Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ miracles

September 7, 2022 • 10:15 am

The new Jesus and Mo strip, called “Latin”, comes with this note:

The scientific procedure is described here.

“Scientific”, of course, is snarky, for the procedure outlined by the BBC the five-step process whereby the Vatican turns someone into a Saint. I especially like Step 4, “Verified miracles”, which is the subject of today’s strip. Here’s that step:

To reach the next stage, beatification, a miracle needs to be attributed to prayers made to the individual after their death.

The prayers being granted are seen as proof that the individual is already in heaven, and hence able to intercede with God on others’ behalf. [God must spend a lot of time being importuned!]

Incidents need to be “verified” by evidence before they are accepted as miracles.

In the case of John Paul II, Vatican experts examined the medical evidence for an allegedly miraculous cure from Parkinson’s Disease of a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand. Sister Marie said that she and her fellow nuns prayed for the intercession of Pope John Paul II after his death. Her sudden cure had no logical medical explanation, the Vatican says.

After beatification, the candidate is given the title “blessed”.

There is one exception to the miracle requirement – a martyr, someone who died for their faith, can be beatified without a verified miracle.

(They don’t mention the “devil’s advocate” enlisted to argue against canonization. I believe Hitchens was the devil’s advocate for Mother Teresa, and of course he failed to make his case;  but he did take the woman apart in his book The Missonary Position.)

But let’s get to the cartoon. I didn’t realize that canonization was like getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame,

12 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ miracles

  1. “… the Pope chants a prayer in Latin and turns the person into a Saint.”. Geez, it’s almost as if the objectivity is between the ears of the objectifiers.

    1. Is that any different from any other official changing a person’s status? A Chief Justice turning someone into a President, a rabbi or judge turning fiancés into spouses? The official/officiant is recognizing that a set of qualifications have been met, and engages in a performative speech act.

      1. Let me intercede. I have to point out that a spouse and a President are real statuses of real people. A President, for example, has a certain set of duties and IS A REAL PERSON. A saint is something that does not exist in people’s minds and has no reality. It is a fiction, a phantasm. And of course the miracles are equally bogus. At least a president gets elected and a spouse goes through a wedding ceremony.

        1. Right, to become married, both parties have to agree to become spouses, orally and in writing, in front of witnesses. And you can’t swear in a president after he’s dead. So I’d say it’s a weak analogy.

          1. And you can’t swear in a president after he’s dead.

            You can’t?
            Sorry, but I’m looking forward to one of the plausible futures for mid-November 2024, and thinking “that point needs to be tested, and thoroughly,” before the MAGA crowd get their next outing.
            Who was the First Lady with the state-funded astrologer? Has her astrologer’s pet squid (or recent cephalopod meal) confirmed the circumstances under which they’d agree that the sculpted-haired tangerine shitgibbon has actually died? Because, for sure, if the Tangerine one died on the last day of campaigning, there will be MAGA-hatted idiots proclaiming the second coming of the un-published tax returns

  2. Smiler John (John Paul I) was beatified. He’s already cured an Argentine girl, so he is definitely the chap to pray to if you are ill and don’t mind being cured.

    Having to perform a miracle in response to prayers after one is dead is much too stringent. It’s hard enough doing anything while dead, never mind a miracle.

    1. He’s already cured an Argentine girl

      “cured” … by smoking, steaming, or (to reference a cheese suggestion I made earlier to PCC(E) ) washing in beer to provoke an intense stench.

  3. From the miracle seeker’s perspective it’s best to pray to a pre-beatification candidate who would be incentivized by the career advancement.

  4. God must spend a lot of time being importuned!

    Every day must be like Don Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding.

    Then again, when you’re eternal, you got nuthin’ but time on your hands.

  5. They don’t mention the “devil’s advocate” enlisted to argue against canonization. I believe Hitchens was the devil’s advocate for Mother Teresa …

    The Church abolished the office of advocatus diaboli in 1983, though it still occasionally solicits the testimony of critics of the candidate for sainthood, as it did with Hitch regarding Teresa of Calcutta in 2003.

    Damn shame that office is gone, too. The adversary system ain’t perfect, but it’s better than most at approaching some approximation of the truth.

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