Thursday, January 05, 2006

St. John Neumann

Today is St. John Neumann's feast day and I thought I'd share a story.

When I was in grade school at St. Martin of Tours in Philadelphia, I had a classmate named Chuckie McGivern. When Chuckie was pretty small, he developed hyrdocephalus (water on the brain). His condition was very serious and the doctors had installed a shunt in his head. Chuckie went into a coma. His grandmother came and pinned a relic of St. John Neumann (Pronounced NOY-man) to his pillow. They kept a novena and by the end of the novena, Chuckie woke up and his condition dramatically improved. He said that a little boy had come to visit him. His parents thought this was strange, but didn't think much of it.

After Chuckie was released from the hospital he and his family went to the shrine of St. john Neumann to say thank you. They were looking around and Chuckie said, "There's the boy who came to see me!" and he pointed to a picture of the saint as a child on the wall.

St. John Neumann was a bishop of Philadelphia. He organized the first Catholic School system (regional with a board of education) in the USA right in Philly. He's an amazing saint, one about whom we learned a lot growing up in Philadelphia. Pray for us, St. John Neumann!


Anonymous said...

In the remake of the Chuckie McGivern story, Bryan Shilowich did play the part of Chuckie. There is one big difference: McGivern is Irish origin, while Bryan Shilowich is of Belarusian origin.

Linkfan said...

This story was written up in the Washington Post on December 24, 1988 with the caption "Another Miracle on 34th Street" a reference to the hospital's location. An inspiring story, which I have saved all these years. To doubters of miracles, this story should convince you. James, Washington DC.