By Michael H. Brown
BUSINESSMAN WHO SAW MARY ALSO HAD ENCOUNTER WITH ARCHANGEL MICHAEL
When we left off, we were retelling the account of Louis P. Saia III, a 45-year-old Houma, Louisiana, businessman who was at wits end and in total personal and legal turmoil (broke and suing a major corporation to keep it from taking over his crucial patent) when, in his most desperate moment, he had an apparition of the Virgin Mary [see story]. The astonishing legal aspect of his struggle was detailed last September in a national publication called Business Week.
Naturally, a business publication couldn’t detail all the behind-the-scene miracles, and there were plenty of them. Indeed, Saia ended up winning a war no one thought he could — truly, David versus Goliath, a stunning victory, as you will see in a moment — and he credits the Virgin, who, after the single apparition (which occurred in broad daylight on March 17, 1996), spoke to Louis in locutions.
She told him to “persevere.” She told him to hold great faith in her Son. “I trusted,” says Louis. “It was out of my hands from that day forward. All I did was pray.”
And what happened to this businessman — this businessman who now speaks in churches and who says his thoughts remain consumed by Jesus and Mary — was astounding. His lawyers had abandoned him. Banks wouldn’t lend him money. His own family wouldn’t give him any more funds for his legal case, because it seemed so hopeless. But Saia had decided to persevere. He had invented a valuable product — a shipping container — that the corporation wanted to assume total control over, and he couldn’t accept that. He couldn’t accept someone taking his invention, his great accomplishment, his life’s work.
And so Saia persevered and trusted and right after the apparition — within days — two new lawyers suddenly showed up on the scene, saying they’d heard of the case and would take it. They agreed to work on a contingency basis — itself a little miracle — but Saia was still in desperate need of money, virtually bankrupt, and here’s where a second miracle occurred. It was the same week. A man from a financial group called Volvo Credit had come to see Louis for a previously scheduled meeting — a meeting Saia had all but forgotten — and now Louis poured out his heart to him, telling him of his financial desperation and about the appearance of Mary despite the fact that the executive was Protestant.
The story took three hours to tell and at the end of it the Volvo executive startled Louis by saying that he realized Saia’s financial situation was hardly enough to loan him what he needed ($5 million), but that he believed he would win the case and would lend the money based on the story! “I think everything you’ve told me is true, and I think you’re going to beat this mammoth company,” he told Saia.
It turned out that the Volvo executive was a deeply religious man and although Saia and his wife Cindy both were initially in disbelief — thought the man was joking — the next day was a fax confirming the loan and talking about Jesus.
“Through my faith and my trust,” says Saia, “I was back in action again.”
But there was a court case to win, and soon, this again looked desperate. The large corporation he had been battling, which had been in a venture partnership with him, was trying to liquidate the company they had formed and, knowing Saia was broke, outbid him on his own invention (called a “pallet reefer,” which allows shipment of perishables). The courtroom action was in Wilmington, Delaware, and one day his Delaware lawyers called with the sad news that the judge had told them he was going to rule to liquidate, granting the corporation its victory and fulfilling that corporation’s vow to crush Louis.
But Saia, once a lukewarm Catholic, now praying constantly, claims he was still hearing from the Virgin, and that she told him to go to Delaware even though the judge himself told his lawyers to tell him not to bother coming! “I said, get me a ticket to get to Delaware. My wife said, ‘look, we have $60 left in our checking account, and $400 in a drawer.’ But I couldn’t get Mary off my mind, and all I did was pray, pray, pray. Anytime I wanted to communicate with Mary, all I had to do was go to a quiet place and pray with my heart.”
Persevere. Have faith. It was off to Delaware on borrowed money and borrowed time, and then came the fateful hearing. It was May 6, 1996. “We got to the courtroom, and it was like a wedding,” he told Spirit Daily. “Their side of the court is full of people, and they’re laughing and jeering and making fun of us. We can overhear them, talking about the hotel and the band they hired and the hors d’oeuvres — they had a party planned for when they got the ruling.
“Right before the judge walks in, I lost my faith,” says Saia. “I told the lead attorney, you wanted to buy my half, you can have it, so I could take something rather than nothing. They look at me and say, it’s too late for that, it’s off the table, we’re not going to negotiate anything. They were going to take it all their way. But what happens is I go back to my faith. I grab my wife Cindy by the hand, and I’m holding her with one hand and in my mind I’m praying. I never prayed like that in my life! I’m begging. I’m pleading over and over, ‘Mary, please, ask your Son Jesus to touch the judge on his head and let him know they’re using his court to steal innocent people’s patents. Mary please.'”
“Well what happens is that just like they predicted the judge cuts all the arguments short, and says he’s going to rule on the matter,” recalls Lou. “He has the gavel in his hand and I know he’s going to rule against me, just like my lawyers had predicted, and all of a sudden, the gavel’s in his hand, and raised — that’s how close it got — and all of a sudden I see this light come from the window in the courtroom and go on the judge — shine on him. I guess to everyone else it looked like a cloud moved and some light came in. To me, for some reason, I’m begging that prayer, and when I saw it, my heart leapt with joy, because I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that my prayer was being answered.”
It was sunlight, but it was also a manifestation.
“The judge puts the gavel down when that light hits him, looks at my opponent’s lawyer, and says, ‘Hypothetically’– then repeats my prayer! He says: ‘Hypothetically, what if your client is using my court to steal these innocent people’s patents?'”
“The same prayer I had been praying, the judge repeats it! Then he changes his mind and rules not to liquidate, but to ‘stay’ the action! My lawyers start crying, both of them, and my wife was crying, even the clerk knew something happened to the judge in those last seconds and even she looked choked up.”
The others, the lawyers and executives from the corporation, evaporated.
Saia himself didn’t weep until he was on a sidewalk outside the courtroom. Then he let loose with a torrent so loud that passersby thought he needed an ambulance. “I went down on one knee and put my hand over my eyes and began to weep, and I felt the feeling even stronger than when Mary appeared,” he says. “The intensity of the joy was such that I can’t describe it. The love I felt and the joy I felt are indescribable. People thought I was having a seizure — ‘Mr., can we get you an ambulance, can we help you?’ I couldn’t talk. I could only weep. It looks like I’m having a heart attack or a seizure, but it’s the greatest moment of my life!”
The victory led to arbitration which soon led to a huge award that Louis used to pay his many debts and restart his company. He gave $700,000 of it to charity.
And oh yes: A few weeks after the May hearing, Louis got a call from a priest he had met, Father Paul Bergeron. The priest came over to say he’d had a spiritual dream with Louis in it. It had occurred the same day as the Delaware hearing.
“He said in the dream, it was misty and foggy and there was a bright light behind the mist and fog and he could see a source of light and he said I was in a field with this mist and fog and he said I was kneeling. He knelt exactly like I had knelt on that sidewalk in Delaware. He told me I was wearing a blue suit, a white shirt, and a yellow tie — just what I was wearing that day. Then he tells me, he doesn’t know why, but I had my hand over my eyes. Next to me was a figure nine-feet tall, with wings 15-feet high, the Archangel Michael. He said he had his sword out touching me on the head with it. He said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.”
“When I was there and they read that verdict and they said you won the patents and you won the money ($25 million), although it was a happy feeling, nothing comes close to the real award, the real victory, which was my conversion,” concludes Louis. “The cross I carried was small compared to people who have a child who’s sick with a terminal illness, or compared to a spouse who has cancer, compared to a marriage that involves a lot of children and a divorce. Many people carry big crosses. I’m not the only one who has experienced anxiety. But I hope if nothing else the time I spent relating the story deepens appreciation for what the power of faith in Jesus Christ can do in the ‘no-win’ situations in life — you know, where the doctors say there’s nothing we can do, or these no-hope situations where you have a child on drugs. Let me tell you that there is no such thing as a ‘no-hope’ situation. I believe in the deepest parts of my heart that no matter how desperate you may be, and how ‘no-hope,’ no matter how extreme your situation may be, take it from me: wherever you have strong faith, you’ll always have miracles.”