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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: May 19, 2016
By Paula Standridge
St. John the Baptist Church, Hot Springs
In the year 1302 there was a young man born in Florence, Italy, to the distinguished Corsini family. His parents had dedicated him to God before his birth, but despite this fact, the first part of his youth was spent with bad companions, vices, extravagances and immoral behavior.
Eventually this young man saw the error of his ways, repented of his behavior, returned to the faith of his youth, became a priest then a bishop and is now known as St. Andrew Corsini.
This man’s life followed a pattern that many do. Raised in the faith, rejected the faith, returned to the faith — so what is it about his life that makes it noteworthy?
As we celebrate our own mothers and Mary, our ideal mother, let us also think about the countless mothers who have stormed heaven with their prayers and achieved results they themselves may not realize in their lifetime but have no doubt changed the world. These women are nameless but have the power to produce saints.
No doubt a big factor in why St. Andrew returned to his faith was the fervent prayers of his mother. His mother never ceased praying for his conversion and one day in the bitterness of her grief said to Andrew, “I see you are the wolf I saw in my sleep.”
She went on to explain to her son that before he was born she had a dream that she gave birth to a wolf, which ran into the church and was turned into a lamb. She then said that she expected more of her son whom she and his father had devoted to the service of God under the protection of the Virgin Mary.
Andrew was overwhelmed by shame and love for his mother. He immediately repented of his ways and was touched by God’s grace to enter the religious life despite the repeated efforts of his former companions to lure him back to his former way of life.
Although the name of Andrew’s mother is not mentioned in his biography she is one of the countless mothers who have “prayed without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for her child. There are two very potent forces at work here: the power of persistent prayer and the power of a mother’s love.
Jesus gives two examples of the value of persistent prayer in his parables about the widow who bothered the unjust judge so much that he ruled in her favor (Luke 18:1-8) and also the story of a man who went to a friend’s house at midnight to ask for bread (Luke 11:5-10).
In both cases the solicitors were granted their requests simply out of their persistence. But Jesus goes on to say “How much more will the Father … give to those who ask him,” meaning that their prayers will be answered favorably.
The power of a mother’s love is so significant that God uses it as an example to illustrate to the Israelites his commitment and fidelity to them.
“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:1)
Prayer and motherhood have a synergistic effect, which means that when the two come together their power is greater than the sum of their individual powers.
During this month of May, as we celebrate our own mothers and Mary, our ideal mother, let us also think about the countless mothers who have stormed heaven with their prayers and achieved results they themselves may not realize in their lifetime but have no doubt changed the world. These women are nameless but have the power to produce saints.