Honouring The Infant of Prague…

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From time to time, we enjoy a devotional thread, but customarily these have marked Feasts of Our Lady or other major Holy Days.  I can’t recall ever launching a thread on the devotion to the Infant of Prague, so let’s change that. 

I’ve heard stories of prayers answered, from friends who are devotees of the Infant of Prague – what about you?

If, until now, you’ve not had any devotion to the Infant of Prague, is that likely to change now?  Share your thoughts…  

Who’s Your Favourite Saint… And Why?

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This year,  for reasons beyond our control, we missed out on marking the Feast of All Saints (1st November) so, better late than never, here we go…

Tell us the name of your favourite saint  (imagine you are forced to choose just one)  and explain why.  In what way does that particular saint help your spiritual and religious life. 

Pope Francis: Mother Teresa Canonisation Approved…

Pope Francis has approved of the second miracle of Mother Teresa, thereby clearing the way for her sainthood.  mother-teresa-quotes-12

On 15 December he received the final approval of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints meeting.

The canonisation is expected to be sometime later next year. 

Speaking to Sky News, Thomas D’Souza, the Archbishop of Kolkata, a city which Mother Teresa made her home, said: “We are very happy and overjoyed with this news, the city of Kolkata has been waiting for this day. We thank God of the great gift he bestowed on us with Mother Teresa.”

According to a statement from the Vatican, the second miracle involved a Brazilian man with a viral brain infection that resulted in multiple abscesses with triventricular hydrocephalus.

In December 2008 the patient was in a coma and dying and various treatments had been ineffective.

The patient’s wife is said to have continuously sought the intercession of Mother Teresa for her husband

He was wheeled into the operating theatre for emergency surgery at 18:10 on 9 December 2008 .

At the same time, his wife went to her church and along with the pastor begged Mother Teresa for the cure of her dying husband.

At 18:40 the neurosurgeon returned to the operating room and found the patient inexplicably awake and without pain.

He asked the doctor: “What I am doing here?”

The next morning he was examined, fully awake and without any headache.

On 10 September this year, the medical commission voted unanimously that his cure was inexplicable in the light of current medical knowledge.

The man, now completely healed, resumed his work as a mechanical engineer without any particular limitation.  Source

Comment

Is this latest canonisation to be welcomed? Mother Teresa was certainly keen to help the poor, and was enthusiastic about making the world a better place: to her credit, she spoke out clearly against abortion, even in the presence of politicians. The miracle recounted above seems pretty convincing. Is all of that enough for canonisation? Should we be celebrating?

Why Do Statues Survive Disasters?

Our LadyA house fire once destroyed all the holy objects in my bedroom – except one 

It was reported this week that a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was left untouched by a fire that gutted a military base near Madrid. Reading about this reminded me of something similar that happened in my own life.

Seven years ago this summer, I had a bad house fire where my bedroom was charred by flames. All my religious statues, rosaries and prayer cards were burned to dust. When the toxic fumes evaporated and things cooled down, it was safe to go in there again. There was a pungent smell of burnt plastic.

Almost everything that was made from plastic had melted and become fuel for the bonfire – I say “almost”, because when I searched through the rubble I was astonished to find that a piece of earth from Fatima, encased in a little plastic bubble, had survived the flames.

I had the plastic, which looked no thicker than cling film, examined and I was told that it should have combusted or exploded in the heat. I believe that the raging flames were prevented from destroying a tiny part of the ground that Our Lady had personally visited.

In the same way, the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was untouched by fire, is an icon of Our Lady’s miraculous appearances at Lourdes, when the Queen of Heaven paid a visit to our home here on earth.

These are not isolated instances – and not every holy object that mysteriously survives a conflagration is of Our Lady or related to a Marian apparition.

I have always been struck by case histories of statues of the Divine Infant of Prague that have survived devastation and/or fire.

For example, there is the astounding story of how a rural church in Syston, Leicestershire, came to be dedicated to the Divine Infant of Prague. During the 1940s, a ruinous fire destroyed the meeting rooms around the church. A statue of the Divine Infant of Prague was found among the rubble by a Fr Horgan, who had a strong personal devotion to the Divine Infant. The statue was broken but had not been burnt to dust or reduced to rubble.

According to this account by Helen Harwood: “Fr Horgan was so amazed at the discovery in a secular building that he took it as a sign and decided that this would be the dedication of the new Syston church: the Divine Infant of Prague.”  Source 

Blessed Pope Pius IX … Pray for us!

Pope Pius IXAt the time of the Pope’s death in Rome, a Belgian child, dying from an undiagnosed illness, told his mother he had a vision of Pius IX being crowned by the Virgin in Heaven. The child was instantly cured. Since news of the Pope’s death had not yet reached Belgium, the mother sent a telegram to Rome. The answer indicated the child had been cured at the very moment of the Pope’s death.  

Read more about Pope Pius IX here  – and note this remark:

“They write that I am tired,” said Pius IX five weeks before his death. “They are right. I am tired of so much iniquity and discord.”  

Now, of course, much of the “iniquity and discord” is being caused by a Pope – and wouldn’t Pope Pius IX be surprised to learn that it is the beleaguered faithful who are “tired” of it all.   

This thread is to help us recall the holy popes of days gone by and to share our favourite stories of these, their major contributions to the life of the Church and their fidelity in passing on the Faith through their teaching office, encyclicals etc.  A trip down Memory Lane, so to speak, with perhaps some thought given to what the contents of an updated Syllabus of Errors might include…

A New Scots Saint In The Offing?

Margaret SinclairThe parish priest of St Lucy’s in Cumbernauld is starting the new year with an awe-inspiring mission to perform – and he’s asking for help.

Father Joseph McAuley has been officially charged with the task of leading the latest – he hopes final – bid to have the Venerable Margaret Sinclair canonised.

She was a trade unionist and committed Catholic who tragically died of a tubercular illness at a very young age.

But her character, which many would describe as saintly, had a remarkable effect on those who knew her, and came to hear of her work.

Father McAuley said: “This woman lived her live as all of us should aspire to, and before long people were praying to her.

“Having become involved in her story I am struck by the effect she had, and by her importance as a real model for young people.”

Now Father McAuley, who has officially been appointed Archbishop’s Delegate for the cause of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, is asking people across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth to help what has become virtually an international crusade to see Margaret recogniseds as a saint.

“Pope John II has said to us to ask our people to pray for a miracle,” he said, “and that is exactly what is required.

“It is the situation where somebody suffering from a terminal illness suddenly recovers for no reason that can be explained by normal means.”

Churches and parishioners across the area, for example St Patrick’s in Kilsyth, are already solidly behind the effort.

Born in 1900, Margaret surmounted many difficulties in her short but influential life, for example fighting desperate poverty, and was briefly a nun before dying in London in 1925.

Many cures have been reported over the years by people who have requested her intercession through Christ.  Source

Comment

Perhaps the beatification and canonisation of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, who lived and died before “The New Enlightenment” (Vatican II) will help in the restoration of the Faith in Scotland – what thinkest thou? And it would be interesting to read bloggers’ suggestions on how we might help Father McAuley move her Cause forward. Comments/ideas invited.   

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is very special to me because a close relative is alive and well today, I believe, having survived a major operation when she was a couple of weeks old – performed on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

What about you? Do you have any special tributes you would like to pay to Our Lady on this special Feast? Or would you simply like to wish your fellow bloggers and all our readers, a very happy Feast Day? Your call!