✞ The virtue of the Cross. Stripping oneself of one’s own will.
From the Webmaster: For several months many have asked me how John Martinez was doing. Earlier in the year he had a brush with death where I myself truly thought that his time had finally come to go with the Lord. But little did I know that he was enduring far more than just physical ailments, he was in a fight for his soul.
I asked him if he would mind sharing his story with our readers and he graciously agreed. But before he tells us about his recent battle with Satan that had almost lead to his death, he felt it was important that we first understand how he got to this point, his spiritual journey. And so, the following is his account as to what happened to him:
It has been over 47 years since my first powerful encounter with God the Father— an encounter that changed my life. That beautiful moment was also the start of my own personal battle with Satan, a battle that has continued to this very day.
I grew up in a very impoverished barrio in San Antonio, Texas. We were very poor, living in an impoverished community. Poor, but happy, we often said. My parents always took us to Sunday Mass, and I loved the teachings at Catholic Catechism given to us by beautiful and (sometimes) holy nuns. I observed all that was spoken about God, the Blessed Virgin, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Saints and Martyrs, the Holy Father and especially the Holy Eucharist. And at the center was Our Lady of Guadalupe which was all I knew of Our Blessed Mother. She became my protectress and my guide throughout those rough years.
After High School I joined the US Military. It was a totally different world than what I grew up in. One that I did not know even existed. After three years in the military, I was given orders for deployment to Vietnam. After combat training I was ready for battle. But when our airplane landed in Saigon, Vietnam, I saw body bags of many dead Americans. My tour in Vietnam was horrific, evil, and left me numb as I saw hundreds of men, women, and children being massacred with no remorse.
After my tour of duty, I returned to the US with PTSD. I had so many horrific memories of death, killing of the innocents, man’s plans to destroy a country with millions of innocent people. At the time I did not know that Satan was the cause behind this awful war. But I had no other choice but to reenlist into the military. I love my country and would give my live for her. I raised my hand on a Holy Bible and promised to protect and defend the United States Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
After my return to the States, I found myself a changed man. More like a pagan Catholic instead of a true one, my idea of going to Heaven was to attend church fish-fry’s, Bingo, and all other good activities within my parish. But I felt empty, hollow inside, as if something I didn’t understand was missing within me.
After being unemployed for several months I found myself on food stamps and financially broke. Sitting in my backyard I asked for God to just let me die. I was ashamed of myself and felt like a disappointment to others. I suddenly remembered the sisters of my youth told us that the best place to die was in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Thinking of death, I immediately began to have shortness of breath and almost stopped breathing. I was having an anxiety attack, confusion confounded me, and I was shaking all over. I was so dizzy that I could not walk. I feared I was dying, but I did not want to end up in hell.
Then an idea came to me: I asked my wife to take me to our parish at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. Upon arriving at the church, I saw our parish priest, Father Flanagan, walking his German Shephard.
But as I opened the door to our car, I was startled when instead of seeing the priest I saw the real person of Jesus Christ extending His arms to me. He said, “Come to Me”! I was confused and stunned. I turned around asking my wife if she could see the man standing in front of me, but upon returning my gaze He was gone.
She responded no. I also asked Father Flanagan, but with a gentle smile he said. “Johnnie, I did not see anyone”.
I was puzzled and confused as to what had just happened. I went inside the Church looking for Him and I could not find Him. I then remembered my mom telling me to light a candle at church and God would hear my prayer and plea. And so, I found and lit one of the votive candles. (I did not have any money, so I wrote an IOU $1.00 on a piece of paper and placed it in the donation slot.)
I did the same thing for seven straight days, but nothing happened. I found myself so frustrated and disappointed that I said to myself, “If I cannot find God in the Catholic Church, then I will go out to other places of worship and find Him”.
I left the Catholic Church to see if I could find Jesus in other faiths. I visited a Baptist Church, Methodist, Pentecostal, and still I could not find Him. I became so desperate that I went to a Curandero (Spanish witch doctor), then a Spiritualist who was being tested by the Masons. And yet, despite all my searching I did not understand why I could not find Jesus. I finally cried out in desperation for God to help me find Him. I was so lost.
The Servant’s Cup
I had fasted all day and was in prayer for almost seven hours. I was sobbing and crying out to God. Then, kneeling in the den of my home, I felt a beautiful presence, like a gentle cloud, coming over me. I did not know who it was until I fell to my knees. I knew without any doubt that God had seen my journey as I was seeking His love and presence all this time.
Suddenly He began showing me all my sins. Such a terrible site to see, I cried out for forgiveness and repented before God the Father for all my transgressions. (His presence is beyond words or understanding. He is pure LOVE.)
He spoke to me and asked me if I was willing to serve Him unconditionally. I replied “yes”. Then He asked me again if I was willing to take the cup of a servant and I replied “yes”! He told me that my life would be very difficult if I drank out of His cup, but I didn’t care. All I wanted was to serve Him. I told the Lord that I would be His servant and gave my life and soul to Him. I asked of Him one promise: “That all my children and family would be protected and that no harm would come to them”. The Lord replied: “Not a bone will be broken”.
He then told me that there would be many that would try to destroy me, and a time would come when “YOU WILL FIGHT LUCIFER HIMSELF”. He also said I would be blessed but will suffer much, and that evil, in time, would encompass the whole world.
Fast forward to April, 2021. I had just finished eating a bowl of chicken soup when suddenly I vomited. I tried to get up but over and over I kept falling, repeatedly hitting my head on furniture, walls, and finally the hardwood floor. By the following day my health deteriorated so badly that my wife took me to the Veteran’s Administration in Kerrville, Texas.
(My wife, Maria, is my anchor, my love, my everything. She prays and is very gentle and loving with everyone. She is the angel, and I am the bull. I love my wife.)
That evening, after being sent back home, I had the most horrific and terrible night. High fevers, nausea, cold chills, difficulty walking, and I could not stop shaking. All we could do was pray for God to help us.
The following evening, she took me to the ER at Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg. They saw my condition and I heard the doctors saying, “This man is very sick and might not make it to the morning”. I was completely dehydrated and had multiple infections: septic infection, pancreas infection, my kidneys were failing, and my liver was infected, and on top of that I was having a stroke! I was either going to the VA Audrey Murphy Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, Hospice or the morgue.
The doctors insisted a helicopter take me to San Antonio because by ambulance I might not make it (it is a 100-mile drive from home and 15 minutes by helicopter). On arriving there was a medical team waiting for me. My body was deteriorating fast. I was plugged in with different tubes to help my dehydration and failing organs. By the following morning I was stabilized. (The VA Hospital have some of the most wonderful caring and experienced physicians in the planet.)
I was in the hospital for almost 5 months. During my illness I lost over 55 pound, looking more like a corpse at only 99 lbs. before finally leaving the hospital.
It was at this time that Satan began battling for my soul with all the fury he could muster.
At various times during my illness I found myself taken to hell itself. I would see and hear the souls, condemned to eternal damnation, cursing hatred to God while anguishing in pain and despair. I felt a hollow feeling as if all was hopeless. There was no presence of God in this place. The smell of sulfur filled my nostrils. I experienced this over and over throughout my illness. At times I could not believe that God would even allow me to go through what was happening to me.
THEN, Satan appeared and was laughing at me. He mocked me for following a God that would allow me to suffer so much and go through such physical torments. He laughed at my pain, cursing both God and me. Repeatedly he kept telling me that he would heal me and even make me rich if only I would abandon God and come to him.
This hellish ridicule continued non-stop for almost three months. I prayed and asked God why this was happening to me, but I never heard a word or answer from God. It got so bad that I even prayed to God to please allow me to die. I felt trapped between the physical and spiritual worlds, where time loses its meaning and one day can seem like one month, and a month turns into years.
But I was not left defenseless. I had the weapons to fight Satan. Those weapons are prayer and love for God. Every time Satan keep asking me to curse God and to turn away from Him… my answer was always the same. No, No, No, No, No and all No!!!!. I knew that my consecration to God at the very beginning of my spiritual journey was to fight for God and to know that God will protect me even if I am thrown into a Lion’s Den. In my pain and anguish I was still happy that I drank of the cup God the Father gave me.
Finally, after so many months, God spoke and told Satan “Enough”! and he ran away in a split second. God the Father then spoke to me in a loving way but with power like thunder, saying: “You will not die, my son. You have won this battle that you knew was coming. Many more will come, and I am preparing you to help others. My blessings have always been with you. Your mission has not yet been completed. I have prepared you all these years for what is coming to those who embrace sin and evil”.
And just like that, the trial was over. I began recovering, to the doctor’s surprise and amazement. One doctor told me ‘it was a miracle you survived what you had to endure… all signs appeared that the grip of death was upon you.” Another doctor simply asked me if I was really still alive.
As of today I am almost completely back to normal. My weight has returned, and my health has improved to where I am ready to start working again. Praise Be to God!!!
During one of my near-death experiences I heard Jesus speaking: “At the end, all my people, both Roman Catholics and Protestant, will be praying the Rosary. May it be so!” God is calling all of us to come together. If you are in doubt and need spiritual help ask God and Our Lady for protection and guidance. They will answer. Please do not try to rationalize or think you know the answer. Satan knows you and will trick you. Always carry your Rosary and remember to use the sword given to everyone at Baptism: The Word of God.
My beloved sisters and brothers, under no circumstance or duress give up or forsake our God! We are all safe in His Hands. Many are being prepared to complete the mission of bringing the whole world to the person of Jesus Christ.
In God’s timing, it is my duty and responsibility to teach others, as The Holy Trinity leads me, and to share with all that are open to the Word of God and the repeated pleas and warnings from Our Blessed Mother.
Out of his infinite glory, may he give us the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breath and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ which is beyond all understanding, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.
Glory be to him whose power, working with us, can do infinitely more than can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Jesus Christ forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 14-21
I am available to speak to anyone that might want to talk to me. Please pray and discern everything. I am not only God’s servant, but your brother and servant.
Your brother in Christ,
John Martinez, Jr.