An area woman left these coins, her life savings, under the watchful eye of a Virgin Mary statue, because she didn't want to leave them in her home or safe deposit box.
An incredible test of faith paid off for one Maryland woman who decided to trust her life's savings to the Virgin Mary.
When the woman was unexpectedly called out of town recently, she did not want to leave her rare coin collection in her house. So, she turned to God and made the unusual decision to leave her prized collection at the grotto on the campus of Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., under fallen leaves near the statue of the Virgin Mary.
The woman later told church official that she didn't know where to leave the coins other than in Mary's care.
But even if you trust Mary, can you trust the rest of the World? In the time while the woman was away, thousands of visitors and worshipers unknowingly trudged by those bags of money, until a groundskeeper made the discovery.
"He was cleaning this area out and he took his rake to rake down some of the leaves and the bags fell, boom right to him," shrine director Bill Tronolone told News4. "He says Bill, I found two bags of coin and I look at them and they're all gold and silver."
The discovery was certainly unusual, but Tronolone was fairly certain he knew what happened: someone had left an offering.
He called police to make sure the money wasn't stolen and learned that the rare coins were worth about $40,000.
When the woman returned to the grotto to retrieve her stash she didn't find it under the gaze of Mary, so she asked Tronolone whether he'd seen her money. He said yes, and asked her why she possibly would have left it there. That's when he learned the story of her incredible faith in the Virgin Mary.
Tronolone said he was not only overwhelmed by her trust in a higher power, but also in the integrity of the inkeeper.
"It's wonderful to see two people who had tremendous faith to leave her savings in the care of blessed mother and two an employee of the Mount who had the honesty to say I found these and here they are," he said.
Before giving the coins back, the shrine director felt the need to give her a warning.
"I said that was taking some chance. She said evidently not, because you found them."