Pray for the Graves Family, Victims of the Disney Alligator Attack

Two-year-old Lane Graves was killed at Disney's Grand Floridian on June 14.
Two-year-old Lane Graves was killed at Disney's Grand Floridian on June 14. (photo: Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Prov. 3:5

This Bible verse came to my mind after seeing what happened to two-year-old Lane Graves at Walt Disney World last week.

On the evening of June 14, an alligator grabbed Graves off the shore of a lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Lane’s father, Matt Graves, desperately wrestled with the alligator to save his son’s life, but could not retrieve him from the animal’s grasp. Thankfully, authorities found his body fully intact. The autopsy revealed that he died from drowning and traumatic injuries.

The Graves’ are parishioners of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Elkhorn, Nebraska, and their four-year-old daughter attends Catholic school.

The parish released the Graves’ family statement on its website:

Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country. We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest. Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time.

St. Patrick Catholic Church suggested several ways people can show the family support. They asked the community to tie a blue ribbon around their tree, and are taking donations. Most importantly though, they asked for prayers.

I cannot imagine what the Graves are going through right now. They lost their son, and their daughter lost a brother. I have a 17-month-old son, and it breaks my heart to even think about the pain this family must experience right now. No parent ever wants to think about losing their child. This family not only lost their child, but they lost him in an unimaginable way that no parent would ever expect—and it’s all happening in the public eye.

As Catholics, let us join in prayer for the Matt and Melissa Graves family. Prayer is what will see them through this trial. Let us ask God and the Blessed Mother to give them the strength and graces they need to endure this trial. We are a universal Church—a family of God. The Graves are part of our spiritual family. Let us pour a spiritual bouquet upon them, and ask Our Blessed Mother to wrap her arms around them during this time of grief.

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Mt. 5:4