I hope this letter finds you well and staying cool in the summer heat!
On a Wednesday afternoon a few weeks ago, a woman rang the Franciscan Friary doorbell and, when I answered it, I met Elenore for the first time, tears streaming down her face.
I can honestly say this was Christ standing at our door in tears.
Elenore had just come from her doctor’s office where she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a nerve damaging disease that had caused her pain, fatigue and, at times, loss of coordination.
Between sobs, Elenore told me that she had been experiencing these symptoms for a while but was afraid to go to the doctor because she feared it may be something like this. After a fall at her workplace, she was brought to the hospital.
Upon release from the hospital, she met with her doctor, who had run tests the week before, and he informed her that she did have the disease. Her doctor said that there was a good chance this would be controlled at times, and that she could eventually go back to work.
I couldn’t answer the first question, but I could help with the second – who she could pray to.
She said she felt hopeless, and that this disease would conquer her. I told her about St. Jude, friend, and powerful Miracle worker. We were soon going to begin our Novena of Nine Thursdays, and I felt that concentrating on this prayerful time and reading about St. Jude could give her some comfort.
I was right. Elenore immediately began reading the Epistle of St. Jude and asked about the Nine Thursdays
Novena which she wanted to begin right away. She almost changed before my eyes; not that this horrific disease had left her thoughts, but now she could focus on hope and prayer rather than her MS diagnosis.
All of us can find solace and comfort in these prayers during the Nine Thursdays Novena to St. Jude. We may or may not have an illness like Elenore, but we all have some obstacles in life that keep us from feeling happy and fulfilled. Things like a child who has left the faith, the loss of a job, fear of not being able to pay bills, fear of COVID or another disease, or even the painful loneliness brought on by the loss of a spouse, relative, or friend.
Elenore is joining our Nine Thursdays Novena, and I know she would ask you to join her and the thousands of others who will be united in prayer with the Franciscan Friars throughout these nine beautiful Thursdays, ending with a Mass in honor of St. Jude for his Feast Day on October 28th.
Elenore found some peace and comfort as she began to pray to St. Jude, the Miracle Worker, whose powerful intercession works miracles big and small for all those who ask for his help.
May St. Jude hear your prayers and help fulfill your intentions.