Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

19th June

 

 

The Servant of God Matthew Talbot

 

Confessor, Third Order

 

 

Matt Talbot was declared Venerable in 1975 which means that the church has decided that from a human point of view, he has the qualifications of a Saint. However a physical miracle is required to show Gods Approval of this judgement before he will be Beatified and another Miracle after that, before he will be canonised.

 

 Matt Talbot (May 2nd 1856 - 1925) was born in the poverty of Dublin's inner city. He began drinking at twelve years of age and became a chronic alcoholic. It was the drug culture of the 19th century. Matt was an addict. After sixteen years he decided to 'kick the habit'. A priest helped him, giving him a rehabilitation programme, which providentially incorporated the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. With the help of this Priest friend Matt modelled his life on that of the monks, who lived in Ireland in the 6th and 7th centuries.

It was a tough programme of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. That was fifty years before AA was founded. After a horrendous struggle, he found sobriety through prayer and self-sacrifice. His Higher Power was the Christian God. He remained sober for forty years until his death. His life story has been an inspiration for alcoholics and addicts throughout the world. He is a candidate for canonisation in the Catholic Church

To his neighbours and his work mates in the timber yards, he was a cheerful, happy friend. He gave away most of his wages every week to the poor at home and abroad. "Matt had no time for money", his sister remarked. He was keenly aware of his fellow workers struggle for social justice. A loyal member of Ireland's Transport and General Workers Union, a Union leader, Stephen McGonagle, described him as "a beacon of light to Irish workers". After a life of heroic perseverance, he died suddenly on the way to Mass on 7th June 1925.

Matt's programme of recovery was built around devotion to the Eucharist, love of Mary, Mother of God, spiritual reading, self-discipline and manual work. But he never forgot his struggle with his addiction. "Never look down on a man, who cannot give up the drink", he told his sister, "it is easier to get out of hell!".

Most of the favours attributed to his intercession world-wide are for addicts and their families. Hundreds have been reported. Some day he may be declared the patron saint for addicts.

Official Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Matt Talbot

"Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen."

 

 

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thou wouldst pour into our

hearts the gift of the Holy Ghost, through whose wisdom we

have been created, and by whose providence we shall be guided.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

 

Prayer of the church: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

Source: Circle of Prayer, updated 17 May 2013,Venerable Matt Talbot Intercedes for Addicts, circleofprayer.com, Accessed 17 May 2013, <web:www.circleofprayer.com/matt-talbot.html>

 

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Last edited 13/09/2017 15:45 
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