I was born in a non-Christian family, with parents who are devout Buddhists. As I grew, I had a negative impression of Christianity due to the – to put it bluntly – ‘aggressive marketing’ of Jesus by some Christians.

Just by believing in Jesus and I will go to heaven?
Even if I sin grievously but just believing in His existence will save me?

I thought it was too good to be true. In Secondary two, my devout Protestant classmate attempted to convert me but to no avail until an incident (which I don’t wish to disclose) occurred. I prayed: “Jesus, if you’re real, please save me!”

It was then I had this stirring to read up on Christianity on Wikipedia and as time went by, I knew more about Christianity in the Catholic context (because I had very negative impression of Protestantism). I read up on the Mass, Angels, Saints and the Virgin Mary. Particularly Mary. And the Rosary of course.

I read on the graces promised so as a very amateur believer, I started to pray the Joyful mysteries, which I thought were the only mysteries at that time, every day for a semester in Secondary two.

My hope in God and the help of Mary started to grow thinner after day when my results were of dissatisfaction and as result, my relations with my family and teacher became tensed.

My final semester exam was coming and I was not confident, but I still prayed to God and prayed the rosary too. There on the night before my first paper, I had a strange dream. I dreamt that I was led into a dark, mysterious and frightening alley with a lot of eerie graffiti. The graffiti resembled the words from Hail Mary but they were not. Alone and panicked, I broke into cold sweat.

At this moment, I heard a gentle female voice saying: “I am Mother Mary, Queen of the Rosary, if you need me I will be there for you.”

I felt extremely fearful and before I could reply her, I woke up immediately. I told my parents about it, but they just would not accept. After the paper (which I scored an A1 eventually), I read up on Marian encounters on the Net saying – “Angels and saints behold a part of God’s perfect glory that no man can withstand.

So, should a human being encounter one of these heavenly beings, they will indeed be fearful of the glory of God they reflect.” This led me to slowly understand and reaffirm my faith in Christ through the teachings of the Catholic church. Now I’m in my twenties and I still believe in the everlasting Holy Trinity and the powerful intercession of Mary.

I’m also praying for my future baptism and confirmation, alongside the conversion of sinners, for I believe in the name of Jesus!

Paul Goh,
VITA Images Volunteer

Top image: Archana Menon

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