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Sr. Elizabeth: A True Inspiration. Part 2

Sr Elizabeth, in the 1920’s, brought health of body and spirit to families through the Enthronement. She combined her ministry of home nursing with the promotion of the Sacred Heart in the Home. In this installment of her story, she continues the report on a couple that became reconciled through the Enthronement…

The second child's name was Jackie. The Sacred Heart miraculously protected him one day. His father drove a big truck; Jackie was playing behind it one day when his father got into the truck to go back to work. He didn't notice the boy and in backing up a bit to go forward, he passed over Jackie’s leg. The mother happened to look out the window when she saw the scene. With great anguish of heart, she ran down expecting to find Jackie dead. He was unconscious on the street. They called a doctor who, after careful examination, found no bruises, no broken bones. How grateful Mrs. S…. was to the Sacred Heart as she attributed the miraculous protection to Him.

Here I must tell you about Mrs. S…’s father. He recovered partially from his shock: his great comfort was to sit for hours near the Sacred Heart and with loving gratitude gaze upon Him. He was a convert and so happy in his faith. I had the happiness of preparing him for his first Holy Communion.

He had a sister whose name was Elizabeth; he loved her dearly and when she found out her brother she loved so much had embraced the faith, she deserted him and didn't want to see him anymore. He felt it keenly, but then he would say: “My faith means more to me and then didn't Our Lord give me another Sr. Elizabeth?”

Every day I made him say his prayers; saying the creed nearly proved fatal for the poor old man. Jackie, his grandson, who was four years old then would keep still for a few minutes and listen to his grandpa say: I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church etc. etc.)

But it happened, one night, that Mrs. S…. thinking that Jackie had gone to bed went in to fix her father for the night after which she put the light out and was busy in the kitchen for a while when her father calls her: “Sally, if this keeps on I'll be dead by morning.” Perspiration was rolling off of him and he looked as if he was going to have another shock. “Sally, I don't know whether I'm dreaming or not, but it seems as though there's something under my bed that keeps poking the mattress up and down. Will you shoot down and see what it is?

At first Mrs. S…. was sure it was a nightmare and didn't bother looking, but on second call, having stooped and raised the bedclothes, she discovered Jackie who with finger on his mouth said to his mother: Chut! Ma, Grandpa thinks it's the Holy Ghost.” He had heard his grandpa say I believe in the Holy Ghost, so he thought he played the ghost.

Of course, this happened a long time ago in 1925; this was in Waterbury. The grandfather died about three years after the Enthronement. The Sacred Heart gave him the grace to be able to walk enough so that he could go to church and be confirmed; it was his first visit to church and the last. He felt so happy during the ceremony that he didn't want to go away and begged to stay a little longer. His great comfort in his last days was to gaze at the Sacred Heart’s picture near his bed and his last look was for Him; it spoke of a loving heart so grateful for the gift of faith that Our Lord had given him so late in life.

In Waterbury also, Mrs. P. complained to me that Our Lord wasn't hearing her prayers. She had a son seven years old and how she prayed for a little girl. As she explained, when I get old, what will I do with just a boy? Who will take care of me?

Well, I said: “I have a wonderful remedy and it may help you if you try it. So, when I explained about the Enthronement Mrs. P. was willing to have the ceremony, but Mr. P thought it was too much to put over him. It was then decided that the ceremony would be done without the priest, and I offered to witness the Enthronement myself. Of course, Mr. P. wasn't there but we told Our Lord to excuse him that he was just a little stubborn but that we included him in there anyhow in spirit. Mrs. P. bought flowers for the occasion, and we had a very intimate ceremony.

It happened a few months after that I met Mrs. P. and she said to me: Sister, Our Lord has heard our prayer. I'm in the family way.” And when the time came it was a lovely baby girl, too. Thanks to the Sacred Heart.

In Waterbury also I went to where there was a newborn baby New Year's Day 1926. There were five other children in the house and they were very unruly. They went to public school and one of the curates of the parish had tried so hard to have the children attend parochial school.

Jimmy was going on 10 years of age and hadn't made his first confession yet. He could swear just as easily as he'd eat. I'll never forget the first visits I made at their house. It was bitter cold. The mother was in bed of course and frozen. The children ate the best way they could and one would think that the devil had taken possession of them.

I was as near the stove as I could trying to wash the little infant. They were jumping and carrying on around me, one of them nearly knocking the baby's head off. So that I could finish my job, I had to lock one up in the bedroom and another in the bathroom until I got through.

My, I said to myself: do they need the Sacred Heart here. So, I brought them a large picture that I hung up in the kitchen, well in view. It gave me courage.

On the 6th of January, school reopened and early in the morning I went to their house and I said bluntly to Mrs. M.: I'm coming for your children this morning to take them to parochial school. Don't you see how much they need to be reformed, to learn about God etc. etc. She said to me: “Go ahead Sister, and take them if you can. But they've already gone to school. They must be playing in the yard.” With her permission I went searching for the public school and sure enough, there they were, three of them of school age. They offered no resistance when I told them what I wanted them for.

With a happy heart I marched them to the rectory and asked for Father R. He was surprised and asked me how in the world I did it. I said it was the Sacred Heart who did it. You've got them now, Father, hold on to them, I said. “Don't worry, he said, I'll see to them now”.

Catholic school worked wonders especially with Jimmy. Confession fixed him up. Once in a while a curse would come out of his mouth. He’d cover it with his hand and be sorry for himself that he'd have to tell it in confession next time.

And so it was that the Sacred Heart blessed my efforts. He made use of my weakness and unworthiness.

To be continued.

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