So many amazingly wonderful revelations at today’s Mass…I’d love to share them all, but for now I’ll share this, recalling from my memory as best as I’m able:
Our sweet priest is a great lover of antiquities. No small wonder…he is the founder of the Holy Family Jubilee Pontifical Museum. This museum is dedicated to the preservation of all things Catholic…from holy water fonts to baptismal fonts…high altars and vestments…rare original art work from several of the masters…relics and reliquaries (including the zuchetto that belonged to our Holy Father John Paul II…I’ve actually had the great privilege to touch and venerate this relic the day after our Holy Father passed into Eternity!)
That said, Father is frequently on the lookout for things that should never, ever be placed in the common market…he is a rescuer of these antiquities, saving them from misuse and possibly abuse. It still surprises him when he sees these holy objects for sale, and such was his reaction when he came upon a collection of antique vestments and altar linens in a local antique store.
The haggling begins:
“How much for the entire collection?” he inquired of the owner
“$1200.00” he answered
“How about $1000.00?” Father countered.
“$1100 is the least I’ll take…” was the final response…
Father pulled out his checkbook to make the purchase, when he’s approached by a husband and wife who had heard the entire exchange…this amazing couple very quickly wrote a check for $600 to offset some of the expense…an amazing occurrence, but not nearly as amazing as what happened next:
A young man held in his arms an item he, too, had just purchased from the collection. Curious, he politely asked Father if he could explain some of the symbolism on this ornately embroidered cloth. He told Father he had plans to use it as a blanket on his bed.
“Is it some sort of blanket?” the young man innocently queried.
Father’s surprising answer:
“Well…you might say that…yes, it is a blanket. But it’s not for the living. It’s for the dead. This “blanket” is a pall and was used to cover a coffin prior to the interrment.”
Father had hoped that he would be able to purchase the pall from him, but the young man didn’t want to relinquish his “treasure.” Nonetheless, he continued to listen intently as Father explained the symbols of Alpha and Omega and the Chi Rho…
In the end the young man left with the pall…and Father’s card. Though disappointed that the young man didn’t relinquish this sacred linen, Father offered the following:
“It’s quite possible that which was used for death just may bring life to this young man. He may be our next convert to the faith. Please pray for him…”
Wouldn’t that be amazing? “That which was used for death may bring life…” Rather calls to mind both the Cross and the Shroud, doesn’t it? May God bring this young man to faith soon. An entire congregation prayed the most fervent Hail Mary just for that reason.
Will you pray for him?
I knew you would!