Ok, this post may seem unusual, but bear with me. As Father Director of an association dedicated to prayer, I do not believe anyone is beyond the power of intercession, and that that intercession may indeed bear fruit. No one is beyond the mercy of God: there is always hope. With that in mind I read with interest a blog posting from Frank Weathers on Vlad the Impaler.
Weathers rejoices in his Catholic faith, and the fact that he prayed for the soul of Vlad Dracul III, Prince of Wallachia, is one reason he loves his faith. Why pray for him, wasn't he a vampire? Eh, well, no he wasn't - Bram Stoker from Dublin made him a vampire (through his imagination and pen, not by biting him). But wasn't he a bloodthirsty maniac who like to take his soup while watching his victims die on stakes? Yes, well, that is true actually, or at least that is what has been recorded by those who claim to be eye-witnesses. I'm not going to contradict them because I do not know enough about him to challenge it. I do know he was among the few monarchs to respond to the Church's plea to save Europe from Ottoman invasion. That might not be something we Catholics should be declaring in public - we're in enough trouble already. Could you imagine the headlines? "Catholic Church Facilitated Dracula" - RTE, BBC and the New York Times would have a field day with that. Ah, but did he sign the register in the sacristy? If he did, he's alright!
Seriously, no one is beyond God's mercy, we must pray even for those who offend us, even the greatest tyrants, and we must forgive those who offend us, seek reconcilation and desire to be reunited in communion with each other in Christ. Frank Weathers's piece is one of those which reminds us of the full extent of the Christian faith, how radical it actually is and how alien it is in the modern world. Have a read yourself.