Mickey Harte says the wedding of his daughter Michaela to John McAreavey was the most beautiful day of her life.
The Tyrone manager who was speaking at the Little Way Novena in St Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry, last week says he thanks God that his daughter had the best and happiest day of her life on her wedding day.
He also said that the faith that his mother and father gave him when he was growing up, helped he and his siblings cope with the loss of members of their family.
It’s now been five years since Mickey Harte lost his daughter Michaela who was murdered while on honeymoon with her husband John in Mauritius.
“How do you cope with that,” he told the congregation. “You can’t cope on your own. You call on God, we had the prayers of the country with us. We were blessed to have our faith and God who carried us through our pain.
“I would say to people to never underestimate the power of your prayer for another person in a tragic situation.”
He said the loss of a loved one teaches you a lot about yourself and your family.
“You learn to live in the place you find yourself,” he said, “but only with the grace of God. Prayer doesn’t make it easy, but it makes it possible.”
The city’s Cathedral was packed for Mr Harte’s talk in which he said he had been blessed with four beautiful children and now grandchildren.
And he revealed how his first grandchild was born the night of the first anniversary Mass marking a year since Michaela’s death.
“Anything that happens is part of God’s plan, that is what Michaela always used to say,” he said. “And when Liam was born that night, well if that didn’t lift your heart then nothing would.”
He revealed how he has followed in the footsteps of his father who every night would go round the rooms of the house and bless them with Holy Water.
“I do that now still,” he said. “I took the Pioneer pin, that was important to my father and my own children followed on the same.
“I hope something I say will have value for you in your spiritual life. Live in the moment, live in the now, be a good listener. I know in the popular media traditional Catholic values can be considered uncool, but often the popular thing to do is not the right thing to do.”
His speech was given a round of applause.