Thursday, December 3, 2009

Padre Pio's idea. Had to be.

Another typical morning, working a cashiering shift. Smile, chat, wish I had coffee. Scan items. Offer store credit card, get refused, take money, say goodbye. Greet next customer, smile, chat. Wish I had coffee, scan items, offer store credit card...

"Oh, that other woman dropped something." I glance up - that's not part of the routine. Maybe she dropped chocolate espresso beans, that would be nice.

My customer picks the something and hands it to me - it's a soft vinyl pouch; the contents have a familiar feel. "A Rosary?" I hesitate, between the customer in front of me and the one already out the door. I take the lazy route out. "Well - I hope she comes back for it." I probably wouldn't recognize her anyway, not with my memory for faces. And anyways, rosaries get lost. It happens. I'll drop it off at lost-and-found on my break.

During a slow period later on, I take a closer look at the rosary case. It's double-sided: one side holds a chaplet of some kind, from Kibeho in Rwanda - a Marian apparition that warned of the coming genocide. It's not just any rosary. Also there's a 3rd-class relic of Padre Pio. As for the other side of the pouch...I choke, and check quickly for any name or phone number. There's none; just the three reliquaries with 1st-class relics of Elizabeth Seton, John Neumann, and Pius X. From then on, until I am able to go back to customer service, that pouch does not go out of my sight. No way.

The lady was elderly, so probably a local; there are three parishes in town and odds are she is a parishioner at one. A few calls later, all of them will (hopefully) be running notices in the bulletin. If she doesn't come back, there's a note with the relics saying not to throw them out.
What to do with them then, considering my laziness at the start, I'm not certain.

Update: She did come back for them.


Anonymous said...

If the woman does not claim the relic of Elizabeth Ann Seton, please feel free to contact the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offices and we will be glad to take care of it. Thank you for your concern!
Karen Harding
Director, National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, 333 S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg MD 21727; 301-447-6606;

Peggy Hagen said...

Ms. Harding - I will do that, and see if there are similar places to send the others. Thank you!