Should We Pray More To Matt Talbot?

Matt Talbot2Matt Talbot was born on May 3rd, 1856 and baptised two days later, on the feast of St Pius V.  He was the second child of a family of twelve children, three of which died in young age.  The family had a very hard life as they moved not less than 11 times in the course of 18 years.  The cause of this continual instability lies mainly in the father’s drink problem.

Matt never went to school.  At the age of 11, he received a few lessons in religion, writing, reading and arithmetic by a very young Christian Brother who was not even 20 years old, one of the zealous souls urged by the Archbishop of Dublin, to save the children who were continually assailed by and urged to join the Protestant street preachers.  At 12, Matt left his teacher and began to work, unfortunately, in a wine store.  Workers induced him to drink and within a year he had to change job and got employment in the Bonded Stores at the Custom Dock House.  The drinking continued.  As a matter of fact, it continued for a solid 16 years.  During all that time, all his money went to drink, every penny, every copper.  He was one of these poor souls, described by St Paul, “cujus Deus venter est – whose God is their belly” (Phil.3,19).  And as one sin leads to another, in order to drink, he began to steal with his friends.  He stole once the fiddle of a poor blind man.  Later on he searched through Dublin for that man, in vain.  He even pawned his shirt and boots for drink.

Until the day the saving grace of God was offered to him.  He was then 28.  Unemployed on that particular day, he had been waiting outside a public house for his “friends” to pass him on their way in and to give him a few “bobs”.  He got nothing.  They passed him and gave him absolutely nothing.  The shock of their scornful refusal hurt him far more that the lack of the price of a pint.  Like the prodigal son, he felt the painful nature of that kind of “friendship”.  Wounded, he wandered a few steps away at a little bridge, Newcomer Bridge, and leaned over, gazing at the dark waters below.  God, the living water, was there, in the dark water.  A strong grace of God shone in his soul, showed him his life wasted in miserable drink and filled him with shame and disgust.  He would no longer be the spineless good-for-nothing Matt Talbot.  He would offend God no more.  Enough was enough.  He would take the pledge and keep it.  All this lasted a few brief instants.  Yet, this was one of the Blessed Trinity’s greatest miracles, one of these “ultimate effects of Divine power”.  Click here to read entire sermon

Comment

Any advice or ideas which bloggers may like to share on this thread could be of immense help to those with major concerns  due to friends and/or family members with drink problems.  Obviously, no names or identifying features should be shared – it really is a small world, so take care if you choose to tell us about someone in your own circle. Above all, we hope that by reading about Matt Talbot, bloggers will be encouraged to pray to him for conversions similar to his own. Abusing alcohol can ruin lives and I dare say we all know of Catholics, especially, perhaps, lapsed Catholics, who are afflicted with this problem.  But this thread needn’t just be about alcoholism.  Conversion is a key theme, so if you have any stories from your own experience of the lapsed returning to the Faith or new converts embracing the Faith, or you simply want to write about a favourite saint whose conversion story made a difference in your life, feel free to post it on this thread – if it’s edifying, we want to read all about it!  

58 responses

  1. As far as I can recall he is now “Venerable Matt Talbot” and a great patron for those struggling with alcohol or drug addictions. It took quite a while before he could finally keep the pledge & stay off drink for good.

    • That’s what is so attractive about Matt Talbot, he was so very human and weak. He’s a great role model for young addicts. I sincerely hope his cause goes through quickly.

  2. I love the story of Matt Talbot, he is so humble and ordinary. I think his Cause should be pushed hard because if ever a generation needed a role model to help them off additions, it is this generation. If they can fast track the modern popes for canonisation, who wreaked havoc in the Church, why can’t they fast track Matt Talbot, a much needed role model for our times?

  3. I would ask for bloggers prayers for a relative of mine who has a serious drink problem, but won’t admit it. It has caused all sorts of problems in her immediate family but she won’t agree to go to AA. She insists she doesn’t have a problem, only likes a drink. Please pray for her – her name is Lisa.

  4. I wrote this poem on the life of Matt a few years ago so I would like to share it with you.

    The Servant Of God
    (Matt Talbot).

    Silhouetted beneath the shimmering January moon,
    a lone pilgrim,his bare knees,
    kissing the penitential cold of granite stone,
    awaits entry to the re-enactment,
    of the perpetual drama.

    Not so alas in his youthful days,
    for those hands now clasped in prayer,
    with reckless ease were wrapped around,
    the “drink”, and all it’s snares.
    From tavern to drunken tavern,
    stumble, stagger, fall,
    when the demon’s cravings had stripped him bare,
    ’twas the You gave the call.

    With hands buried deep in penniless pockets,
    on Newcomen bridge he took his stand,
    pleading eyes from sunken sockets,
    awaited in vain a welcoming glance.
    A mother’s prayers had at last been answered,
    from the debts of despair a glimmer of light,
    a bitter experience of human friendship,
    shattered he sighed, and sought comfort in flight.

    By the fireside she sat, as she heard him exclaim
    “mother ,mother I’m home,
    startled she cried, “Matt, what is it, what’s wrong?
    “I’m taking the pledge”, he intoned.
    “Go now in God’s name, but only if you intend to keep it”,
    for she well knew his heavy load.
    “I’ll go in God’s name, as he took,
    his first faltering steps down the straight and narrow road ,

    “Bless me Father for I have sinned”, a new life of grace lay ahead,
    Three months, six, finally for life,
    many tears of repentance were shed.
    Temptation, isolation, discouragement, pain,
    the chains of indulgence proved strong,
    but his spiritual food, now his daily diet
    proved stronger as the battle raged on.

    Instead of drink, now Matt consumed,
    the fruits of kindred souls,
    Augustine, Wisdom, the book of Psalms
    Our Lady, many secrets to Matt did unfold,
    Fasting, solitude, alms giving, prayer,
    as he rises from his wooden bed,
    four hours sleep, his vigil he’d keep,
    eternity, to lay down his head.

    To the casual eye in the builder’s yard,
    nothing unwonted seemed done,
    to the wiry little man who carried and fetched,
    in wind, rain, and sun.
    Bot deep within the Master’s hand,
    to reshape and rebuild had begun,
    ‘Till out of the debts came the constant refrain,
    “Thy will, Thy will be it done”

    Down Granby lane, on the seventh of June,
    this foot soldier stumbled and fell,
    of the milling crowd that gathered around,
    his identity, no one could tell.
    In Jervis street hospital,bound in chains of love,
    laid bare, this pilgrim who carried the hod,
    Providence’s design would reveal in good time,
    he was truly a Servant of God. .

    • Attono,

      That is a very beautiful poem. Your talent is obvious. I’m really glad you posted it. I’ll be reading it again and again.

      I do hope Matt Talbot is canonised soon. As already said, we sorely need a role model for our society so addicted to drink and drugs. Matt Talbot would be a great role model, especially for young men.

  5. I would like prayers for a friend of mine who is seriously ill – it’s nothing to do with drink but his recovery would be a miracle.

  6. I first heard of Matt Talbot thanks to Catholic Truth; his story is both moving and inspiring. There’s a bridge named for him in Dublin, something else I didn’t know!

    Matts story is a welcome reminder of the dangers of the demon drink. Its amazing to think how flippant society is regarding heavy drinking / alcoholism, compared to other strongly addictive and harmful drugs such as smoking (nicotine) or the likes of crack / heroin.

    I dont recall where I read or heard this, but someone said that if alcohol was only discovered today, it would be banned immediately. How very true. Its only because its so much of a money-spinner that its tolerated, regardless of the human cost. (I say this as someone who enjoys a few beers on occasion – about a road-tankers worth, typically!).

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I do worry about the dangers of drink especially for young people because it is portrayed as something that is desirable, it’s good to get “bladdered” and so on. Anyone saying differently is regarded as an old fuddy duddy. So, I will be spreading the story of Matt Talbot around my own family. It’s surprising he’s not mentioned by priests and bishops – but then again, maybe not – LOL!

    • Gabriel

      How right you are! I think the same is true of smoking. Surely it would be banned if it wasn’t such a money spinner.

      I often wonder if smoking is a sin. An odd drink now and then is not harmful but to be a heavy smoker is definitely harmful to our bodies and others around us. SUrely to be a heavy smoker and deliberately put your life in danger is a sin?

  7. Perhaps I could ask bloggers to please pray for Olaf, our sometime blogger, who was taken ill today and had surgery. His wife reports that he is doing well, but your prayers would be much appreciated.

    Enjoyed reading all the comments so far – I completely agree about the need for a role model today – especially for young people – due to the problems of drug and drink addition.

    Venerable Matt Talbot would be a terrific role model – in fact, we ought to tell as many youngsters about him as we can and encourage them to read up on his life.

  8. I sometimes drop in here occasionally but want to share my own story. Without giving too many personal details I developed an alcohol addiction – a severe one – shortly after lapsing from the faith and before starting university. It’s not called the demon drink for nothing – I lost family, jobs, friends, money. I stole money, drink. I drank-drove and didn’t recall any of the journey of the off-licences I had visited. I hallucinated and saw demons. Even had conversations with them.

    I know all the ‘tips and tricks’ of a drinker. I can spot them at ten paces. I caused a tsunami of destruction and heartbreak. On the three separate occasions I attempted suicide. On each occasion there was, looking back, what can only be , divine intercession. Life became so unbearable that I decided to try again to take my life again. I had started to sit in the local church in the afternoon – sitting by the Sacred Heart statue. I was not sure why I was there at the time, but I found out later that my Irish mother and friends from church were praying me for every day after Mass in a group.

    So one day, completely sober, I decided to end it. I called out to God and said ‘if you are there, please, please help me’. HE did. I can only describe what I received as an immediate response, a signal grace. I stopped drinking immediately without recourse to AA, counselling, drying-out, therapy, finding myself etc. Drinkers are filling up an empty void and only Our Lord can fill that. Only His Love, His Sacred Heart who split every drop of blood for us can do that.

    Not too long ago I had a liver test and the doctor said my liver was in really good shape. He asked me how much I used to drink. And then kept saying ‘How much’! Recently I had the opportunity to tell another hospital consultant how I stopped. I told her I had reverted to my Catholic faith. She shouted out – that is a miracle. I couldn’t help notice the face of the young trainee doctor in the room . His jaw literally dropped. But when people say how well I have done , I always correct and say – I did nothing. I owe it all to God.

    I am a Pioneer and when I think of what God has done for me I cry. It is not all He has done for me. I could be writing all night about that. I am though, now, prompted by this thread going to pray very much for those addicted to alcohol – and for the intercession of Matt Talbot.

    Prayer of the Canonisation of Matt Talbot

    Lord, you your servant Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty and of lifelong reverence for the Most Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen .

    Please pray for me – a sinner.

    • Strictly Catholic,

      I echo Therese’s sentiments, below. Your post is just beautiful and happened to come in when I was on the phone to a priest. I had been just about to check the blog when he rang.

      I read over your post to him, as I could see at a skim that it was beautiful and he said he knew I wasn’t paying attention, was I checking emails?! I admitted to skimming your post and he was very agreeable to my suggestion to read it over to him. I mentioned our puzzlement on here as to why priests are not encouraging people, especially youth, to pray to Matt Talbot given the problem of drink and drug additions in our times. Who knows, maybe he’ll do his bit from now on.

      So, thank you very much for sharing your inspirational story with us.

      And stick around – we don’t want you just “dropping in here occasionally” – we need you all the time! There’s a shortage of people with “strictly Catholic” beliefs and opinions, so consider yourself recruited to help spread the truths of the Faith. The pay’s not great to begin with but, later… you will reap your reward, big time 😀

      God bless.

      • Editor,

        I agree with you entirely. Strictly Catholic’s post is inspirational. Absolutely. If only Matt Talbot and his cause for canonisation was promoted more by priests.

        I would like to ask bloggers what they think of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have always been a bit wary of it because of the danger of indifferentism. People of all faiths unite under a “higher power”. Then there’s the serenity prayer at the end. Should Catholics be praying with those of different beliefs?

        • Petrus,

          I don’t think joining AA could be a danger to the Faith, even though Catholics are praying with non Catholics. I think with support groups like AA, the focus is not so much a reliance on religion or God to heal – as it is relying on other members. There is the assurance that someone will always be there when one is tempted. A friend’s husband joined the group, and he said the biggest plus to joining was knowing no matter what, there would always be someone who would be willing to listen, and strengthen his resolve not to turn to the substance of his addiction.

        • Petrus,

          You’ve obviously forgotten, but we published a very good article on AA by an American reader (former AA member) – haven’t time to search for it but if you dig around online (our archives on the Newsletter page) I’m sure you’d find it.

  9. Strictly Catholic

    Thank you for sharing your very moving story. You’ve been very blessed, and I’m so happy for you, even though you’ve made me cry! I’m sure your experience and your example will be an inspiration to many.

  10. Just hearing on the news that Archbishop Tartaglia has taken a heart attack while over in Spain. We should pray for him for a speedy recovery.

    • You should also keep an eye on our website where I posted that news this morning, and again on our General Discussion thread!

      Anyway, would do no harm to ask Matt Talbot for his intercession. Converting Archbishop T to repent of the damage he’s done to the Church in Scotland before he meets his Maker, would be a definite first class miracle! A similar miracle might follow for his brother bishops.

      Update on his condition posted on the General Discussion thread…

  11. I will pray for the archbishop – it’s good that he is now improving (Scottish news on BBC1 tonight.)

  12. Thank you all very, very much for your prayers. Some of the content of recent threads would be enough to give me another heart seizure!! God and His blessed Mother help us all.

    • Olaf,

      Welcome back! I’m delighted that you have made a good recovery – and maybe you should skip some of the other threads for a bit until that recovery is complete! They’re enough to test the strongest hearts!

  13. Hello,

    I’m another occasional visitor to your blog. The words of Strictly Catholic have inspired me to share just a wee bit of my story and how the graces that I received have guided me.

    I was brought up in a working class agnostic family in east central Scotland. My parents would still describe themselves as protestant/ church of Scotland but never attended church and I can honestly say I was inside the doors of any religious building less than ten times in the first thirty years of my life.

    I was given a small bible by the Gideons at school when I was about fifteen. I would occasionally read this and learned a bit about Jesus through this. I had previously only glanced at the King James version and the archaic language made this totally inaccessible to me.

    As I became an adult I lived a life which, without going into too much detail, was Godless. I drank and took drugs. I fornicated and lived an immoral life. I wasn’t alone and probably 80% plus of Scotland was and is like that

    However…. I did always believe in God. I was afraid of God but I knew He existed. I was afraid to speak to Jesus and didn’t really understand who He was. The singular grace of my life was that I somehow knew that if I asked Mary for help she would protect and support me. Many times I would be in trouble, in a place where I had no right to expect help, desperate, down among the pigs so to speak and she would rescue me. I could give you half a dozen occasions where I can say that without Mary’s help I would have been dead. She never gave up on me. Despite knowing all this I still lived like I did. I’m sorry now but I didn’t know any better.

    How did I know to pray for Our Lady’s help? I don’t know! I didn’t even know many Catholics and none practicing. I had never set foot in a Catholic church.

    On the night of my thirtieth birthday I had a dream. I was walking in a garden with a young lady. She was dressed in dark blue or black clothing and had a beautiful smile. She said only one thing to me. ”The only road that is worth travelling is the road that leads to Jesus Christ”. I have never had a dream before or since like that. Lucid, clear and to this day I remember it fully.

    After years of much reading, pain and outpouring of grace from heaven I decided the only thing that made sense was for me to get to know Jesus and given that my Protectress and Mother seemed to insist upon it, then I better be a Catholic then. I went through the RCIA process in my local parish and was received into the Church a few years back. I was given a book by a nice lady on the RCIA team about someone I had never heard of, St Therese of Lisieux. There was a picture of her on the back of the book and it was the girl I had seen in the dream years before.

    Since then things have been difficult to say the least. The howitzers of hell are turned against those that the devil doesn’t want to lose. I constantly go through incredibly powerful temptations and pain. A priest said to me once that I must be full of joy to be a Christian… when I told him the despair and helplessness I feel sometimes he looked at me as if I was daft. The Catholic Church doesn’t seem to trust converts. We make people nervous. The classic writers of the Faith that I have read don’t seem to chime with the current Church at all. St Francis de Sales, St Philip Neri, St Benedict and many others have been my friends, counsellors and spiritual advisors. But I feel estraged and quite sad in the 2015 Catholic Church because I can’t find the tabernacle, I don’t like the music, nobody really talks to me, when I do raise my sins in confession the priest doesn’t take them as seriously as the writers I have been reading seemed to. Oh well…..

    Thank you for standing up for the Truth here in Scotland. May Matt Talbot pray for us. St Therese pray for us. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

    Thanks for listening…

    • David,

      What a spectacularly beautiful post. Thank you SO much for your great humility in telling your story here.

      I note, in particular, the central role of Our Lady in your life:

      “The singular grace of my life was that I somehow knew that if I asked Mary for help she would protect and support me.”

      That is amazing and wonderful – you have a very special place in her heart, obviously.

      And your dream/St Therese! She has always been my very special saint since childhood, when I took her name at my Confirmation. She is a very powerful saint, who said she would spend her Heaven doing good on earth, by showering down her “roses” – looks like you were definitely a recipient!

      David, please come to the SSPX chapel in Glasgow if possible, or Edinburgh if you are on the east coast. You can find the addresses and times of Masses here.

      If you come to Glasgow, make a point of introducing yourself to me, please, and I will stand you your first tea/coffee and biscuit! If you are nearer Edinburgh, please still let me know when you are planning to go so that I can make sure that our blogger Vianney speaks to you – I know he tries to always welcome newcomers but – Murphy’s Law – it would be just like the thing if he missed you on your first visit (which we wouldn’t want to be your last!)

      Seriously, David, that is where you will be at peace. In a Society chapel. Not perfect, nothing in this world is, but the SSPX is God’s Divine Providence at work in this terrible crisis. Our Lady said in the 17th century that her Son would send a prelate to restore the priesthood in our times, and He has done so – enter Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX.

      Finally, I must comment on this numpty:

      “A priest said to me once that I must be full of joy to be a Christian… when I told him the despair and helplessness I feel sometimes he looked at me as if I was daft.”

      What HE means by “joy” is superficial emotionalism, hand clapping nonsense camouflaging weak faith. The people I’ve met who exhibit this “joy” have generally been fanatical followers of unapproved “apparitions” and/or dissenters of one kind or another – usually in the realm of the natural moral law. What they are “joyfully” looking forward to is not Heaven, but their next mortal sin… It’s the way I tell ’em…

      What he SHOULD have said (but in his ignorance, probably doesn’t even know himself, such is the impoverishment of the seminary training he’ll have undergone) is that you are being treated as a strong soul by being permitted to undergo these temptations and despair. Despair and temptations, as we know, come from the Devil. God has made it abundantly clear to you that He is working in your soul, and you should be (and I suspect you are) at peace in your innermost soul, notwithstanding the upset on the surface. All the great saints, Fathers and Doctors of the Church have written exactly the same thing on this subject, and the fact that your priest displayed the superficial attitude he did towards your recounting of your spiritual state, tells us that he hasn’t read any of that classical Catholic spirituality, let alone imbibed it to live (as best any of us can) and teach/preach.

      I will be looking for you tomorrow after Mass in Glasgow, David. Be there! Or else! 😀

    • David

      Welcome home! Our Lady clearly wanted you safe and sound with the rest of the family.Thanks so much for telling us of your wonderful experiences. The Little Flower is one of my favourite saints, and it looks like she didn’t just send you one rose, but a whole bunch!

      I guarantee that if you take up Editor’s offer and meet her you won’t feel estranged any more; it’s truly a miracle that you have managed to find your way to the Truth, considering all the obstacles put up these days to extinguish piety. You can always come here to chat with Catholics who really know their Faith.

      God bless.

    • David,

      I’ve only just read your post. I can only echo what the editor has said. It is quite spectacular! I believe that Our Lady has been with you every step of the way. She truly is the refuge of sinners.

      I couldn’t agree with the editor more – please find the Traditional Latin Mass. You will, I’m certain, realise that this is where Our Lady has been leading you.

      God bless.

    • David,

      I agree with Editor, it is a spectacularly beautiful post!

      On reading your post I was reminded of a very comforting and reassuring quote in St. Louis Montfort’s “The Secret of Mary”, where he quotes St, Augustine who said, “during their life, all the elect (and this without a doubt includes you, David) are hidden in Mary’s womb, and they are not truly born until the Blessed Mother brings them forth to life eternal”

      Our Lady has protected and brought you this far, She is not about to let you go, not after She chose you! If you don’t mind a suggestion- you could, (if you don’t already) say three Hail Marys morning and night in honor of Our Lady and for Her protection. It’s simple but powerful.

      I agree with Therese, if you meet Editor, you will not feel estranged any longer. She is a fount of wisdom, too. She will correct the nonsense helpful folks, including priests, will tell you.

      You will find what you are looking for (apart from Editor :D) at the SSPX chapel and at Catholic Truth!

      Welcome home, David!

      • Thank you all for your thoughts. The wisdom available here on this blog has been a source of advice and encouragement to me for a while, even if I have been sitting at the back hoping nobody will notice me…

        I recently read Archbishop Lefebvre’s books ‘Letter to Confused Catholics’ and ‘Spiritual Journey’ and I’m still trying to understand the implications of all he said. One thing I do know is that the Archbishop is one of a long line of faithful teachers.

        I attended the Edinburgh chapel of the SSPX once recently and the respect (or more like awe) shown to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the prayerful atmosphere and the simple sense of peace and of ‘rightness’ was very evident to me. In stark contrast to the disrespect and ugliness evident elsewhere. I think all of us at some time have had to ask ourselves where we should be. Near Christ is the answer. Maybe I’ve just answered some of my own posers there!?

        Thank you especially Madame Editor. I’m in West Lothian so I’m able to access Glasgow almost as easily as going east, although as a care worker who works shifts my travels can be limited! I had researched the details of the Glasgow chapel and will get the train through on Sunday. May my friend and yours St Therese pray for us!

        • That is wonderful news David, I hope you enjoy your visit to the Glasgow chapel (I also attend there).

          Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts with us.

          • Gabriel Syme,

            I know you can’t always make it into the tearoom after Mass, but I hope you can manage to have a coffee with us this week, in order to show David that there is at least ONE normal personage among us!

        • David,

          Delighted you plan to come to Glasgow on Sunday. I’m easily recognisable… tall, slim, glamorous, natural brunette – although I’ve had one of those greyish tints recently, not sure I like it (!) and of course, dressed at the height of fashion. 😀

          I’ll be one of the three gals struggling with a lively, (almost) two year old wee girl in the front row. Her name is Theresa-Marie and that’s what we call her in between other less printable names! She’s named after St Therese of Lisieux and Our Lady. However, I’m the one looks most like I’m in a mystical trance despite the naughty bairn, so very easy to pick out (note: no smiley face)… 😀

          Just make your way into the tearoom afterwards and if I don’t find you pronto, just ask to be pointed in the direction of the Catholic Truth people. We’re notorious!

          Looking forward, very much, to meeting you.

        • David,

          Just to say – and to let our bloggers know – that it was a real pleasure to meet you on Sunday after Mass.

          Folks, would you believe, David did not recognise me from the description I gave of myself above (and often give in the newsletter) but had, instead, to ask to be pointed in the direction of the CT people. Would you believe that? Tut, tut … 😀

          Anyway, David, those of us who had the privilege of meeting you want to say that we hope, sincerely, that you will return.

          One more thing. I think the others will be very interested and touched to read this comment from you after Mass.

          When David commented on the difference between our Mass and the parish Masses he has been attending, and I said “yes, more peaceful – apart from the noisy babies”, David replied immediately: “that’s not noise…” adding that it was great to see those young families, and that they are the future. Absolutely! I told my niece afterwards, she being the mother of the wriggly (almost) two year old, and she was delighted. THAT is the perfect attitude to the noisy bairns!

          So, David, haste ye back.

  14. Madame Editor,

    I have become devoted to St. Philomena since asking her to obtain miracles on behalf of various sufferers.

    One concerns a young man Pierre in France who was knocked off his motorbike and suffered severe brain damage resulting in paralysis and memory loss. He is now walking again (albeit with a limp) and appears to be regaining the use of his memory.

    A second concerns a parishioner Gerard who had bone cancer but who is now in total remission.

    A third concerns a young Canadian Bruce who had cancer of the oesophagus which has since spread to other parts of his body, and a fourth is our much loved blogger Jacinta whose fortitude is commendable and for whom we leave matters in the hands of St. Philomena.

    Please ask St. Philomena – the Wonder Worker – to ask God for miracles for them.

      • Leprechaun & Westminsterfly,

        St. Philomena is truly a powerful saint who has great influence with Our Lady. I have been twice to her shrine in Mugnano, Italy, and have a first class relic (ex ossibus). I say every day that one decade of the Living Rosary through St. Philomena, in my case the fourth Sorrowful Mystery.

        David Paterson,

        I was truly moved by your story, as clear an indication of the working of divine grace that I have come across. I second editor’s advice that you should try, if possible, to attend the SSPX chapel, probably Edinburgh from where you’re situated. I live within an Edinburgh postcode but I attend the SSPX in Glasgow because it’s the City of my birth. However, other members of my family do go to Edinburgh. I strongly advise you try it.

        As for the temptations and pain you suffer. You’re absolutely right when you say that these things come from the devil. God, however, permits them in order for you to prove your love of Him and gain enormous supernatural merit. The good news is that God only allows the devil to do his worst for a set period of time, then peace is restored to the soul in greater measure than before. So take heart!

        • Athanasius,

          How did you ever get a first class relic of St. Philomena? Since my assigned decade is the fifth Sorrowful Mystery, right after yours, do you feel called to lend/loan/generously share the relic 😉 ?????

          • Jobstears,

            I was privileged to meet with Bishop Peter Canisius van Lierde many years ago in the Vatican Palace and it was he who arranged the relic for me while we spoke.

            His Excellency had at that time recently retired from his office of Secretary of State for Vatican City, a post he held for 41 years. He had also been Sacristan to Pope Pius XII, a Pontiff he greatly admired and to whom he had administered extreme unction. He died on12th March, 1995, the anniversary of Pius XII’s coronation.

            I was deeply touched by the personal holiness of this great prelate, who, for a mere layman with no status at all, arranged a Swiss Guard escort to his palatial apartment (one floor under the Pope), where I was greeted personally and treated with the utmost kindness.

            We spent time discussing the great Pius XII (then under attack in the press) while his Augustinian assistant made up two first class relics for me, St. Philomena and St. Pius X.

            I have since acquired in addition first class relics of St. Jude (Thadeus), St. Athanasius, St. Louis Marie de Montfort and Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the great Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii.

            I am happy to lend any of these relics to my fellow Catholics provided I can meet with them personally for the handover. I would never contemplate sending them to someone by post or courier. So if you attend Mass at the SSPX church in Glasgow, Jobstears, let me know and I’ll arrange to bring the relic to you within the next week or two.

            • Athanasius,

              Thank you for sharing that! Bishop Canisius sounds like a very kind and holy man.

              Since I cannot attend Mass at the Glasgow chapel, and I would not want a relic to be mailed, I will patiently wait until I make my way to Glasgow. Thank you for offering to bring the relic to the chapel though!

    • Leprechaun,

      I have, over the past three years, become very devoted to St. Philomena. She truly is a wonder worker. Will include Pierre, Gerard and Bruce in my prayers to the little Saint.

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