Sunday, June 3, 2007

One Man's Faith in the Sacred Heart

In my last posting I mentioned that something special had happened to my great grandfather and his treasured Sacred Heart image that you can see above, well here is the story:

A young married man about 27 years of age, who lived with his wife in Yarrawonga, made a visit to his local doctor, because he was very ill. He was medically examined and was told by his doctor he had TB on his lung and would or could only live about 6 months. This was in the early 1920’s and there was definitely no cure for this complaint, at this time. The young couple were very distressed by this report and they turned to God for help and direction.

The patient had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart. In his home he had a picture of the Sacred Heart that hung on the wall at the foot of his bed. The picture was of a heart encircled by a crown of thorns and flames, flames of burning love. One night while deep in prayer and gazing upon the picture an amazing transformation took place in the picture. The heart began to beat and the flame encircling the heart began to move and flicker. A voice invaded his consciousness and told him that although he would have much to suffer, he would live.

The patient then asked the doctor to give him a referral to a doctor who worked in Melbourne, whom they both knew. This doctor also confirmed the local doctor’s opinion that it was TB, but he decided to keep the patient in Melbourne to watch his condition and placed him on an open verandah of a hospital.

What was thought by two medical men to be TB (and in the 1920’s, there was no known cure) – on the specialist’s probing and examination of these 9 spots he had marked, he found dead Hydatids. The Hydatid was thought to be caused by the serum given to the patient for TB, or it was possibly caused through handling rabbits. Hydatid was a disease carried by rabbits. The specialist and his medical friend were very convinced it was the consistent trust and faith, that this young couple had in God’s help, that the specialist had been given help to find the answer he was looking for.

This young man was only 6 stone in weight and very black and weak. But after major surgery on the lung, ribs, etc. and with tender loving care, he lived to the age of 83 years. He spent many hours of praise and thanksgiving to his good Lord, for the help he was given in all those years, as well as raising a family of 9 children. The operation left him with a hole in his back that required bathing and dressing for many years. For all of his trials and afflictions he had a ready humour and any suffering or personal inconveniences were never seen in his countenance.

In 1932 he lost his dear wife in giving birth to their ninth child. (Aunty Mary) Hers was an unselfish love. She had been warned that in her state of health she would place her life in jeopardy by bearing another child. Acknowledging the risks, she went ahead and became pregnant. The last six months of her confinement she spent in bed. She died shortly after giving birth. Later in life he married again. He often joked to his grandchildren that he could breathe through the hole in his back while having his head in a bucket of water.

The trimmings at the end of his rosary were legendary. The trimmings provided for all the people he prayed for individually and the invocation of the saints to strengthen the faith of all his children and the children’s children. As a child when visiting grandpa and it was rosary time. We would all kneel down and listen to him dispensing the decades with a love and devotion that can only come from a person who has a deep and personal relationship with his God. The children were dispensed from the trimmings, as he well understood the attention span of the young.

(This was written by one of John Joseph Mullin’s grandchildren after hearing the full story from his second wife.)

John Joseph Mullins

1 comment:

Leonie said...

Wow, an incredible story, Anne!