A reader noted this story in the comments, and it’s heart-rending.
From the Boston Herald:
Upon entering this world stillborn, they were abandoned.
Even their names, Andrew and Nicholas, were gifts from the Franciscans who placed two teddy bears — each adorned with miraculous medals — on a linen shroud that covered a pair of white coffins not much bigger than shoeboxes.
Some 16 people made their way to a private chapel in St. Anthony’s Shrine yesterday morning to mourn and pray for the two infants at the heart of a different kind of Nativity story.
They listened to a soloist sing: “Go and sleep my son . . . Go and sleep in peace.”
And they heard Father David Convertino eloquently grapple with the inexplicable in his homily. “Some people say that these babies’ death at this time was God’s will. Don’t believe them,” said St. Anthony’s executive director. “The God we worship, the God who watches over us, doesn’t will the death of babies or the pain of parents.
“While I believe God has welcomed these babies into his kingdom, I am sure God did not want them to die right now so that He could have them there. God does not will grief and pain,” the friar said. “But God is with us in the midst of all the pain and tears.”
Baby Andrew and Baby Nicholas were the fifth and sixth abandoned infants — their tiny bodies left alone in a hospital — whose brief existence was celebrated with a poignant Mass of Resurrection at the Arch Street Shrine this year.
But as part of St. Anthony’s Lazarus Program, they belonged to a larger community of forgotten souls that Father David calls “the unwanted dead.” They include everyone from a homeless Vietnam vet named Florence who lived in South Station to infants who are discarded in Dumpsters.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them…