OF CANONIZATIONS AND ME.... a special connection?

OF CANONIZATIONS AND ME.... a special connection?
Well, my dearest Family and Friends,


Here I am again, writing with joyful heart, through a brief reprieve from pain from this new-to-me Rheumatoid Arthritis disease that I have been diagnosed with, sharing  with you a story about Saints that was hidden in my memory and is only now revealing itself as I had the privilege of witnessing via EWTN, the canonizations of two people from amongst seven, who by some stoke of fate have inadvertently and most insignificantly touched my life, namely Pope Paul VI, and Arch-Bishop Oscar Romero , who were canonized saints this morning, by Pope Francis, in Rome. A flood of inconsequential memories has been unleashed today...or am I mistaken?

Call me simple-minded or sentimental.... it matters not. I have always been a sentimentalist and a dreamer, and now it’s too late to change me. I know what I know, and I act as I act, with unconditional love... so there! This is ‘moi’...and I am happy to share my joy with you.

So, what is this special connection I speak of today? Little did I know that I had been so richly blest with ‘special friends,’ by what one might say by default or perhaps mere coincidence. Whatever it is, my mind and my imagination have been touched. Truly touched.... but not sick in the head I assure you.  Ha.

As you know, this past June we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and in our preparations, I recalled our actual wedding day when our dear friend Father Denis Blackledge [ R.I.P.] presented us with a Papal blessing he had so kindly requested for us from Rome....beautifully recorded on parchment paper by the monks in the Vatican, and paid for their efforts, by thoughtful donors. The then reigning Pope was Paul VI. I was amazed and so grateful....it meant a lot to me at that time.

Yes, this was the very Pope Paul VI who was canonized this morning. I just feel so honoured that we had received his Papal blessing at our wedding Mass way back in 1968, not realizing that he would one day be canonized a saint. ...little things please little minds, eh? so be it. Ha.

In his profile, Pope Paul VI is credited with introducing Ecumenism and travelling to the Holy Land, just as Paul the apostle had travelled in his time teaching the gospel to all peoples of the then world. Pope Paul VI might have lived in troubled times in the church but his commitment to his calling was constant.

Pope Francis, in describing Pope Paul VI urges us to be not 20%, 40%, 60%, BUT, 100% Christians. And, as fate would have it, we have a Papal blessing from Pope Francis as well, gifted to us by Father Doug MacDonald who was studying in the Vatican at the time of our anniversary this past June. Perhaps Francis too will be a saint one day. He is great.

Are you seeing what I see? .... sentimentality for sure!

And then there is Arch-bishop Oscar Romero who was murdered as he was saying Mass in his church in El Salvador. When I wrote my second RABIZNAZ book, I included Arch-bishop Romero in it. So, what was it that caused me to include him in my book? I don’t know. But there it is. He was canonized as well, today.

Those of you who have my book will see this page. Mother Teresa is also included as I had the honour of meeting her here in Antigonish years ago when our St. Francis Xavier University bestowed an honorary degree on her. It was a lovely encounter. She too is a Saint.

Pope John Paul II is also included and he too is a canonized Saint. Our dear friend Father Gus MacLeod brought our family a Papal blessing when he visited the Vatican some years ago. I cannot reach it to photograph it today. We saw Pope John Paul in Halifax when he came to Canada years ago, and I was asked to produce a play on his life with my St. Ninian’s children’s Choir when he became Pope.

The church in her wisdom has given us saints to turn to and be our intercessors when we need heavenly aid. I feel so blest that I have Saints Paul VI, Romero, John Paul II, Mother Teresa, who by some wonderful stroke of luck have touched my life in even the most infinitesimal a way by accidental association.

OF CANONIZATIONS AND ME.... a special connection?

Monday afternoon.

I’m so sorry to tell you that from 10.00am until 9.00pm, yesterday, the pain raged all day, hour upon hour, keeping me weeping hour upon hour as it relentlessly caught my right shoulder and the back of my neck. Unbearable! Mea culpa for this description. Hope none of you ever have to experience this sort of pain.

Mercifully, I fell asleep at 9.30pm and awoke at 3.00am. I couldn’t believe it, neither could Mike who has suffered along with me as he tried to helplessly ease my pain all summer. This wasn’t supposed to be a story about pain or health issues, but somehow by default, it has some relevance due to the nature of the intertwining of the circumstances. I remain in wonder.

Before falling asleep, I prayed to my new ‘Saints’ ... my special friends ...asking them to intercede in heaven for me on this canonization day, that I might sleep without pain. I’ll leave you to judge the outcome of my request. I am truly humbled and most gratefully respectful of this thing we call FAITH. Upon awaking, all I could say was Thank You to all of them for the unexpected relief I had experienced. The pain was gone but I do have to have my meds and see my doctor tomorrow I am not cured yet?

So, with grateful and joyous heart I send you this note which, starting as a simple sharing of a simple story, ended as a new awareness of the goodness of God and His saints and angels...our friends in heaven. I am most humbly smitten.

Take care my dearest Family and Friends. Smile, and even perhaps shake your heads [tongue in cheek] in wonderment of your ‘simple’ friend’s experiences, or not.

Much love and blessings.