The peace that penetrates prison walls

Father George David Byers’ Holy Souls Hermitage today features a deeply moving account of conversion from Pornchai Moontri, one of the Catholic prison inmates I wrote about in this space last month.

In “Divine Mercy and the Doors of My Prisons,” Pornchai, who suffered parental neglect and sexual abuse in childhood, writes about how, as a convicted murderer, he was led to the love of Christ by a fellow prisoner—Catholic priest Father Gordon MacRae.

I was especially moved to read how reading My Peace I Give You has helped Pornchai draw nearer to the love that heals all wounds. He writes:

There is someone else living in this prison cell with us. He is another prisoner and a man we were both led to by Divine Mercy. He is Saint Maximilian Kolbe. I took his name as my Christian name because I met him through Father G. He is on our wall and also just above the sink and mirror where I wash and shave. I do not go through a day without seeing this Saint, this good friend, and this fellow prisoner who gave his life for another at Auschwitz. I honored him by taking his name because I see him so clearly in Father G.

There is a very good book that helped me so much in my long road to recovery from sexual abuse and childhood trauma. It is a book by Dawn Eden called My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints. I was so happy to see Dawn write of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. She wrote of how she began speaking to Saint Maximilian as she would to a friend. So do I. So does Father G. Her book opened my eyes to the truth that trusting Divine Mercy is my only hope.

Here in our prison, for Father G and for me, Saint Maximilian is our friend, and we cope with prison in his company. Every Sunday night before Mass, we ask his prayers, and those of Saint Padre Pio, our other friend, that our lives may be worthy of this gift of the Eucharist. Father G and I are both Knights at the Foot of the Cross, a movement founded by Saint Maximilian’s order calling on us to offer up our suffering and our imprisonment for the good of others.

Read the rest of Pornchai’s story at Holy Souls Hermitage.

As I have written, it is my heart’s desire that I may begin to share the message of My Peace I Give You with prisoners. Pornchai’s testimony gives me hope of having such a calling.


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