By Br. Alexis Bugnolo
A simple faith will have its reward, and a simple prayer is not forgotten.
Years ago, when I was a student at the University of Florida, my brother and I and our good Cuban friend, Carlos Perez decided to spend a month in Spain, after the Spring semester ended. We had many adventures and Carlos did the translating.
I remember our visit to the Cathedral of Barcelona. I was amazed, that as you entered, on the right, was a little shop, which sold wax candles. You could buy a candle and place it in any side altar. My catholic devotion was amazed, so I bought the biggest one possible. My intention was to place it in front of the Altar of the Immaculate Virgin.
But as I walked to that Altar, I came upon the altar of St. Raymond Penyafort:
Having grown up in the United States, I had never seen an Altar like this one. It had a real canonized saint buried right under it! I was fascinated. And asked Carlos to explain to me who this was, from the description written on the panel for tourists.
As I continued to the altar of the Virgin, which was covered with candles, I could not think of how disgraceful it was, that no one had placed even a single candle before Saint Raymond. At the Altar of our Lady I resolved to return and remedy that in justice. And so there, I left the biggest candle that probably was ever put on his altar. And I prayed, that if I ever needed to understand Canon Law, that Saint Raymond would help me. I knew that as his mortal remains where there, right in front of me, that he would smile down upon me from heaven and see my gift and prayer.
As many hasty prayers are, you forget you make them. But the Saints do not!
Today is the Feast of Saint Raymond, established in 1671, on January 23. Let us make Saint Raymond the patron of all who need light and grace and understanding, so that they too might see that Pope Benedict XVI never renounced anything in accord with Canon Law, and for that reason remains the one and only true Pope of the Catholic Church!
Saint Raymond of Penyafort, please pray for Pope Benedict, and for the Cardinals, the Bishops, the clergy and all canon lawyers, to have the courage and light to do the right thing: speak the truth about the failed resignation and restore Pope Benedict to the Apostolic Throne!
CREDITS: The image of Saint Raymond’s Altar is by Didier Descouens, and is copyright, released for use according to the terms of the license listed here. The Featured Image is of Saint Raymond sailing miraculously back to Barcelona on his cloak, in one of his most astounding miracles, which he worked to convert his monarch from a life of fornication. It is in the public domain and is found in in the Dominican Church at Krakow, Poland. For more more information, see here.