Preamble: Thomas Peter’s broke his neck in a swimming accident. HERE He has some control of his arms so far. The well-known canonist Ed Peter’s, Thom’s father, has asked people to invoke the intercession of Servant of God Fr. Felix Cappello SJ (1879-1962). At the same time, Ed Peters is also, as he puts it, a fan of unprovable miracles, that it those miracles which in a cause for blessed or a saint we cannot use in a cause because we can’t show with moral certitude that a certain venerable or blessed was invoked.
When people directly involved with the sick or injured or endangered ask you to pray for intercession to a certain Servant of God or Venerable or Blessed, then please consider heeding their request.
When I post on this matter, people then start chiming in “And I’ll pray to my favorite Ven. Sr. Mary Ugthred of Poughkeepsie!” and others will say “Jesus, Mary Joseph and all the saints and angels, and especially Bl. Dilbert!” and others say, “Let’s all pray to the Holy Martyrs of St. Paul Seminary!”, or “Hey everyone, a really great saint to pray to about neck injuries is St. Gemma!”
While all prayers are welcome, and while we never want to instrumentalize the suffering of a person for the sake of cause, nevertheless in order to establish the intercession of a particular Servant of God, or Venerable, or Blessed in a miraculous healing or defense, it is necessary to demonstrate that that person was invoked. Get it? Not that person and everyone else under the sun.
If people surrounding the ailing person are all praying to Ven. Ashley, and their friends and parishes are praying to Ven. Ashley, and convents of nuns are praying to Ven. Ashley, and if the family is placing images and relics of Ven. Ashley under the sick person’s pillow, then it is easier to argue that Ven. Ashley interceded with God to obtain from God a desired miracle. But if some are praying to Sr. Mary Ugthred of Poughkeepsie, or some to Ven. Ashley, and some to Bl. Randi, and others to Servant of God Moronica, and if the family has the cards of dozens of saints and piles of relices, how do you establish the intercession of any one of them, much less Ashley?
Moreover, if none of the people you are invoking are, in God’s eyes, good candidates for our recognition, nevertheless our prayers are not empty.
So, if Ed Peters asks you ask the intercession of Servant of God Felix Cappello, you might consider doing exactly that.
Here is Ed Peters’ post. At the end, he himself talks about invoking whomever, but… hey! I’m just sayin’. You decide what you want to do, so long as you do something!
Please consider invoking Felix Cappello, SJ, for Thomas Peters
by Dr. Edward Peters
I tell my kids what my mom told me: to pray for the sick and the poor every day if only because any of us can find ourselves being either or both at any time.
As many of my blog readers already know, my oldest son Thomas (the American Papist) was seriously hurt in a swimming accident two days ago and remains in critical condition with spinal cord injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He, his wife of three months Natalie, and our families are overwhelmed with the outpouring of prayers and support that we have received so far, and now I would like to ask a special favor.
Please consider invoking the intercession of Fr. Felix Cappello SJ (1879-1962), one-time Confessor of Rome and the greatest sacramental lawyer of the 20th century, for Thomas’ speedy and complete recovery. I draw on Cappello’s canonical works in almost everything I write—no joke, I am finishing a scholarly article right now that he provided the crucial insight for—but I never thought I’d suggest drawing on his intercession for one of my very own. Well, I am doing so now.
Naturally, if you have your own favorite go-to saints in urgent cases, by all means, go! But if you are looking for a suggestion, I’d offer Fr. Cappello.
And thank you.
I picked up from Ed Peters’ Facebook page:
It looks like no surgery, and Thom will go straight to a fixed halo. Docs are optimistic that pressure on spinal cord will reduce on its own. Lungs almost back to normal, so probably will start weaning from breathing tube today. That’s esp. good news, as Thomas cannot talk with tubing in, but does not yet have enough hand control to sign (Thom knows ASL from his sister Meg, of course). He is regaining sensation in his legs, and is wearing his glasses!
From Ed Peters:
I’m waiting to hear how the halo fitting went, and, thinking about Thomas, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make an “irreversible” mistake, if you know what I mean, nor have I ever seen him make the same mistake twice. So, Lord, let him walk away from this one, in Your good time, because I know he’ll never do it again, and neither will anyone else who is close to him and who has learned deeply from this single unconsidered act. And God, please bless my daughter-in-law Natalie who has suddenly had to shoulder far more than either of them could have dreamt possible.