Thanks to my St Anthony of Padua Calendar 2010, I know that it is now the 2nd of March. I also know that my tax disc has ran out and the over-bearing State could, at any time, take away my car and crush it into a perfect cube. Just think, if they can do that to my car, imagine what they can do with the education of not just mine (not that I have any) but your children in our Catholic schools, which defend, week in, week out, the purity and faith of the Church's children.
This Miracle, as pictured above, attributed to St Anthony of Padua, the giant Franciscan Saint and penpal of St Francis of Assisi, concerned a baby who fell into boiling water. The description says...
'It is told that a certain mother, in her eagerness to hear Anthony preach, put her baby down in a bath of boiling water on the fire, thinking it was his cradle. Realising what she had done, she was horrified and called on the Saint. Miraculously, her baby was unharmed!'
Obviously, the calendar does not describe what occurred next...
Operator: "Hello, Padua Social Services, Janet speaking, how may I help?"
St Anthony: "Ah, yes, thank God I got through to you. I wanted to tell you immediately of an unfit mother at number 47, Via San Giovanni. It's a disgrace! She put her baby in boiling water. It is only thanks to my sanctity and the power of my intercession with the Almighty that it escaped unharmed. Of course, I was charitable to her face, but thought I'd best call you so you can take the poor mite away from that wretched mother. Actually, to be honest, the place was a bit of a mess. Having done a health and safety course, I'd be thinking, not that I said this of course, that you would think of removing the baby from her care and placing the child with a nice middle-class family in Verona. I know a couple there who are infertile and would just love a baby and let's face it, it would help them because, God knows, IVF treatment is so dodgy."
Operator: "Okay, thanks, we'll look into that. Just for our records, should this go to Court, would you be willing to testify against the woman?"
St Anthony: "Sure, even though I'm a Father of the Poor who protects the widow and the orphan, we must think of the best interests of the child and if that means ripping the child from its roots in the family, then Amen, so be it! The name's Tony. Here are my contact details..."
The stories of families who have had their children unjustly removed by Social Services are many and varied. They must be told. Apparently, they're even taking babies who in grave danger of being, wait for it...too fat, away from families nowadays. If you know anyone who has had a 'raw deal' from social services I'd be happy to publish their story on this blog, another one and/or for a local magazine for Brighton which could be sold in Brighton and perhaps beyond, if only I could get my act together and focus on just one thing. I know that Social Services have a terrible reputation, but, believe me, it is well earned.