Canonisation for all.

Our young family in Holland 1975-76

Our young family in Holland 1975-76

Sorry to be harping on about the Pius X11 hiccupping event. It will soon come to pass. The writing is so much better as a catharsis than any medication. Talk about medication. Was the cod liver oil also in demand in Australia during or after the war? I actually quite like it and it is now not all that easy to get except in tablet form encased in some kind of solidified jelly. A bottle of cheap as chips pure cod liver without any nonsense is another item of the past that one can miss and wish for endlessly. H is forever telling me; what is your point of slipping and sliding around on what has passed? Get on with it! Go and vacuum something, anything.

It is just that I keenly remember an event that occurred in the Bolzano area of Italy. I have spent some time there but not during the Pius X11 hiccupping. That was yet to come some years later. Of course, while expert specialists and not so expert charlatans were trying the many cures on the pope, hundreds of canonisation claims were queuing up in the Papal corridors of The Vatican. It went on for many months and rumors were starting to emerge of a new pope waiting around in Lucifer’s garden. A chimney sweep was being engaged! An ominous sign, handpicked from the best available in Austria, fluent in Italian as well as possessing a deft all encompassing sweeping movement of his right arm.



However, a father from the village of Bolzano’s Bressanone had lost his wife during childbirth of his daughter. Some eight years later he tragically also lost his little girl from an essential illness.

A building of a dam necessitated the removal of the local cemetery to higher grounds just when the Wisteria and Seringa were at their highest and best. Their mauve fragrances greeting the graveyard visitors even from mountain villages miles away. All the relatives still alive disinterred the remains of their loving but dearly departed to take to the new cemetery higher up. The father found his wife’s remains all but dust but when prising open the lid from his daughter’s small casket he was greeted by the fresh fragrance of the roses she was buried with. Her child body still warm and with a roseate glow around her cheeks. The flowers still alive clutched between her arms resting serenely and beatific on her white dress.

The father decided then to make amends to his sins long hidden from his youth and only ever confessed to his wife during a flush of southern passion and who then died so tragically near nine months later. His daughter surely deserved sainthood. He took to taking the casket held is his lap by train to Rome. He had written by hand a sixty page letter attributing her perfect remains as proof of sainthood already there but not conferred.

Alas, he was joined by many from around the world in the Vatican’s corridors normally reserved for sauntering of mitre wearing cardinals and High Officials. Their weary faces all grimed from dust of week long journeys. There were many canonisation applicants from Bolivia, El Salvador, The Antilles and other numerous very catholic but evil dictator led countries. Many from Spain and Italy as well. In fact, the caskets, shrouds and many other reliquiae were littering the corridors to such an extend it was spilling over into a courtyard over which a tarpaulin was hung.

The Pius X11 hiccupping was still ongoing and cardinals hardly bothered even looking up, let alone had a look at this poor father’s small coffin. Canonisation was at a standstill.

I have till now not ever heard what happened. Indeed, even with memory still strong (thanks to the cod liver oil) I am not so sure if this event really took place or is it something stored and taken out of mind’s waste paper basket?

I have yet to hear of canonisation of a live person. Have you?

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13 Responses to “Canonisation for all.”

  1. M-R Says:

    In two words – IM and POSSIBLE. 😉
    What the devil’s the matter with you ?! – get off this damned catholic thing, willya ? Reminds me far too much of my childhood !


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, childhoods are persistent, especially the Catholic, the Protestant, the Methodist, the Hebron one, Lutheran, we could go on.


  3. ChristineR Says:

    I remember cod liver oil, the taste has stayed with me. It must have been the late 1950s for me.


  4. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Fortunately, I avoided cod liver oil as a child. There must have been some other cure my mother applied. I do remember I got ice-cream for a soar throat. I had several. As for Canonisation, afraid it is outside my experience. 🙂 –Curt


  5. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    We were fed large spoonfuls of delicious cod-liver-oil and malt three times a day in the faint hope that we would look a little less skeletal to the neighbours. Not sure what to the pope’s hiccups are all about.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The hiccupping Pope Pius X11 had an almost incurable hiccup that towards the end killed him around the late fifties, so well before your time Hilary.
      I never took malt except I think it was available in milkshakes. The milkshake was unknown in Holland but a very common drink in Australia.


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    No, I don’t follow anything Catholic nor do I know a wit about canonisation. Sounds gross that anyone would take a coffin and go by train to the Vatican. Just morbid. I think the man was delusional.

    About the cod live oil. My parents gave it to me as a child. Have not taken it since and forgot about cod liver oil until I read your post. Is it really supposed to help memory? I need to Google that for the answer. 🙂


  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Anything to do with fish is good for you, especially sardines. The cod liver oil you mum gave you was a panacea for almost everything, from colds to healing broken bones. It is rich in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids.
    I don’t know if it helps memory. I forgot! 😉


  8. tulipels Says:

    Cod liver oil was for the winter. We all stood in line, nose closed, for our tablespoon, delivered by my dad. If you were lucky he gave a peppermint to get rid of the taste. Were extremely happy when it arrived in capsule form.


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