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KIRKUK, Iraq (ChurchMilitant.com) - Seven Iraqi women are revealing they were protected from ISIS by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On October 21, seven Catholic women hid under their beds for eight hours while ISIS fighters used their room to treat wounded fighters, pray, rest and eat.
Father Roni Momika — ordained in a refugee camp in August and one of Iraq's newest priests — told Catholic News Agency Our Lady saved the women from being discovered. Had they been found they would have endured the same atrocities suffered by thousands of women at the hands of ISIS.
He revealed he was in contact with the women the whole time via cell phone. He reminded them to "pray to the Virgin Mary; she will come to help you." One of the women later told him, "When ISIS entered our room, they didn't see us (and) we feel that the Virgin Mary closed their eyes from seeing us."
The ISIS fighters were taking temporary shelter at the home in the latest push by Iraqi and Kurdish armies to liberate cities conquered by ISIS. The retaking of Kirkuk is part of the coalition force's effort to take back Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities and the home of ISIS in the country.
ChurchMilitant.com reported that in 2015, Bp. Oliver Dashe Doeme, head of the diocese of Maiduguri in Nigeria's Borno State, said he experienced a vision of Our Lord, Who held a sword and silently handed it to Bp. Doeme. In the bishop's hands the sword turned into a Rosary, and then Our Lord told him three times, "Boko Haram is gone."
He remarked, "I never joke with 'Mama Mary.' I know she is here with us," and added that "prayer, particularly the prayer of the Rosary, is (what) will deliver us from the claws of this demon, the demon of terrorism. And of course, it is working."
Since then, the Rosary has been prayed fervently by his people, and Bp. Doeme notes, "Before, Boko Haram members were everywhere. But now they are not everywhere. They have been pushed to the forests. Boko Haram will soon fizzle out, mostly because of the prayers of the people."
During the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 nearly one million members of the Tutsi tribe were murdered by Hutus in a three-month massacre. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Catholic university student, hid in a three-by-four-foot bathroom for 91 days with seven other women.
She lived in complete terror, expecting at any time that Hutu killers would come through the door and hack them to death with machetes. She heard them searching for her and calling out her name. For 91 days she heard her family and friends screaming and being massacred.
Ilibagiza told WorldNetDaily.com, "I felt like my head was laying on the lap of the Blessed Mother all day. There was no eating. I prayed from the morning until eleven at night."
She prayed every waking moment, saying 40 Divine Mercy chaplets and 27 Rosaries every day, revealing, "Every day, every second, I had to think of the Blessed Mother. And at night, I would dream of Jesus. Although all day I was praying to Mary, at night I always dreamt of Jesus, and He told me, 'Don't fear again.'"