Desperately Seeking Agnes (or, How I Met a Saint on a Metro North Train)

8 Jul

Do you believe in miracles? I do. I also believe in angels, superstitions, fate and pretty much all things magical and mystical (short of unicorns and Yeti!).With that said, I’m not a religious person. I’m more a “things happen for a reason” sort of person, though I do believe in God, and for personal reasons, am counting on Heaven being a real place. This month I received a message urging my spirituality to come full circle. I met Saint Agnes on the 5:41 out of Grand Central station and I haven’t been able to shake the momentum of the event to this day.

Saint Agnes Painting

Saint Agnes, via

I work from home but recently started going into the office once a week, for a change of pace and to shake some of my transparency. My first day in went smoothly, until the conductor approached and I realized my ticket was gone. He kindly made my spastic search for the missing stub less embarrassing by telling me he’d be back, so I took my time. I went through my purse and laptop bag over and again, and then, several times more. With no luck, I began to silently mouth the Saint Anthony prayer I was raised to repeat when things went missing. Across from me, an older woman met my eyes and offered to help me look. I thanked her but declined. I joked that I was saying Saint Anthonys and she revealed to me that in her hand was her prayer card, worn and familiar looking, similar to my Mom’s. She said, “I am praying, too.” My heart melted. My hope buoyed with the realization that I wasn’t going to find my ticket.

Minutes later, the woman offered me cash, as I had none. It made me feel ridiculous, so again I declined. I declined until she told me I reminded her so much of her niece, and that she and her husband were not fortunate enough to have been blessed with children, and, would I please just take what she was offering me. This all occurred shortly before her stop, while I eyed the aisle for the conductor. I conceded, and asked her name. She told me, “Agnes.” I told her mine. She came in close and gave me a quick hug goodbye and said, “Say a prayer for me, Amy.”

The conductor never came back for my ticket, and I kept Agnes’ money. I didn’t really know what to do with it. I fell back on my “things happen for a reason” thinking and considered lighting candles at church, if I were to return, or playing lotto (I’m beginning to plan a wedding and had recently been having money woes). I chose to buy scratch-off tickets and more than doubled the money. Within the following days, I wished there was a way to repay this woman for showing me the purest kindness, but was told by a friend, “You can’t. You met a ghost.” Someone suggested I look into whether there was a saint named Agnes. Sure enough, I discovered Agnes of Rome, the patron saint of girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. I told my mother, who replied to me in an email, “You need to go to church Amy, you have been visited by someone special.”

All these years I’ve credited every good fate to my Dad, who passed on Father’s Day, 13 years ago. Now I know there’s an army of angels out there, watching over me. And that it’s time to return to church, wherever that may be.


2 Responses to “Desperately Seeking Agnes (or, How I Met a Saint on a Metro North Train)”

  1. tomkince July 8, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    It’s a nice story though a bit short but very good.

  2. amyzonline July 8, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    thanks. I haven’t written anything for quite a time so this was sort of a personal test for me, plus I needed to document what had happened, because it was such special coincidence.

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