Thursday, 26 August 2010

Pray for the Trapped Chilean Miners Keeping the Faith

"I'll handle this!" San Lorenzo is brought in to aid trapped miners
Sporting red vestments, a lacy alb and a red hard-hat, the Deacon and Martyr, St Lawrence, patron of miners (I didn't know that) has been brought in to aid and protect the 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet below ground in sweltering heat.

In Catholic countries, when there is an emergency or a disaster, people quickly call upon help from the Court of Heaven.

In Protestant or largely atheistic countries, like ours, people just say, "Oh, how awful. Poor people...Makes you thankful for Margaret Thatcher. Stick the kettle on will you, love."

According to The Telegraph...

'The miners' families have held vigil at "Camp Hope" for three weeks, at first praying that their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons would be found alive. Their prayers were answered August 22, with the delivery of a note strapped to a drill bit that emerged from the bowels of the Earth carrying a simple red-ink message: "All 33 of us are well and in the shelter".

Now, with officials stressing that a successful rescue could be months away, relatives spend their days writing messages of love and support to the men, who have been trapped for three weeks underground in a 50 sq yard room. The men were told on Wednesday that they may not be rescued until the end of the year. Jaime Mañalich, Chile's health minister, said the men had accepted the news calmly.

Rescuers have been sending clothes, food, medical supplies and games down a cylinder the diameter of a grapefruit to keep the men physically and mentally fit. Among the items being sent down was a football jersey signed by members of the Chilean national team. It was destined for Franklin Lobos, a 55-year-old miner who was a professional footballer in his youth, and even made the national team in the 1980s.
Food and supplies are sent 2,300 ft to Chilean miners
The team's coach Marcelo Bielsa, captain Claudio Bravo, and top players Jorge Valdivia and Matias Fernandez all signed the shirt, which Lobos's daughter Carolina said "will delight my father. He has so much respect for Bielsa and for how he handles the team," she said. The family of Edison Pena, a 34-year-old mechanic, have their own surprise gift for him: a photo of US rock and roll legend Elvis Presley. "Hang in there, because soon you're going to be more famous than Elvis," they wrote in a note accompanying a photo of the singer.
The messages, whether full of tender emotion or lighthearted anecdotes, will bring hope and optimism to men struggling to process the trauma of their fate, psychiatrists said. "They told us that the first days were torture because all they could think was that they would be there forever and that they would die there," said Juan Pena, Edison Pena's father. "They felt the machines drilling nearby looking for them, but not where they were. When the drill finally found them, they felt like they had been revived," he said.'

Heaven help them, because reports are suggesting that the miners will not be out until Christmas unless San Lorenzo can pull a rabbit out of a hat for them. The Guardian's commenters are rather negative about the whole 'praying' thing. "I'll keep them in my thoughts," they say, or, "Send them my kindest regards", as if somehow thinking nice thoughts or sending regards is going to help! "Hello, Roger from Ipswich here. Just to let you know I'm keeping you in my thoughts!"

I don't know if its an old Protestant thing about the Saints or just the idea that anyone could pray for someone is delusional because it 'won't help'.Give the man a chance, will you?! He's only just arrived on the scene! Pray for them.

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