Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Healed through the Intercession of Frances Cabrini

As I worked on writing up a brief bio of St. Frances Cabrini for Wednesday's VBS, I came across this gripping (and rather harrowing) account of the miracle that led to her beatification: the healing of baby Peter Smith.

May 14, 1921

Yawning openly on this gray afternoon, a young nurse makes a last round of her newborn charges in New York City’s Columbus Hospital Extension on 163rd Street. In the final moments of an unusually busy shift, the weary nurse’s thoughts are already far from babies as she bends over the whimpering Smith infant at whose midday birth she assisted two hours earlier.

Instantly wide awake, Mae Redmond gasps, “Oh God! Oh God!” for infant Smith’s face is like charred wood, cheeks and lips blackened and burnt. Pus exudes from both tiny nostrils. Worst, where eyes should be are only two grotesque edemic swellings.

Horrified, Mae must struggle not to pass out as her mind grasps for how this can be. No one has handled the newborn after his normal delivery since she herself weighed and measured him and put in the eye drops prescribed by law.

The drops! Suddenly her panic lunges in a definite direction. She staggers across the nursery and picks up the bottle of 1-percent silver-nitrate solution used in the newborn’s eyes. What she reads on the label makes her shriek hysterically again and again, “Doctor! Oh God! Get a doctor!”

Into infant Peter Smith’s eyes the rushed nurse has deftly dropped, carefully pulling back each lid to get it all in, not 1-percent silver-ni­trate solution, but 50-percent silver-nitrate solution. Even 5-percent to 25-percent solution is used only on unwanted human tissue — tumors, for instance — because it eats away flesh as effectively as electric cauter­izing tools. Fifty-percent solution will gradually bore a hole in a solid piece of wood. And it has already been at work on the soft human tissue of infant Peter’s eyes for two hours.

Read the rest.


mandamum said... Glad it was the beginning of a miracle story, because otherwise...!! I love the faith that says, "God didn't heal him from his chemical burns only to let him die of pneumonia!" and keeps praying.

Makes me want to go hug my baby a little tighter....

MrsDarwin said...

Yes, I was shaking as I was reading this last night, and I already knew how the story was going to end.