical”.
One of the more difficult aspects of being incarcerated is being deprived of the presence of children. But on the feast of St. John, I had a special visit from friends with an infant and a four year-old. Little Andre, the big brother, asked me through the telephone and glass partition, “are you allowed to give hugs?” Already he melted my heart. I told him I would give him lots of hugs and I said that he was the best Christmas present I had received. Never did I expect that from his lips would come the gentle correction, “Jesus is”.
May God bless you and as this new year unfolds, may He lead us all with the firm steps in the way of love and truth.
In Christ, Mary