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Friday, October 05, 2007

140th anniversary of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos', C.SS.R. death

Father Francis Xavier Seelos, C.SS.R.
Born January 11th, 1819, Fussen, Southern Germany
Professed as a Redemptorist May 16th, 1844
Ordained priest December 22nd, 1844
Died in the odour of sanctity October 4th, 1867
"Father Seelos, cure me!"
The voice came from a crippled man in the Redemptorist monastery of St. Philomena's Church in Pittsburgh. "My good man, I'm no doctor. I can't cure you," replied Father Seelos. You may well imagine how startled the good priest was when he saw the crippled man pick up his crutches and throw them out the window!
"I'm not leaving until you cure me!" It was easy to see that he meant what he said. There was an expression of genuine amazement on the face of the priest as he marvelled at the great faith and trust in the soul of the man. "I know he has overestimated my power," the priest thought to himself. "But maybe.....???
"wait a minute," said Father Seelos. Back into the monaster he went. Returning a few moments later with the Gospel in his hand, he told the man to sit down. He opened the Holy Gospel according to Saint John and began to read. When he finished, he closed the book, lifted his eyes to heaven and began to pray with all his heart. Then from the ritual blessing of the sick...
"Dominus Jesus Christus apud te sit, ut defendat... May Our Lord Jesus Christ be with thee to defend thee, ... Benedictio Dei Omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, + et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super te, et maneat semper. Amen."
A strange indescribable feeling came over the crippled man. Somehow his legs felt strong again. Tears of joy began forming in the corners of his eyes. He took several sobbing breaths and slowly stood upright. Legs which for a long time could not carry him were now able to support his body.
"God be praised!" he cried, "May God be praised! Oh, thank you, Father Seelos. Thanks be to God!"

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