Dear Incorruptibles

Child Rita of Cascia in 1381 was asleep in her crib
when the white bees came and filled her mouth.
Saint of rosebushes flowering in the midst
of winter, saint of the ripening fig, the forehead
wound, saint of desolate and impossible cases.

Rose of Lima’s cranium has been draped with roses
and upon her death, separated gently
from her body, which lies in repose in the Basilica.

Bernardino was depicted in portraits and in print
throughout his lifetime, and after death became
patron saint of advertising, communications,
compulsive gambling, and misinterpretation.

John of God was once a soldier, and then a publisher,
thrown in an insane asylum to become the patron of
hospitals, firefighters, alcoholics, and booksellers.

John of the Cross has it easier, answering only
to the prayers of mystics and Spanish poets.

Bernadette Soubirous, instructed by visions,
dug up with her bare hands what would become
the stream of Lourdes.

Charbel Makhlouf was born in Lebanon in 1828,
and spent the seventy years of his life bowed down
to God. Upon his death, the terrible weather
outside his door ceased long enough for his body
to be carried to the hermitage: God’s thumb
lifting ever so gently the pressure on one man’s life.

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