The Butterfly Effect: Tallahassee’s Day Family Visit Pope Francis

Photo courtesy of Theresa Day

Theresa Day is a single mother of six children all under the age of 13.

She works part time caring for a child with special needs and home schools three of her children.

Her children are well behaved and are always willing to lend a helping hand, but the main thing that keeps this family together is their faith.

The Day family are dedicated Catholics and members of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Tallahassee. Theresas 7-year-old son, Gerald John Paul, is even named after the 264th former pope, St John Paul II ( John Paul The Great).

When the family made plans for Washington D.C to visit Theresas grandfathers grave, (also named Gerald John Paul), they never expected a journey filled with miracles, one in particular, witnessing the historical visit of Vatican Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Theresas grandfathers 12th year anniversary of being interred falls on Sept. 23, the same day Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and Paul.

My son told me, Mom, you should write  a letter to the Priest and tell him that were going to be in D.C and that we would want to go to the Mass,’Day said.

Little did the Day family know, that letter would later inspire Monsignor Rossi secretary, Leah, of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to offer them seven tickets to the Mass.

A leap of faith sent the Day family nearly 900 miles northeast to Washington, D.C., but when they arrived to their original hotel, about 20 miles out of D.C in Springfield, Va., things took a negative turn.

Our first room was filthy-dirty. There were stains all over the sheets, there were bugs on the floor, there was hair on the floor and it was gross,Day explained.

That Monday night, the Day family reluctantly slept in their less than comfortable hotel room, by Tuesday morning, Theresa was able to book a hotel two blocks north of the White House.

Day said that she called the hotel to make sure there were no strings attached to the reasonably priced room.

After I got the email confirmation of the new hotel reservation we immediately packed up and left,” she said.

On Wednesday morning, the Day family began their historical journey at the Popes parade.

By Thursday, they received a call from a congressional aide of U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham in Tallahassee, Fla., presenting them with seven tickets to the Joint Session of Congress where the pope would give a speech before Congress members.

When Saturday came, the family witnessed the historical event they had all been waiting for, Mass at the Cathedral Basilica.

Day even took it upon herself to stop by the National Basilica to thank Monsignor Rossi before heading back to Tallahassee.

As the family readjusts to their lives back in Tallahassee, Theresa cant help but to notice the pieces that contributes to her miracles.

When cleaning out their suitcases, Days eldest daughter, Angela, came across a gold key chain which features an angel guarding children over a broken bridge.

Its the craziest thing because Ive never in my life have seen this before,Day said.

Angela, Days eldest daughter believes the angel on the keychain, was the Guardian angel that watched over us on our trip.

Day also mentioned the reoccurrence of butterflies throughout her trip, which serves as a representation of her interred grandfather, who is also her guardian angel.

An experience like this has made the Day familys faith stronger. Day says that when people see her and her family out and about, she is no longer the mother with six children, but the mother with six children who witnessed the Pope.

When asked about her overall experience, Day says, It definitely makes you not question our faith.

Gerald, her 7-year old son said his favorite part of the trip was seeing Pope Francis.

that's what I want to be when I grow up,” he said.

One act of kindness can lead to amazing possibilities. For the Day family, it lead to a series of unexpected miracles.

Similar to that of the butterfly effect, where one sudden change didn't bring chaos, but positive effects elsewhere.