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The Irish-born venerable Matt Talbot (1856-1925) provides an excellent example of a life of prayer and penance. He was an alcoholic from the age of 12 to 28, but his mother - like St Monica - never gave up praying for him. In 1884, her prayers were answered when Talbot vowed to give up drinking.
Pope Paul VI declared Matt Talbot venerable in 1975 having told members of an Irish Marian association in 1971 that he had read a book on Talbot's life and believed he should be canonised.
One of the great apostolates that has survived amid the changes since Vatican II is the Pioneer and Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.
The Association's prayer, recited daily, is as follows: "For your greater glory and consolation, O Sacred Heart of Jesus! For your sake, to give good example, to practise self-denial, to make reparation to you for the sins of intemperance, and for conversion of excessive drinkers, I will abstain for life from all intoxicating drinks."
Anyone desiring information on how to join the Pioneers is welcome to contact me at 1 Murtoa Street, Dallas, Victoria, (03) 9309-3842.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 2 (March 2003), p. 15
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