Monday 19 February 2018

Mary Kenny: Retreat, pray, love

The universality of human hopes and worries are expressed in prayer requests

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

The doors of the old church were open, and you could see, even from outside, a blaze of candles by a side altar. I'd been told about the prayers and candles offered before the statue of St Rita, an Italian woman of renowned holiness (born in 1381), venerated in this seaside resort in Brittany. And between two stands of candles (the tapering kind, for €1, the longer-last candle, in a jar, €2), an open book of prayer requests.

What do people pray for? The list grows at a rate of about two pages a day. It expresses hopes, fears, anxieties and preoccupations that must surely be universal.

Many are about sickness and health, and there is surely a story of worried family and friends behind each entry.

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