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The Gift of a Cigar Box

November 27, 2017

By Anne M. McGlone

A blonde, blue-eyed elderly woman made an appointment with a bishop in her diocese requesting permission for a Sacred Heart conference to be hosted in his diocese.  Smiling and full of confidence, she had prepared for the meeting by countless hours of prayer.  Obedient to the calling placed in her heart and with permission from her spiritual director, she met with her local bishop knowing all would be well.  During the meeting, the bishop asked her, “How will you pay for this conference?”  With her angelic smile she pulled a cigar box out of her bag and showed him.  “This is all that I have,” she exclaimed.  A few dollars and odd change filled a small corner of the cigar box.  “The Lord will take care of everything,” she shared.

Permission was granted by her local bishop for this conference to be hosted with national speakers, clergy and religious from across the U.S.   She and her husband personally funded this conference from their retirement savings believing the Lord would fill the cigar box with all that would be needed.

Faith in action!  The story of cigar box traveled the world with her as she personally participated in the enthronement of four continents, created the First Sacred Heart World Congress in Paray-le-Monial, France, enthroned seminaries, businesses, organizations, dioceses and hundreds of homes throughout the world.  To many of us, we ponder on the Sacred Scripture about the mustard seed.  To her, the little cigar box was the visual which touched hearts around the world.

From the Vatican to the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, she helped to change lives in her simple, unassuming ways.  She was on a mission to establish the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart to every part of the globe; a mission entrusted to her.   Family by family, trench by trench, her work was one of sanctification and evangelization; one of building the Domestic Church.

From the opening of a little cigar box to the boldness in proclaiming three dominant steps in saving humanity, recognizing:   1) The Sacred Heart is King, and the King of Love, 2) The act of consecration is the act by which His kingship is best recognized and 3) The devotion to the Sacred Heart is the answer to the needs of our times, she became a firebrand for the Lord.

Malvern Retreat House was an integral part of her mission in hosting a special retreat for the global committee in planning the First Sacred Heart World Congress and, a retreat for a small gathering of priests reflecting on the Promises of the Sacred Heart.

This past weekend, the Lord called home this special servant of His after 40 plus years of mission work across the globe.  She left her legacy with all of us, particularly at Malvern Retreat House as we all remember her selfless, driven love for the  Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Gloria Anson, Founder and President of the Sacred Heart Apostolate in Syracuse, New York, thank you for a life of love and service to the Church.  By the way, thank you for sharing your cigar box with the world.

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