Mary Anne died in 1858.
Ellen Howley was born in 1794 and died in 1887.
She is buried with William Lavelle and his wife Katherine.
John Devine is buried with his family but I don’t know when.
There is no date on the gravestone.
May all their souls rest in peace.
There is a grave yard near my house that sometimes my wife and I walk to. We walk around, pray for the dead and wonder who they were. All they are now is names on a tomb stone. Some of the tomb stones in this grave yard are broken and unreadable.
Who were these people?
What were their lives like?
Some of these people are long forgotten by anyone on this earth. Just like in a 100 years I too will be forgotten about by anyone on this earth.
In the long span of time we Homo sapiens have been around (roughly 200,000 years by best guesstimates), fully one third of that time has been spent with our entire race asleep eight hours out of each day. For every Caesar, Cleopatra, Napole-on, Thomas Edison, or Attila the Hun who blazes a fiery comet of fame and storied greatness across the firmament of history, there are millions and millions of anonymous people (chances are you and I are among them) who live and die and only God remembers them. A whole forest of leaves falls, and only one or two get saved in the scrapbook? What’s up with that?
– Mark Shea: Empty Space (October 19, 2010) Catholic and Enjoying It! @ Patheos Catholic
There was a woman who trod this earth 2000 years ago.
She had been married, but her husband died. I don’t know how.
This woman was a widow.
I don’t know her name or anything about her except what I have told you.
She was poor. She gave all her earnings to the temple treasury.
She was unnoticed by the greater world of this particular act.
Except for one person.
He noticed her. And he made her an example to all people of holiness and righteousness.
What He said about another obscure person applies to the widow and her charitable offering.
While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” Matthew 26: 3-9
This prophecy of Jesus is verified true as you are reading these words.
You are reading about this woman in the gospel and she is remembered.
This woman along with the poor widow and
Zacharias the tax collector and
The man born blind and
all the other men and women mentioned in the bible whom interacted with
the one made in the image of God, but who did not deem equality with God.
These people are not forgotten.
The people in the graveyard are forgotten by the wider world but not by God.
All the people forgotten about by history are remembered by God.
The Catholic Bard will be forgotten about by History but not by God.
It is best to make friends with and get close and intimate with the only person who will not forget you.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit….
Now, it is possible that God may choose to take you out of the hiddenness of obscurity and shine a spotlight on you so that your example of faith, hope and love will be a bright light exposed to the entire world, for future generations of people to admire and emulate. He did this with the widow and the woman who poured perfume on his feet. He also did this to a young faithful nun who lived at the end of the 19th century.
She lived in a cloistered convent and died at a young age. She would be forgotten about had it not been for a diary she kept of her inner spiritual life. Her name was Therese Martin and she was a nun from the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy.
She is known today as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face or St. Thérèse of Lisieux or St. Thérèse the Little Flower.
Her feast day is in the beginning of October amongst a number of other holy and wonderful feast days.
I will focus in on her and the other feast days surrounding hers in the next post…
One last thing…
Today is the feast day of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The mighty Archangels of God.
These are beings we would never ever have any clue of existing if it were not for God revealing their existence to us in the revelation of his holy scriptures. God lets us know about saints, about people and angels and anything else when and if He wants us to know. And it is a wonder and a joy to know that an entire species of beings exist that care and protect us as God’s precious children.
Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.
No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.
Billy Collins, “Questions About Angels” (1991) Questions about Angels