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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Modern Maladies

It looks like this is shaping up to be a patron saint matching week.  It's one of my favorite hobbies! So, let's have at it.

Thank you, Sister for the time you take to entertain and educate us. I hope you can help with a Saint matching for me. I have a friend who has been recently diagnosed with conversion disorder. The case is very severe and she is completely disabled and unable to care for herself. She requires in home nursing care and her family is suffering terribly, along with her. I do what I can to help from time to time, but I know that prayer is the only thing I can do to help her all the time. 

I have to say, it has been quite an interesting situation for me to have so many people educate me about so many things I know nothing about.  Finding patron saints for modern maladies has been an exhilarating challenge.

I really thought "Conversion disorder?"  It called to mind a recent "Dear Abby" letter of a woman who was insulted by her born again friend's constant needling about where the woman would end up after the Last Judgment.  I'm sure any readers who saw this question in the comments section went running to the Google.  I certainly did.

Conversion Disorder is a psychological state that causes a physical reaction.  The person simply shuts down.  No one knows exactly how it works or what exactly causes it, because the person afflicted can't tell you about the the mental torture that's caused them to live it what surely must be a very private Hell.  I was thinking it must be a lot like catatonia, but the word catatonic was not used to describe the symptoms.

But a patron saint sprang to mind as I read about the disorder: St. Rosalia, the patron saint for people who just need to get away from it all.

Little Rosalia was a descendant of Charlemagne!  But in an effort to live a holy life, she took herself off to be a hermit and lived in a cave.  After a few years in that cave, she moved to a new cave and then one day, the cave caved in on her.

She had been long forgotten by then, so no one even noticed she was gone.

So Rosalia took herself away from life, too. And unlike her, your friend has people who care about that and want to protect and help her. No one has forgotten her.

In the end, no one forgot Rosalia either.  When a plague hit Palermo, Italy, Rosalia appeared to a man and told him where to find her bones.  He unearthed her, brought her home, and many people were cured.  There is still a big party in her honor every year in Palermo. 

I have a little side note for her family: St. Gemma!  She was bedridden for so long at home with her family caring for her. The whole Galgani family are surely saints in Heaven.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for answering my post, Sister. I will begin reading about (and praying to) St. Rosalia straight away. My very favorite teacher in grade school was Sr. Mary Rosalee, so maybe there's a connection there too.
May God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering- do you think, realistically, that Dorothy Day will ever be canonized?

(Thanks again for making a post giving me St. Nicholas as a saint of advocates of children. It has meant a lot to me)

Anonymous said...

I am reading her book, ' The Duty of Delight', right now! It is very inspiring to read of how she struggles to live as a good Catholic.

Her book, and this blog, have convinced me, after much searching, to join the Catholic church.

Anonymous said...

My father was born in Palermo and his mother's name was Rosalie. My Mom and family visited there 10 years ago and went to the cave of St. Rosalia on her feast day and my Mom was so moved and loved being there and I knew nothing more of St. Rosalia Thank you sister as my parents are both now passed and it is a link to them too! God Bless You! Janine