UPDATE on Thomas Peters, neck broken in accident, and REQUEST for prayers for a miracle

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.

That said:

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Matt8006 says:

    Dear Servant of God, Fr. Felix Cappello,
    Please pray for the speedy and complete recovery of Thomas Peters. Amen.

  2. Pingback: Thomas Peters Neck Broken Request Prayers for Miracle - BigPulpit.com

  3. KAS says:

    I’m praying to that Servant of God mentioned and ONLY to him. Anyway, told him to ask God for a miracle of total healing to better than before. Might as well go over the top seeing as this is God we’re asking.

    Glad to read that he is progressing.

  4. rollingrj says:

    I am glad and relieved to hear progress is being made toward his recovery.

    Keep the intercessions coming.

  5. lh says:

    I read about the request this morning. Praying. Thank you Father for posting this since many do not realize this. There is a doctor at University of Beijing, (I don’t recall her name) who has had great success in treating persons who have spinal injuries. She claims that it is very important to stimulate the muscles and continue to give the patient physical therapy making sure the limbs are moved daily. Healing can take months or several years but apparently the nerves begin to heal and reconnect. This was a news story done in the Hong Kong News a few years ago. Perhaps someone can mention this to the Peters family.

  6. Nan says:

    Weaning from ventilator is a good thing and hopefully he’ll have no trouble with it. Thom is young, strong, surrounded by family on earth and in heaven so has much going for his recovery. I’ll pray to Fr. Felix Capello for his healing, joining my prayers to those of all who pray for Thom. I’ll also ask Bl. JPII to pray for Thom and to ask his brother popes to do the same.

  7. norancor says:

    God the Father of Mercies, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, has instructed us to “ask, and it shall be given ye: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to thee,” and so we beseech Thee in profound humility, by the intercession of Thy servant Father Felix Cappello, to give healing and benediction to Thomas Peters in all his injuries, so that by the manifestation of Thy power and might through the intercession of Thy servant Felix, he may be shown worthy of veneration and raised to the altars of the Church, to Thy greater glory. We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

  8. rbbadger says:

    I have prayed to Fr Cappello and asked for his intercession for Thomas Peters. Fr Cappello, pray for us!

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Thanks and praying to this Servant of God as directed.

  10. FrNathan says:

    The site that Ed Peters blog takes one to has this prayer:

    Prayer (private) to obtain graces through the intercession
    of Rev Felix Maria Cappello, S.J.

    O Jesus, for the welfare of the Church and the comfort of the faithful, you filled your servant Felice Maria Cappello with the gifts of your Spirit and made of him a pious and zealous priest, an exemplary religious, a luminary of learning, a reliable advisor, and an untiring worker, now grant the grace hoped for in evidence of his intercession and let us imitate his piety, humility, patience, and kindness before your Divine Heart and the Immaculate Heart of your Most Holy Mother

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. O Lord, glorify your faithful servant on earth!

  11. Lori Pieper says:

    Regaining sensation in his legs — that is GOOD NEWS!

    I smiled reading the recommendation to pray to Fr. Felice Cappello. As I wrote the other day, I am already invoking the intercession of the Servant of God Pope John Paul I — who, as it happens, is a relative of Fr. Cappello (born in the same village) and one who had frequent contact with him while alive, as Albino Luciani was a student at the Gregorian where Fr. Cappello was teaching; he admired the Jesuit a great deal. I shall gladly invoke him as well!

  12. frjim4321 says:

    Quite pleased about the sensation in the legs.

  13. Jim of Bowie says:

    I will add prayer to Fr. Cappello to my morning prayers until Thomas has fully recovered.

  14. Mariana2 says:

    Will pray to Fr Cappello as instructed!

  15. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Thank you Fr. Nathan for that lovely prayer. Thank you Fr. Z for the opportunity to participate in this barrage of prayer.

    That being said, it’s just a wee bit odd praying to a Fr. Felix since for a while my confessor was a (different, obviously) Fr. Felix.

    I hope young Mr. Peters can get off the vent soon. That is a very unpleasant experience for a person who is even just a little bit conscious.

  16. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Thanks for the update, Father. Thomas comes to my mind many times a day and I have been praying. I will join others in praying for the intercession of Rev Felix Maria Cappello, S.J.

  17. faithandfamily says:

    Will continue to offer up prayers for a complete healing for Thomas, through the intercession of Fr. Cappello, SJ. Thank you, Fr. Z, for continued updates of Mr. Peter’s condition.

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Will do, praying to Fr. Cappello. Young Mr. Peters sounds like he is making good progress, thank God. Very encouraging signs!

  19. Nicholas says:

    Snap…. I said a hail Mary as soon as I started reading the article. :(

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