Thursday, 9 July 2009

Behold a Miracle!

The tree stump pictured above looks to me like a rather dumpy Muslim lady seen from behind, as in a bus queue perhaps, but to some of the residents of Rathkeale in County Limerick, it's another of the Blessed Virgin’s mysterious public appearances, this time in a lump of dead tree rather than an Arctic ice field, cloud formation or tortilla. Almost two thousand signatures have been collected on a petition to have the stump made into a permanent feature at the local church, so people can go there and light candles, or whatever it is they propose to do in its honour. The Parish Priest, auld spoilsport that he is, has said ‘there’s nothing there…it’s just a tree…you can’t worship a tree.’ Oh, but you can. Will you just look at the candles offered there already? One Mr Hogan, a local shopkeeper, defends this loony plan by pointing out that the lump of wood is bringing together people ‘from all walks of life’ to pray and ‘what’s wrong with that? There’s enough violence and intolerance going on in the world.’ Good man yerself, Hogan. Absolutely right. The adoration of dead tree stumps is the perfect antidote to such stupidity.

A spokesman for the Limerick diocesan office was called on to put his two penn’orth in and said: ’While we do not wish in any way to detract from devotion to Our Lady, we would also wish to avoid anything which might lead to superstition.’

That's rich.

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