Saturday 6 April 2013

Marie-Alphonsine, and Simaan Srugi

We were invited yesterday to the Holy Rosary church down from our house, on Agron Street, for the exhumation and identification of the remains of Bl. Marie-Alphonsine. An impressive ceremony, in the presence of the Latin Patriarch, the Nuncio, other bishops, sisters and a number of other invitees.

Marie-Alphonsine, a foundress who refused to tell anyone that she was foundress. I guess everyone thought it was Tannous who was the founder. And Marie-Alphonsine was capable of instructing even Our Lady, who had told her to accept the post of superior general: Get my sister inside, she is younger and more capable. Which is what happened.

The point is that her own sisters did not know she was the foundress, and in old age used to pull her legs, as we often tend to do with older people, thinking they have lost their memory, are not attentive, do not understand, and so on. She took it with great good grace. Must have been an extraordinary person, being willing to keep her great secret even to the point of suffering unseemly ridicule.

And then the two messages, one from Bishop Kamal, the other from the mother of the girl whose cure was accepted as the miracle required for the beatification: you salesians have neglected Simaan Srugi. Make pictures, distribute them to the faithful, spread books of his life. If no one knows him, how will they pray to him for intercession, and if no one prays, how will we have the required miracle....

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