When I read the headline first, I had to check it wasn’t The Onion.
Saint Teresa’s Walking Stick on World Tour. What in the name of jumping Jesus is this?
I had to read it again, just in case the old brain had somehow got stuck on auto but no, there it was. Saint Teresa’s walking stick is on a world tour, in competition with the Blessed Knuckle that worked the circuit a few years back.
Do you remember that? The Holy Bone-Fragment of St Thérèse of Lisieux, carted around Europe in a jewel-encrusted box without a peep-hole, challenging doubters to test their faith. If you truly believed, you wouldn’t need to peep into this little box. Indeed. The Blessed Crubeen rests secure inside this here box what we has made for your astonishment so just sit down there in the cheap seats and shut your mouths while we put on this medicine show.
Astonishingly, they even brought the Box of the Blessed Crubeen to the prisons, where hundreds of scobies lined up to worship at a piece of plywood encrusted with fake jewels. And the prison authorities facilitated this voodoo display but aren’t scobies great all the same? They might stab your grandmother but they have great faith.
I had an excellent idea when the Blessed Knuckle visited Limerick and I have to admit it still annoys me that I didn’t go ahead and make a small fortune on the night of the visit. People queued from the cathedral all the way up the street, around the corner and back down the other street to see St Thérèse’s box. And naturally, the flower-sellers took advantage of the situation to sell them, eh, flowers for the, eh, Little Flower.
Why in the name of Jesus didn’t I make a huge pot of spare ribs, absolutely delicious, and sell them to the starving throng as Barbecued Knuckle of St Thérèse? A fortune I’d have made. Tellin ya.
Anyway, this isn’t about St Thérèse of Leixlip. This is about Teresa of Avila, a woman pushed into a convent at the age of 14 who gradually descended into a hell of paranoid delusions brought on by religious obsession. Such people today would be known as patients but in the 16th century were called saints.
Eventually, even the Catholic hierarchy decided the woman was stark raving mad and ordered her to stop founding convents full of nutcases but luckily the Holy Spirit intervened in the shape of King Philip II of Spain, who had a quiet word with the Pope and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle. Teresa’s back founding convents like nothing at all happened. The power of prayer.
The Walking Stick of St Teresa was due to be in Galway today. Later in the week, it will be joined by the High-Quality Hiking Boots of St Teresa, the Heavy Socks of St Teresa, the Sensible Jacket of St Teresa and the Few Sandwiches of St Teresa. The Carbon-Fibre Mountain Bike of St Teresa will arrive from Africa some time in September.
Isn’t it great to see all these relics doing world tours?