By PAT JONES
merrymakings) and its horseraces. No wonder they called it Merrie England.
Is your husband an absolute bounder? (No need to answer loudly, "Yes)"—it might cause friction.) Are your children the despair of your heart, bringing grey hairs to your head? Then at least in part you share the lot of a Catholic woman whose married life was a hell upon earth. There is no need to go into the sordid details here, except to say that the handsome young man she married, in accordance with her parents' wishes, and bitterly against her own, turned out to have an ugly side to his nature, and degenerated into a bully and a drunkard. However, she struggled on, trying to rear her two sons in the
correct title is Saint of the Impossible.
Through her prayers and sacrifices, she obtained for her husband and sons the grace of repentance, and after she lost all three of her dearly loved family she entered (with difficulty. as she was a widow) an Augustinian convent.
There is much more to her story than that, for she had a long way to go before she attained that holiness which, after her death, was attested by so many miracles, so many answers to prayer. that gave her the title she shares with St. Jude.
As daughter, wife. mother, widow, nun, she has been an inspiration and help to others for about six centuries, but her life has new relevance today, in an age when marriage suffers so many squalls.
RECENT trends seem to
indicate that another Catholic woman may renew her influence, as the field of life of which she is patron comes under fire.
Many of you will have read ofrecent pronouncements to the effect that parents should be given the right to kill their defective children. This received wide publicity, both the " for " and the " against" attitudes having their say. Not so widely publicised was the intimation that in the future, with mouth and brain surgery. animals may well he taught simple words, and in future every household have its monkey servant.
No doubt, should this occur, it would not be the first time that the patter of little paws could be called upon to case the silence which should have been tilled by the patter of little feet. Of course we realise that the monkey would serve the human being. whereas the human being is obliged to serve the defective child, and therein lies the rub.
However, to drag ourselves away from the nightmare advice and predictions of a scientist to the feminine world, once more, turn to St. Dympna. patron of those mentally sick or retarded. It may he of help to remember, as controversies rage or die down over the " right to live " of these afflicted human beings, they have. their guardian angels apart, their patron before God.
THESE two saints, of widely differing centuries and circumstances, are linked by the Augustinians, who foster their devotion in EnglandSt. Rita (feast day May 22) at St. Rita's Seminary, Honiton, Devon, and to St. Dympna at the home for defective children which hears her name at Harepath Hill, Seaton, Devon.