13 January 2008

The Last Day of Christmas

As we celebrate the Feast of the Lord's Baptism, the last day of the Christmas season, we have one more gift for which we are grateful. Yesterday, our archivist received a file of papers and letters pertaining to the Ann Mattingly miracle of the early 19th century.
Ann Mattingly was a guest and friend of our community who would frequently make retreats in our monastery. She was a young widow and the sister of the sixth Mayor of Washington, Thomas Carbery. In an era before there was great awareness, Mrs. Mattingly discovered a lump "the size of a pigeon's egg" which signaled a serious case of breast cancer. Documented medical reports indicate that she received the most state-of-the-art treatment available in her day: mercury and hemlock ointment. (We've come a long way!)

A young priest in Germany, Prince Alexander Leopold Hohenlohe, (pictured above) was well known for the gift of healing; he had been contacted by priests from nearby Baltimore. At the request her pastor, the Rev'd Dubuisson (also a chaplain to our community), Mrs. Mattingly began a novena to the Most Holy Name of Jesus and was to receive communion on the 10th of March at 3.00am EST (9.00am in Bamberg, Germany), the time that Prince Hohenlohe agreed to pray for her cure. After acute suffering and difficulty swallowing communion, Ann Mattingly was miraculously and instantaneously restored to health. She rose from bed and knelt to give thanks to God for this gift.

The house in which this miracle took place is pictured above. It was located at the corner of 17th and C Streets, NW and demolished in 1903. Pictured below is the rosary case which belonged to Ann Mattingly. It was painted by one of our sisters.

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