Jun 30, 2006

A Local Saintly Lady and $26

So many times the Church has canonized clergy and religious who had the support of their orders or dioceses for the canonization process. Now with blogs, perhaps we can initiate and support the canonization of more saintly laymen and women--which is what recent Popes have tried to emphasize.

This story was told to me many, many years ago by Mrs. Julia Cornish (deceased), mother of Fr. Ron Cornish. When Mrs. Cornish was raising her large family, she sometimes had a difficult time financially. Once she desperately needed $26 (an exact amount), and there appeared no source for this relatively large sum. She was washing clothes in her basement thinking of a saint she could entreat to obtain the necessary $26. Mrs. Cornish decided she had already asked many, many favors from her favorite saints, and wondered what new saint could she pray to. She then remembered Mrs. Wolf, who had recently died.

Mrs. Wolf's husband did not make or give his wife sufficient money to clothe and feed their many children, and so she accepted gifts of excess food donated to the Franciscan nuns who operated the orphanage at nearby St. John the Baptist parish. She had to conceal these necessary gifts because her husband was insistent that his family not accept charity. Mrs. Wolf had a very hard life, became quite ill while still relatively young, and died leaving many children.

So Mrs. Cornish, when faced with the critical need for $26, thought that she would pray to Mrs. Wolf. She knew Mrs. Wolf was a very good wife and mother, had suffered a great deal without complaining, offered those sufferings to God, and was certainly a saint in heaven. So while continuing to wash clothes, Mrs. Cornish asked Mrs. Wolf to beseech God for the favor of $26.

Almost immediately, said Mrs. Cornish, her doorbell rang upstairs and when she answered it, the postman handed her an envelope. He said that even though he didn't usually ring the doorbell when delivering the mail, he knew she would be eager to receive the letter from one of her sons who was on a Navy ship. When Mrs. Cornish opened the mail, it contained the exact $26 that she had prayed for to Mrs. Wolf. The Navy son explained that he had just received his pay, and that he was sending the extra money to his mother.

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