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Help the Blessed Mother – Pray for Her Intentions!!

“Praying for our Blessed Mother’s intentions!”  What does that mean exactly?  It’s called the “swap” and I first heard of it when I was working at St. Ignatius Retreat House in 2005.  I had read a story written by Sr. Emmanuel Maillard in a Medugorje newsletter.  It intrigued me because the article stated that if we prayed for Our Lady’s intentions, She would pray for ours.

I sure needed Her prayers that year because I desperately wanted to go on a two week pilgrimage being sponsored by the Retreat House to Santarem, Fatima, Avila, Loyola, Lourdes and Medugorje.  My husband would not hear of it and actually told my co-workers which were Jesuit Priests – advertise this as the pilgrimage that “Anita is not going on!”

An Invitation from Our Lady

Sr. Emmanuel would explain in the newsletter that  she was with Ivan’s prayer group on a mountain when Our Lady’s message was as follows:

“Dear Children, give me all your worries, all your problems.  Then your heart will be free to pray.  And pray for My intentions.”

Sr. Emmanuel would ponder this message and as she reflected she thought Our Lady was suggesting that we make a trade with Her.  We would give Her our worries and anxieties or whatever was troubling us and we would do the same for Her.  

In March of 1991, Mirjana received a message from Our Blessed Mother  as follows:

“Help Me, and I will pray to My Son for you.”


The Swap










Sr. Emmanuel explained the process of praying for Our Lady’s Intentions and giving Her ours.  She called it “The Swap!”  The more I read – the more I was totally “all in” on this trade!  Sr. Emmanuel further stated that when we pray for our Blessed Mother’s intentions and give Her our own it is a “freedom” to be unchained from our worries and not focused on all our problems and our own anxieties.

Sister would flesh out the idea in ways that just seemed to be so right and that made such good sense.

If we give all our intentions to the Blessed Mother – in essence isn’t She already praying for them?  Isn’t She praying for every “good thing?”  And doesn’t She ask over and over again to pray with the heart.

Sr. Emmanuel tells us that you enlarge your own heart when you pray for Our Lady’s intentions and that your heart is open to the whole world.  Not worrying about your own worries, frees you to worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to listen to see what God might be asking of you at the present moment.

This was the appointed time for me.  It wasn’t an accident that I would come across this Medugorje newsletter and read Sr. Emmanuel’s words and invitation to enter into the “swap.”  

My New Prayer Partner

I entered into the prayer immediately with our Blessed Mother after reading the article and Sr. Emmanuel’s words of wisdom.  It seemed easy enough to do and I tried not to center on how my husband was going to change his mind about me or possibly “us” going on pilgrimage together. So, I prayed and I trusted in Our Lady’s invitation to my heart.  Surely this wasn’t an accident as I stated above – this was an invitation from Heaven to open my heart – receive my Mother’s prayerful intentions and pray wholeheartedly for them. It was also a plea to Her to change my husband’s decision that seemed to be set in stone.

I also felt I was not alone.  As the image reflects above…there are many that have entered into this “trade agreement” with Our Heavenly Mother.  Receiving this understanding just made an emphatic “no” seem to be a possibility of a “yes.”  There was “light” burning at the end of the tunnel and I felt something was going to happen but I just didn’t know when.  Would it be before the deposit was due or would the answer come after the plane took off for Santarem????

Sit Down!

I will never forget that day!  I used the image above with two seats to reflect the thoughts that are going to flow now from that memory – however my husband came into our home and asked me to sit down in the wicker sunroom of our living room.  He told me he had something to discuss with me and my mind flooded with wave after wave of what it possibly could be.  I was making movies in my head for sure.  Did he find someone else?  Was he leaving me?  He looked so serious.

Yet, these were his words…..“I’ve been selfish and I want you to go on the two week pilgrimage with the retreat house group!”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  The words that followed from my husband’s lips were that he would not be going but he wanted me to go.  At that moment, I felt that maybe “Mama” hadn’t understood my intentions yet like a good Mother She knew the best for both myself and my husband at that time.  The first “swap” of many had been fulfilled in such a special way and right before Mother’s Day of 2005.  It was pure gift.

Do It For Her

The deposit was made and I couldn’t believe it!  I was going on a two week pilgrimage to all the places I never thought in my wildest dreams I would visit.  We would leave right before the Feast of the Holy Rosary and Santarem and Fatima were our first visitations, however, it would be when we arrived in Lourdes that Our Lady confirmed the “swap” to my heart.

At that time, you were able to submerge yourself into the baths and we waited on long lines anticipating what the experience would be like.  I remember so clearly standing in the little cubicle looking down at the murky green “cold” water as it appeared and thinking I’m not sure I want to do this.  The French lady that was assisting me must have seen the worried look on my face….that she said the following to me that I will never forget.

She pointed to a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes at the end of the bath – and said:


“Do it for Her” seemed to be just what Our Lady had stated in Her message to Ivan in Medugorje . . .

“Dear Children, give me all your worries, all your problems.  Then your heart will be free to pray.  And pray for My intentions.”

The Backpack

To further illustrate this message, I would like to share a “visual” that I saw in Church one day while praying.  I had been before the Blessed Sacrament  at a nearby Church that has an elementary school situated right beside it.  Frequently students and their parents would walk through the Church to go out to their cars parked on the other side of the building.  I happened to see this little girl with a huge backpack on her shoulders pass in front of me.  She certainly had a lot of books and was clearly weighed down by it.  Her mother walking in front of her turned around at one point – saw her wearied daughter and took the backpack from her child’s shoulders. . .freeing her from the burden.

Isn’t this what happens when we enter into the “swap.”


A Mother and Her Son

What a difference it makes to our “minds and hearts” when we give Her everything that troubles us.  I have a precious soul in my life that uses the terminology – “making movies” in our heads.  Scenarios that have Part 1 and Part 2 in our thoughts that probably will never happen.  We think about the past, we think about the future and we let ourselves be led into dark alleys of negativity especially with the news of the day.  The Blessed Mother and Her Son are trying to free us of that.

Our Lady knows what is best for us – She comes over and over again to speak to our hearts in all the apparitions throughout the world.  I leave you with this message of May 17, 2019 to Ivan in Medugorje.

Dear Children, also today I am calling you, in a special way, to pray for my intentions, for my plans which I desire to realize by my coming.  Pray in a special way for my shepherds, for the Church, for firm faith of my priests.  Thank you, dear children, for also today having responded to my call.










©2024 Anita Guariglia

Featured Image and Other Photos/ Pinterest and Instagram

Two seats image – Anita Guariglia

Article in Medugorje Newsletter/ The Swap



5 Responses

  1. Such a pure, beautiful and simple way to love Our Blessed Mother and let Her take care of us! Thank you for this precious gift on Mother’s Day. As always, from your heart, Anita, to our hearts with love.

  2. Anita, thank you so much for this beautiful reminder. I happen to share this blog with a friend who is going through some very difficult time. She just called me today & thanked me because of your blog, she has swapped her problems with the Blessed Mother. You touch many lives with your own experiences. Thank you for sharing.


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