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Catholic Activity: Pain and Suffering

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A story about St. Patrick and the Prince on pain and suffering. This is a good story to use to teach your child to offer up pain, like shots from the doctor's office.

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Does someone in your house have to have a penicillin shot, or boosters for all those things you get booster shots for? Or is there one who is chronically ill and has frequent pain, perhaps every day? Here is a story to help the fearful grow stout of heart and the stout-hearted to endure even when they grow weary of offering up.

It is told of the time when St. Patrick baptized Aengus, prince of Munster, at Cashel. As you know, St. Patrick was a bishop and in addition to mitres and copes and rings, bishops always appear for ceremonies bearing their staves, or crosiers. Apparently St. Patrick's crosier was sharply spiked. On the day he was baptizing Aengus, he reached that part of the ceremony where he needed the use of both hands, so he stuck his crosier firmly into the ground — or so he thought. Unknowingly he had stuck it through Aengus' foot! The prince said not a word. The baptism continued and only when the final words and the pouring on of water was done and the birth of the new Christian was completed, did St. Patrick discover what he had done. He was horrified! Full of concern and pity for the suffering prince, he asked why he had not cried out? Aengus replied simply. "But is this not part of the ceremony? I thought it was, and since Christ whose feet were pierced by nails shed His blood for me, I am glad to suffer pain at Baptism to be like Him."

Oh glory — what a wonderful thing to do with shots and all our suffering! In pain and suffering we can be like Him!

Activity Source: Saints and Our Children, The by Mary Reed Newland, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York; reprinted by TAN Publishers, 1958

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