My Favourite Miracles
Published on: 30 August 2021 Author: Jenny Pearson
In The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, Freddie and his mates Ben and Charlie set off an adventure across Wales. Fact-loving Freddie doesn't really believe in miracles, but during his journey he and his friends set off a chain of events that make people believe a miracle really has happened.
Freddie thinks he knows the truth – that miracles don't really happen, but then in St David's, the most westernest part of Wales, Freddie experiences a miracle of his own and he learns that things might not always be fact or fiction.
Including miracles in the story was inspired by a RE lesson I taught a few years ago. The kids and I talked about whether they believed in miracles and if they did, what they considered to be a miracle. There were some misunderstandings. Jesus apparently cured some leopards not lepers. Aeroplanes and zips (zips?!?!?!) were also suggested to be miracles because no one knows how they work. This is not true (before you start saying Hallelujah every time you zip your flies up), but it did get me to thinking about writing a story about something that had people questioning whether a miracle had occurred.
It also got me into researching miracles myself and I'm going to share with you two of my favourite miracles that have been reported from around the world. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you think they really happened.
Way back in 1630 AD, there was a guy called Joseph of Cupertino. I think Cupertino must have been the place he lived in Italy. He must have had another surname – surely not everybody who lived there could be called 'of Cupertino' – could get quite confusing. Anyway, this Joseph was a friar who could, apparently, spring into spontaneous levitation. That basically means he could hover in the air. Which is pretty cool. Apparently, he first did this during a procession in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Which isn't very cool.
A bit showy-offy if you ask me – hovering up there above the crowd. The day wasn't about you, Joseph of Cupertino - it was about Saint Francis. But Joseph wasn't bothered about outshining the patron saint of animals, and after that you couldn't stop the fella from floating about in the air. He even spent a bit of air-time in front of the Pope who was dead impressed. Everybody thought that Joseph's ability to levitate was a genuine miracle and after he died, he was made the Saint of pilots and astronauts. It must have been quite a while after he died though, because I can't imagine there were too many astronauts mooching about in Italy in the seventeenth century.
The next miracle I want to tell you about happened in Akita in Japan and was actually an inspiration for what happens after Freddie, Ben and Charlie spend a night in the church in The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates. If you read it, you'll understand why!
So, in July 1973, Sister Agnes, who was praying in chapel, heard a voice coming from a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. As a rule, statues don't generally speak, so this was a bit of a surprise for Agnes. But that's not all! She noticed there were drops of blood flowing from the statue's right hand! Agnes went and got some of her sister pals to have a look – probably to check she wasn't having a funny five minutes – but they could see it too! That statue's hand kept dripping with blood all the way until September. After it had stopped, the statue started to 'sweat' especially around the forehead and the neck! And THEN two years later, in 1975, the statue began to weep! Over the next eight years the statue was found crying on 101 different occasions. The statue was analysed by a university professor and he confirmed the blood, tears and sweat to be human! Oh. My. Days!
According to Wikipedia a miracle is an extraordinary and welcome event which cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. I don't know all the natural or scientific laws, and while I might be wrong, I'm hazarding a guess that you don't either, so I think that like Freddie Yates, it's up to you to decide whether you believe in miracles. And to be honest, I think it's okay to make up your own definition of what a miracle is. I don't think I really believed in miracles before I had two of my own – my boys, William and Douglas. Oh, and that time when the swimming pool vending machine malfunctioned, and I got sixteen Boost bars for the price of one. That felt quite miraculous.