The Irish Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers are intensifying their work on the Cause of their founder, Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. According to their superiors, they are going to begin a campaign of prayer to beg a miracle from God to clear the way for Blessed Edmund's canonisation.
Great news. Ireland, once the land of Saints and scholars, has very few modern Saints. The last Irish canonisation was that of a Dutch Passionist who devoted his life to serving the poor and sick of Dublin, St Charles of Mount Argus. Unfortunately there was little interest in Ireland at the time of his canonisation which was more than disappointing. Poor responses are not unique, I'm afraid. I remember the beatification of our martyrs a number of years ago - again there was very little about it, and at the time some clergy felt like apologising to the Protestants for the Pope's decision to beatify them. I hope that as we go in the direction of renewal, we will begin to take the process of beatification and canonisation more seriously - too many dismiss it. Yet a Cause is a sign not only of God's providence and grace in a local Church, it is also a sign that that local Church is healthy. So I hope the Brothers have much success, I will keep their efforts in my prayers.
After Blessed Edmund, the Venerable Matt Talbot - rumour has it there is already a miracle for him but so far nothing seems to be happening with it. Then the Venerable Edel Quinn, Frank Duff, Fr John Sullivan. Personally I would love to see a Cause opened for Ellen Organ (Little Nellie of Holy God), the canonisation of a child could bring great healing to the Church in Ireland. She was only four when she died, but there is enough evidence to show she reached the age of reason and, it seems to me and many others, she lived a life of heroic virtue. She was particularly devoted to the Eucharist - a great candidate for patron of First Communion children - badly needed given the poor state of catechesis in many places. Some one once said to me the day Little Nellie's Cause is opened is the day we know the Church in Ireland is on the way to renewal. I would agree.
So now, Little Nellie, pray for Ireland, for renewal, that our land may once again become a land of Saints and scholars.
Ellen Organ ("Little Nellie")
Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice
Heavenly Father, through the inspiration of your Holy Spirit and because of your love for your family, you chose Blessed Edmund Rice to be a husband, father, and religious brother; to work with the poor, to comfort the sick, and to establish new families of Religious Brothers in your Church. Look favorably on his life, we ask you, and if it be for your glory, hear our prayers that he may soon be declared a Saint. This we ask, as we ask all our prayers, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for a special favour
Lord God, who through the Holy Spirit inspired Blessed Edmund Rice to glorify you by the true Christian example of his life, grant through his intercession the petition I now make ( _____ ) and so hasten the day when his name shall be honoured among those of your Saints. I ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.