Will God stop the plague?
Nothing new under the sun
I am looking at the epidemic situation related to Covid 19, which continues to open up many new questions for us related to the topic of the pandemic. While looking for the word plague in the Bible, I encounter the prayer of Josaphat:
“If misfortune befall us, a punishing sword, pestilence or famine, we will stand before this temple and you, because your name resides in this temple, and we will cry to you in our tribulation, then you will hear us and save us” (2 Chronicles 20 , 9)
“I have seen everything that happens under the sun. And here it is: all this is vanity and the pursuit of the wind ”(Eccl 1:14). – says Kohelet, starting his theoretical considerations under the joint title “Nothing new under the sun”.
The prayer of Josaphat is complemented by the request of Sr. M. Dulcissima Hoffmann: “Jesus, show people that You are the Lord of everything.
Direction to Heaven
While experiencing the difficulties caused by the pandemic, we seek God’s help. And He, who is the Lord of time and history, tears us out of our everyday lives, organizes us and directs us to Himself. Global pandemics have been accompanying mankind for years, awakening from sleep and introducing new tasks, the search for effective vaccines. Experiencing a pandemic has been a call to love God and neighbor for centuries. The times when the handmaid of God, Sr. M. Dulcissima Hoffmann, lived was not free from the pandemic. Humanity has been hit by an epidemic of cholera, Spanish flu, typhus and dysentery.
The horrifying cholera epidemic was an acute, infectious and contagious intestinal disease caused by bacteria, first diagnosed in Calcutta, India in 1817. It arrived in Silesia at the end of the 19th century. The outbreak of the Great War in 1914, related to the displacement of the army, contributed to the reappearance of the contagious disease in Gliwice, Mysłowice, Stare Bieruń and Pszczyna.
Typhus, dysentery and smallpox
The main epidemiological threat in Silesia, however, became spotted typhus and dysentery, which was associated with the so-called The “starvation winter” of 1916/1917 and the translocation of the army. Smallpox appeared at the end of the First World War. In the absence of effective medicines, only routine measures were taken: separation and disinfection.
In the years 1918-1919, the epidemic that wreaked dreads was the global flu called “Spanish flu”, which is considered to be the greatest pandemic known in modern history. The mutant H1N1 flu virus, the influenza A virus, has infected as many as 30 percent of the world’s population. The “Spanish” flu killed twenty million people in Europe, and estimates show that up to half a billion people around the world have become infected.
Typhus in the Hoffmans’
At the end of January 1919, another epidemic of typhus broke out. The contagious disease affected the inhabitants of Silesia, including the family of the “Bride of the Cross”. Her mother, Albina nee Jarząbek, accompanied by her uncle Francis Hoffmann, father’s older brother Józef Hoffmann, paid a visit to her parents’ home in Gąsiorowice near Strzelce Opolskie. After returning to Zgoda, Franciszek fell ill with typhus. Nine-year-old Helena found herself in a completely new and uncertain situation. The house was closed by the police. The whole family was placed under quarantine, and Albina Hoffmann and her children were transported for observation to the hospital in Nowy Bytom. We ended up in the hospital. We were separated and locked in a room with barred windows. We were well looked after for the first days – reports Helena. January 1919 was exceptionally difficult for the Hoffmans’ family. On January 8, Józef Hoffmann died at the age of thirty-two, orphaned his nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. Albina was widowed at twenty-nine. This young woman with a sore heart was anxious for her and her children’s future. After a few days of observation in the hospital, doctors realized that Albina Hoffmann was insolvent and there was no person to pay for the treatment costs. They offered her a job at the hospital: she scooped up coal with a shovel, and with buckets she used to draw water from the tap in the morgue located in its basement. Tired of serving among the sick, she did not doubt because she wanted to secure the existence of the children. Sister Dulcissima in her childhood notes recalls: God looked after us. After five weeks of hospital observation, Albina and her children were released home. The apartment was looted while she was absent from Zgoda. She found herself in a terrible situation. Helena watched her mother closely and noticed that her eyes were wandering towards the cross; she also heard her mother’s words: Honestly and courageously, I will start all over again to remain the same mother. Albina did God’s will without complaint. It was then that she decided to fulfill the will of her deceased husband – she was to marry his eldest brother – Francis.
Will God Stop the Pandemic?
That’s an interesting question. In the background, we hear the Lord’s Psalmist cry: “Stay, and in me, recognize God exalted among the nations, exalted on earth!” (Ps 46:11). God is the Lord of our lives. Let us not be afraid to surrender all our anxieties and difficulties to Heavenly Father. “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5: 7). The epidemic continues and starts the pandemic of good, and trusting prayer rises to God like incense (Ps 27). The handmaid of God, Sr. M. Dulcissima, stands up to the task and intercedes for all of us who invoke her in prayer. Here are some examples:
“I am asking for prayers for my grandfather Stanisław through the exhibition of my sister Maria Dulcissima, who was diagnosed with cancer relapse. Grandfather gives Sister Dulcissima great praise for the favors received. Some time ago, he was telling me with tears in his eyes that in the face of the disease which was gallbladder cancer, he prayed for her intercession and felt a surge of warmth, he felt so “nice and blissful” and heard the words, after all today is my birthday ” and it took place on the anniversary of sister Dulcissima’s birthday. After these events and surgeries, the disease disappeared and my grandfather regularly visited my sister’s grave. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with relapse. Please pray for relief from suffering and recovery. “(Daniel – Poland, December 2020).
“I am asking for prayer for my father, Józef, for the gift of confession and conversion, as well as physical and spiritual healing” (Ania – Poland).
“Please pray for a young mother who was hospitalized because of the coronavirus.” (Maria – Poland).
“Through the intercession of Sr. Dulcissima, please pray for Halina, who was affected by Covid-19 and was taken to hospital in Gliwice” (Janina – Poland).
“I am asking for prayer for my husband, he has been diagnosed with cancer and it turns out that he has contracted the coronavirus. Let Sr. Dulcissima help us, she can ask for so much. We know it! ” (Beata – Poland).
“I’m trying to get a holy card with relics from Sister M. Dulcissima Hoffman. A few months ago I had a heart attack and since then I feel like my thirst has increased …. Can you help me? (João – Portugal).
“Honorable <bridesmaids> [nuns], I am Silesian, therefore this title is given to you. As a child, my Grandmother scared me that if I wasn’t polite, they would take me. But seriously, Sr. Dulcissima is my guardian and <friend>, when there is a problem and you think humanly that this is the bottom, I always pray to my fellow countryman with the words: <sister, get to work and help me because the dark night is drawing near, and it has never let me down before. From the moment the documentation is handed over to the Vatican [in my house], the lamp next to her photo is on, and it will stay on as long as my friend. will not be declared blessed. I am asking for prayer at the grave of my <friend> (Wojciech – Manchester, for 15 years in exile in England, January 2021).
Lord, the deaf regain their hearing and the blind eyesight, no one has left the tomb of your servant unheard. And do not despise my prayer, but deign to hear it. Amen
Sr. M. Małgorzata Cur SMI