Life of Matt Talbot – Chapter X – The Growing Cultus

cover of the ebook 'Life of Matt Talbot, by Sir Joseph Aloysius Glynn'As stated in the introduction, the first Life of Matt Talbot appeared in the second week in the Lent of 1926. At once devotion to him spread and favours were sought through his intercession. Some extracts from letters which have been received since the publication of the last edition are here appended.

The Rev. Mother of a large community of the Sister of Mercy, in Ireland, writes:

Two Sisters of this Community were so seriously ill that the physicians entertained but little hope of their recovery. The entire community recited the prayer for the Canonization of Matt Talbot for about a month, asking Almighty God to honour His humble servant by the cure of these two Sisters. At the end of that time both were able to resume their duties, much to the astonishment and contrary to the expectations of the two Doctors who had attended them.

A Sister of Saint Louis writes:

I have been suffering for some months with a stone in, the kidney, and promised Our Lady of Lourdes and Matt Talbot to have it published if I got well again without an operation. I did avoid the operation and am now quite well again. I wish now to fulfill my promise.

A District Nurse (County Dublin) writes:

Two years ago a growth developed in my neck and gave me great trouble. I consulted a Dublin specialist, who told me I was a bad case and the only cure was an operation, which I dreaded. I began a novena to Matt Talbot, through Our Blessed Lady, for the intention that if it was God’s Will I would not have to I go under any operation. I am perfectly cured, thanks to the All-Loving Lord, Our Blessed Lady and Matt Talbot.

Mrs. McG. (County Cork) writes:

I travelled to Dublin to visit my sister, S. McD., without knowing that she-was ill. I found her in most awful agony. She had been suffering for about six weeks, with a clot of blood at the ankle, which seemed almost ready to burst. I told her to pray for patience and to suffer on, and was really convinced that Our Lord was going to take her. Next day (Sunday), without even a thought of the holy man, I was handed a relic of Matt Talbot at Gardiner Street Church. I gave it to my sister on returning to her house. She received it reverently and placed it on her foot, but the pain grew worse and confirmed my belief that she was going to die. Next morning she was worse than ever. I went to Mass but on my return found my sister so excited; walking about without pains and the swelling completely gone.

J.S. and his wife testify as follows:

Their daughter before her twelfth year had had three attacks of pneumonia. In her thirteenth year, following an operation for adenoids and tonsils, she became seriously ill. A second operation, for middle ear abscess, was then performed, followed soon afterwards by, an operation for mastoid. The operations were carried out by eminent Dublin specialists, the first on July 1st, the second about 18 days later and the third on July 22nd, 1933. General, septicemia and a fourth attack of pneumonia developed. A fourth specialist was called in for consultation and pronounced the chill’s condition as “absolutely hopeless”; he had never, in his experience, seen a recovery in a similar case. J.S. then had relics of Matt Talbot applied to the sick child and he and his wife and their friends started a novena, and from that time her condition improved steadily, so that at the end of six months she was able to return to school.

M.B.O’L., a trained nurse, writes as follows:

A shopkeeper told me he was drinking very heavily and asked if I could do anything to cure him. I gave him general advice and we parted. He went straight into the public house. Less than a week later, I had some business in his shop and went in. I saw him standing inside the counter and he was obviously in a very bad state from drink. His sister was present. He said someone was stabbing him with knives and that he would be dead before morning. He said he would kill the other fellow first and that he would go for a bottle of whiskey and would drink it down and that he would not care then what happened to him as he could hot keep away from drink. He then said; “Can you not do anything for me?” I said, “I gave you my advice a few days ago”. His sister then said, “That was of no effect. He is worse than ever.” It then came into my mind that I would try Matt Talbot. I asked for some paper, as I had not the printed prayer for Matt Talbot’s beatification with me. The drunkard tried to get out but was kept back by his sister and by me. I then, from memory, wrote out the prayer for the beatification and asked him to read it. He sat down and read the prayer. I had first read it for him and told him to say it morning and evening. I am aware that from the moment he read the prayer he has not tasted spirituous drink. He calls to see me at the hospital to report how he is going on and also wrote to me to thank me for what I had done for him. I have often nursed cases of delirium tremens and believe that he was bordering on delirium, as he was undoubtedly suffering from delusions. He is prepared to make a statement to this effect.

A German Jesuit, writing from Valkenburg, says:

A boy, six years old, was confined to bed for several days with a dangerous skull-fracture. He was entirely unconscious. The physician gave no hope. At noon I handed the relic (a fragment of Matt’s wooden pillow) to the sister in order to attach it to the boy’s shirt. At three o’clock, when his, mother approached his bed, he opened his eyes, saying: “Mother, I should like a cup of coffee.” He was quite recovered.

A country woman, afflicted with the gout so badly that she was unable to work, regained health through a novena and the same relic. In thanksgiving she is sending 200 marks every yean for poor students.

A seminarian was many months in bed on account of articular rheumatism. After a novena he also recovered his health.

J.P.M., Donchester, Massachusetts, testifies that:

After reading Matt Talbot’s “Life” he gave it to his brother, a young civil engineer, who had been unemployed. The latter, too, read the book and both began a novena. “Our novena commenced on July 20th and on the morning of the last day, i.e., 28th, my brother obtained, employment for a month, with the hope of permanent employment.”