Brendan Kelly is on the move. He passed away ten years ago, but he is on the move.
To remind you, Brendan Kelly was a boy with Down syndrome who suffered with leukemia throughout his short 16-year life. He was a holy boy, a mystic who suffered greatly, died young, and brought many people to the faith.
Senator Rick Santorum credits Brendan with the fact that his daughter Bella, who has usually-deadly Trisomy 18, not only lived past birth but lives even now. When Brendan was getting his bone marrow transplant, you could hear him in the sterile room offering his suffering for newly-born Bella, who was expected to died shortly after birth.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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This is just one remarkable story among many about Brendan of Great Falls. He may have passed a decade ago, but lately it seems he’s been trying to get our attention. Some interesting things have happened that deserve our attention.
A priest saying the televised Mass on EWTN told stories about Brendan during his homily.
A podcaster in Great Britain did a three-part series on the life of Brendan.
Brendan granted a beautiful favor to a woman who cared for him when he was suffering. She says every year on the anniversary of his passing, Brendan has given her littles gifts. This year, the gift was a last-minute invitation to attend a fundraising dinner for a Catholic grade school. But that was just the beginning of the gift because she was seated, quite coincidentally, with a couple whose baby daughter, sixteen years before, was in the cancer ward with Brendan. Brendan would have been six at the time. Brendan adopted her. She lives. They credit Brendan.
I say coincidence, but I don’t mean it. This was Brendan. He is on the move. But it is more than merely on the move.
In August, I told these Brendan stories to Fr. Rob Jack on Sacred Heart Radio. I told him that “Brendan is on the move.” He said, “Brendan is looking for work.” You could have knocked me over. What a wonderful thought. Of course! Brendan is looking for work! We do not believe that the Beatific Vision is boring, but still, Brendan wants to work. He worked on this earth. He wants to work now.
Fr. Rob said, “There are too many saints in Heaven on the unemployment line.” Brendan is not the only one! Fr. Rob is right. There are saints who are extremely busy and others not so much but who still want to intercede on our behalf. “There are too many saints in Heaven on the unemployment line.”Tweet This
Think about St. Anthony running morning, noon, and night. He is called upon almost constantly by millions of the faithful who have a devotion to him. The same with St. Francis, St. Benedict, St. Josemaria, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mother Cabrini. Then there are the newer saints, like Gianna Molla and John Paul the Great. Because they are so recent, people know them and have vigorous devotions to them. They are busy. And we know the Blessed Mother is the busiest saint of all.
But think about all the saints in Heaven who have never had big followings, or have simply been forgotten by us on this side of the veil. Have you ever heard of Rafael Arnaiz Barón, a Trappist who was canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. What about Riccardo Pampuri, a medical doctor canonized by John Paul the Great in 1989? Go back in time to Ambrose Barlow, a Benedictine martyred in 1641 and canonized by Paul VI.
Saints Barón, Pampuri, and Barlow are all looking for work, and I wonder who is asking them. These great saints are on the unemployment line. They are waiting there for you and me to ask them.
It is unfortunate that our Protestant brothers and sisters scoff at the communion of saints, not believing that they can hear us and help us, taking our pleas to the Throne of Our Lord. And Catholics understand that while we may not canonize anyone, and it is better not to assume, there are some cases where we can assume, and this is how local cults are created, how favors are granted and recognized by Holy Mother Church, and how the Church comes to start an official cause.
I firmly believe that Brendan of Great Falls is such a saint. I believe he is on the move. I firmly believe he is looking for work, that he is greatly beloved by Our Lady and Our Lord, and that they are eager to grant him fantastic favors if only we ask for his help.
Brendan is on the move. Brendan is looking for work. Go, ask him.
*If you would like private devotional prayer cards for Brendan’s intercession, write to me below.