How the Memorial of Gratitude Came About
I had never thought of building a public place of prayer. It all began on October 4, 2004, after an accident with my eye and the regaining of my sight. At the moment of my accident I turned to the Mother of God asking her to save my eye. And indeed not only did nothing happen to my eye but also from that moment my sight, which for more than twelve years had been weakened, fully recovered and has been well for over six years. From that moment I no longer need eyeglasses.
A Feeling of Gratitude to the Mother of God
Several months later the feeling of gratitude to the Mother of God for the saving of my eye in an unfortunate accident and the return of my sight inspired in me the thought to erect on this site a small statue to the Blessed Mother. I wanted to do this only for my own spiritual benefit to come here and pray in private. However, the Mother of God wanted something else. And soon this place went beyond its bounds of privacy, and people spontaneously began coming here.
People consider the creation of this place God’s great blessing for Toronto and area. Anyone may come at any time to pray here and to ask the Mother of God for her blessing and help, especially in moments of depression, illness or suffering. And indeed people do come to this holy place: they pray, obtain a variety of graces and healing of their spiritual and corporal illness and hurts.
The Memorial of Gratitude to the Mother of God and the Holy Eucharist
The Icon of the Last Supper
From the very beginning the Memorial of Gratitude is bound with the Holy Eucharist. On October 4, 2004, when the accident with my eye happened, the Eucharistic Congress in Mexico got under way. It officially opened “The Holy Year of the Eucharist,” which lasted from October 2004 to October 2005. In June, 2005, during the construction of this memorial of thanksgiving, it occured to me to mark this occasion by some kind of memorial tablet. During that time I happened to visit our Basilian monastery in Grimsby, which was in the process of closing down. A few days earlier a sale of the monastery items was held. Over three thousand people attended the sale. Everybody was looking for a memento of the monastery. And indeed the people bought up everything there was for sale. When I arrived and entered the monastery I noticed in a room completly empty a metal “Last Supper” on the wall, in which no one seemed interested. Seeing it, I thought of taking it to Toronto and attaching it to the Memorial of Gratitude in memory of “The Holy Year of the Eucharist.” And that is what I did. A place for this icon, even though no one had foreseen it, was ready. I had it affixed to the pedestal and there it remains.