XII

THE CLAMOUR OF TONGUES

AFTER the death of Mrs. Nicholson in 1882, Teresa went to live with her fellow-teachers, the Misses Kate and Minnie Catterall, at 15, Ariel Street. Here again she occupied a back room looking on to the sanctuary of the church, and her fellow-lodgers well knew that once her door was closed she must never be disturbed. Her daily life continued as before but many strange happenings took place in that little commonplace brick house. The assaults of the Devil have already been described and the terror-stricken girls would often rush across to Father Powell, when the tumult became more than usually alarming. At other times Teresa would be lost in ecstasy, in fact this was of such frequent occurrence that it ceased to cause them any surprise. "She is off again", was their only comment. When in this state nothing could rouse her unless, as sometimes happened, they called m Father Powell, when at his command she would immediately come to herself and try to appear as though nothing unusual had occurred. One day some friends came in to see her and, after tea, she asked one of them to read aloud from some pious book. In a few minutes she was in ecstasy. This was about seven o'clock and she was still in the same state when the friend's husband came in about 9.30. The landlady said: "Oh, nothing you can do will rouse her", and to prove her words she seized Teresa's chair and proceeded to bump it round the room, Teresa remaining all the time serenely unconscious.

Miss Catterall describes her appearance on these occasions: "At times her face quite suddenly looked as of the finest alabaster; then her heavenly look and serene smile directed as I thought to something far distant amazed me in spite of myself. Numberless times I saw her in her unconscious state as if dead to the world. I ventured to raise her arms but they fell as if lifeless. In the same way I tried to raise her head and shoulders from the back of the chair but with the same result. I often and often watched her very closely on these occasions. Sometimes she appeared very calm and intensely happy, at others pleading with her very heart and soul, then as if prostrate with grief, while at others she gave the impression of being as it were saturated with pain. I remember in Holy Week in one of these states her face and mouth were distorted in a most unearthly manner, as if in the excruciating pain of being pressed or crushed by some terrific pressure. No one knows the feelings of horror and sadness I felt at these times with the sight of it all. Then on coming to her normal self how weak she was and how she appeared as the most abject of creatures. Numberless times at night she appeared too weak to walk upstairs, then I have helped her and got her safely to her bedroom but how I managed it I did not know as her whole body seemed a dead weight and I was not at all strong at that time. I concluded of course it was her good angel who did it. If I happened to be out on any of these evenings she would say she would wait till I returned as I seemed to know just how to handle her. I can just fancy I see her serene smile of thanks."

Often when in these conditions she was favoured with visions of Our Lady and the Holy Child, or her guardian angel or one of the saints. This was evident from the expressions of joy and wonder that fell from her lips. "How beautiful she is!" she would exclaim again and again, or "Oh the lovely Little Child."

As at Wigan, she was often in a state of complete prostration m the mornings. Someone writes: "She did not court attention and the only thing in church that made me notice her was that she would suddenly collapse and disappear from view. She did not faint but it seemed to me that her spirit was so much occupied with higher things that it forgot the body. She was the most grateful of beings, yet she never once thanked me for lifting her up. I don't think she ever knew."

On one such occasion when she fell she struck her head with great violence against the heating apparatus. A lady who was kneeling behind ran to pick her up, expecting to find her half dead. She replaced her on the seat and found that she was unhurt but quite unconscious of her surroundings. At that moment Father Powell came out of the sacristy and, seeing what had occurred, went up to her and touched her on the shoulder, saying: "Kneel down, my dear child." She at once came to herself and obeyed.

With all this it must be remembered that Teresa was first and foremost a school teacher. This was her vocation and her duty to the children always came first, and none of these things was allowed to interfere with it. It was a constant source of astonishment to her companions that, even during the times of her utmost prostration, school-hour always found her active, full of life and perfectly able to carry out her duties. One of the charges brought against her was that she absented herself from class in order to say her prayers. This was explained by the fact that one Lent when she was in terrible suffering Father Powell gave her leave to go to the church on Friday afternoons, but when she found her work was being affected at other times also she remonstrated with our Lord, reminding Him of this permission. "I have told our dear Lord after Holy Communion that I am to go in school always till Holy Week and that you give me Friday afternoon after three for him to do with me what He pleases."

All her free time was spent in visiting the poor and sick. One who knew her at Bootle writes: "I have a vision of her now in my mind coming along the road in her dinner hour — she did not seem to need any dinner herself — carrying a wooden bucket of pea soup in either hand, on her way to the poor." Another time Miss Catterall met her coming home from seeing a poor mother who was very ill with quinsy. "I felt quite heart-broken to see her weak, haggard look and the evidence of a bad throat. I discovered she had asked to have the malady herself instead of the woman who was better next day. I believe she often did similar things."

Although the striking miracles for which her directors still looked as proof of her mission were withheld, here, as at Wigan, she worked many, what Father Snow calls "minor miracles". The children often came to her to be cured of their little ailments. Toothache and earache would vanish at the touch of her crucifix, and drawers would open when she made the sign of the cross. One of the teachers once lost her temper and thrashed a boy severely. There were red marks on his back and the indignant mother brought him to the school to lodge her complaint. The girl turned imploringly to Teresa who quietly laid her hand on the child's shoulder and, when his shirt was taken off, all signs of injury had disappeared.

Meanwhile, despite all the efforts of those in authority, tongues could not be silenced. Stories and rumours flew from mouth to mouth, causing her increasing trouble and humiliation, and naturally her friends came in for their full share of the storms that raged around her, though they loyally maintained the silence urged upon them by Father Snow and Father Powell. There are no longer any writings to tell us of her inner life, but a little diary kept by Father Snow throws many sidelights on these years, and shows that the "Spouse of the Crucified" still journeyed with our Lord to Calvary and was being further purified for the great union which had yet to be accomplished.
 

October 19th, 1883.

"At Father Powell's request I went to see Miss Catterall who was ill. Miss H. came in, and before I left was in a rapture. Miss C. told me she had been that way nearly all the week, while she was in the house."
 

November 2nd.

"I questioned her about her ecstasies and the nature of her visions and the mode by which she was taught divine truths. She found it difficult to explain but told me the truths were placed in the very centre of the soul without the succession of words and not through the medium of either senses or imagination."
 

November 23rd.

"Heard her confession and saw her afterwards in the house. She told me she had again this week been participating in the sufferings of the Passion having made an offering of herself for Father —. I spoke to her about devotion to Our Lady (Grignion de Montfort.) She told me of a boy who had broken a slate pencil in his ear, a small piece remaining in the organ. In trying to get the piece out he put it in still further. He was taken to the chemist opposite who tried to get it out, but was unable to do so and told those with him to take him at once to the hospital. They took him instead to Miss H. who was in bed suffering. She made the sign of the cross over his ear, and though neither she nor the boy perceived the piece coming out she found it afterwards on the sheet. I have the piece of pencil."
 

November 30th.

"Heard her confession. Told me our blessed Lord was still urging her to have His sacred Head honoured but He did not tell her what she was to do."
 

January 18th, 84.

"Again heard her in the house. Told me she was still participating in the Passion. I asked her the object and she told me it was now in reparation for the sins of bad priests."
 

February 1st.

"She had been accustomed very frequently to get into ecstasy towards night and be unable to go upstairs at bedtime until one of the teachers brought Father Powell and in obedience to him she would come to herself and go upstairs with help. Last Friday I told her that she must always go up not later than nine o'clock. She was able to do so and Father Powell was not sent for once."
 

March 26th, April 4th and April 10th.

"Was in bed each time motionless, speechless and evidently enduring great suffering but was conscious when I gave her absolution."
 

April 18th, (Easter Week)

"Our Blessed Lord told her not to fear about the devotion to the Sacred Head. It would be established but He did not say the time.

"I had been reading about bilocation etc., and spoke to her about it. In her case she was perfectly conscious of her own identity in both places. She was teaching in school and at the same time speaking to a savage in a savage country.1

"Her sufferings in Holy Week were greater than ever. Described them as though the very image of God in the soul were being effaced."
 

May 2nd.

"The Holy Name. While at Sabden she used to call the sheep and they came in great numbers to hear the Holy Name."
 

May 30th.

"Spoke of her intense and consuming desire to have the Sacred Head honoured and the suffering it caused her. Told her to wait for Whit-Sunday when perhaps our Lord would tell her what she could do."
 

June 6th.

"She told me that on Whit-Sunday our Lord made known very clearly to her that it was not by wonders and miracles that He would make known the Devotion to the sacred Head. That it was the wisdom of the world to look for signs but not His way. That when He Himself promised the Blessed Sacrament He might have convinced by wonders those who refused to believe, but it was not according to the ways of His Wisdom."
 

"During the midsummer holidays she went to her home at Neston so I did not hear her. Her Mother died on September 28th."

[145] "Teresa was with her Mother at the end. She died very peacefully after receiving all the rites of the Church. The priest who attended her said he had never seen a last illness and death which had edified him so much. She was fully conscious, joining in all the prayers for the dying and her last words were : 'Oh Jesus, have mercy on me. Jesus Mary Joseph!'"

Although her dear mother's death must have been a great grief to Teresa, she said afterwards that she could not really feel unhappy about it, she knew what a welcome Our Lord had given her.

One of the entries in Father Snow's diary relates to a matter which became one of the most fruitful sources of scandal and controversy in her regard — her extraordinary fasts.

"I told her not to appear to eat at home and to tell her sisters that her confessor had commanded her not to appear to eat without really eating and that she had taken no food but the Blessed Sacrament for a long time. She told me she had said to her sisters what I had instructed her to say but they paid no attention to her and appeared not in the least to understand what she was talking about. When they dined she remained upstairs, but afterwards her sisters spoke to her as though she had been at table all the time with them and from this she felt sure that her guardian angel had taken her place. I told her that for the future she might at home appear to eat as formerly."

"All those with whom she lived bear witness to her long and severe fasts, and many of them declare that to the best of their knowledge they never actually saw her swallow anything. Father Snow in a letter says: "I asked her how long she had taken no food. She said she began after her first Communion and thenceforth never took food on the day she received, and then got in the way of doing without altogether."2

At times her confessor would order her to eat and she at once obeyed, but she never could retain anything and the physical pain it caused her was intense. The thing she shrank from most was attracting the attention of others, and so she would come to meals and pretend to eat, even going so far as to chew a piece of indiarubber, and very often Our Lord would hear her fervent prayers and help to preserve her secret. But in spite of all her efforts it was, of course, impossible that this long-continued miracle should remain altogether hidden. She explains why it was she felt called on to fast so rigorously in a letter to Father Snow:

[160] "As to me abstaining from food etc. I do not think our dear Lord intends that as any proof of the revelation (of the devotion to the S. Head), I think it is only that I might be enabled to suffer and undergo certain things that I could not learn or endure otherwise. I mean that I could not have that other sense, or knowledge, or spiritual sensitiveness that gives us an abiding knowledge of God and spiritual things and which is more than all the senses of the body united into one, like the angels know and see without eyes to see (not beholding things in the eternal Mind of God) but a clear sight and hearing which make soul and body participate far more than feeling, etc. in whatever God wishes to teach."

The "clamour" was all this time growing worse and worse. Many who had been her friends now turned away from her, and the greater had been their former devotion, so much the more intense was their indignation against one whom they had come to look upon as a "lying hypocrite". Some of the priests were among the most active of her opponents. Miss Catterall met her one evening walking away from the church just as the service was about to begin. She asked what had happened, and Teresa gently answered that two of the curates were standing at the door and had refused her admittance. She returned meekly to the house, but her indignant friend accosted the curates who replied that Teresa was not fit to be in church, she was mentally deficient. Miss Catterall reported the matter to Father Powell who at once summoned Teresa back to the church.

It was on the head of this devoted and loyal friend that the brunt of the storm first fell, and to her intense distress, in October, 1885, he was moved from St. Alexander's and went to Lydiate, where he remained until his death. After his departure Teresa's troubles reached their climax. His successors did not believe in her, and as Father Snow says: "They appear to have agreed together to snub and humble her as much as possible... On the last occasion Miss H. was with me, I told her that she must tell me the harsh things anyone might say to her. There was no time then but she must tell me the next time she came. Tonight under obedience she told me that she went to the priest's house to sell some tickets. Father — received her at the door and spoke to her very severely asking what she was doing prowling about there — that if she came again he would give her in charge of the police as a suspicious character and more in the same style... I asked her what she did and she said she went into the church and begged Our Lord to give Father — some special blessing."

During all this time of persecution her interior sufferings were becoming ever more and more intense. In Lent, 1886, she wrote a most pathetic appeal for prayers to her two devoted friends, Father Powell and Father Snow, the writing so weak and trembling as to be almost illegible.

AMDG et in hon BVM et St. J                 
"Bootle, Eve of the Annunciation, 1886.

[156] "DEAR REV. FATHER,

"Oh do pray hard for me tomorrow. I am so bad tonight.

"Begging your prayers and blessing                                    
"I remain dear rev. Father                                     
"Your obedient and devoted child            
"In the s. Head and loving Heart  
"TERESA HIGGINSON, Enfant de Marie."

And a week later she wrote again to Father Snow:

[157] "I hardly know in what words to express the urgency I feel is necessary to implore the help I need just now but I feel I cannot ask in better words than those used for the poor souls: 'Have pity on me, have pity' etc etc. Oh my Father, I know you will often offer me to Him as a willing sacrifice and whisper to Him in the blessed Sacrament that I only wish His adorable Will to be accomplished. I feel the awful time I have so long dreaded is upon me, and I feel too that I am as it were entirely alone and every source of light and consolation is shut out, for I cannot look now for holy Communion when I am not able to get out; and judging from past experience our dear b. Lord will not I think give Himself to me, yet may His holy Will be done; with Him or without Him I trust in His precious Blood, and through the agony of His holy Soul I hope that He will save me from offending Him. I offer Him my life and death for I feel as though I should not get over this Lent, for that which He has already given me to understand is so terrible that death is as naught before it — yet I feel too all that I have as yet undergone in His Name is only a shadow of that which He will now reveal to me, and I am awaiting His time and holy Will."

This is the last letter Teresa wrote from Bootle, and in it she refers to the greatest of all her trials — the persistent refusal of her parish priest to bring her Holy Communion when she was unable to get to the church. Her friends, who were very anxious at her state, did all they could to persuade him but without success. On April 4th, Miss Catterall wrote to Father Snow:

"Miss Higginson still continues much the same as yesterday. Father X has not as yet brought her Holy Communion neither has he called to see her (that I know of).

"Yesterday while we were out Mrs. Archer called and told Miss Higginson that she would ask herself and try to get Holy Communion brought to her, but if she did so, no one came.

"Last night Dr. Raverty called and said she seemed a little better. When we asked him if he had seen Father X, he said he had seen him that evening (Saturday). Perhaps I may be wrong in my surmises, but I fancy that when Mrs. Archer asked Father X he saw the doctor and asked him to call so as to see if there was any danger of death, so as to necessitate his bringing the Blessed Sacrament as holy Viaticum. She seems very much distressed at being unable to receive Holy Communion and today she asked me if anyone would bring It, and I told her that a priest in another parish could not bring it to her from his own church. She seemed very much grieved, but said: 'Our blessed Lord knows what is best', and her eyes filled with tears. She also said she did not know how she should get through the Lent. Today is, I believe, the first time she has been unable to get to Mass on a Sunday."

A week later Miss Minnie Catterall wrote:

"BOOTLE 11 Ap. 86.

"She has been in bed since last Thursday week and seemed to have been suffering very much particularly m her throat, tongue, mouth, etc. Dr. Raverty has been almost every day to see her, but does not say much. He sent her medicine which she took about twice; it made her fearfully sick; she had scarcely swallowed it when it came right back again.

"Yesterday morning she knocked for me about a quarter past seven, and I was rather astonished to see her almost ready for Mass. I knew that she was going to be able to go out because she told me (I think it was on Thursday) that she was going to be bad on Friday, but then she would be better until the following Thursday, and perhaps able to go into school.

"After next Thursday she expects to be worse than ever she has been — to use her expression, 'properly launched out into the deep'."

Holy Week was now approaching and Fr. Snow evidently felt that she could not be left without her one support and advised her friends to try and find her lodgings elsewhere. Miss Minnie wrote again:

"Ap. 14. 86.

"We did not go to Mrs. Lancaster's after all, as Miss Higginson thought if she was anywhere in Bootle she would be sure not to get Holy Communion. We went off to Fr. Smith's Walton and he went out and arranged with one of his people for Miss Higginson to stay until Easter Sunday. It is quite close to his church and he says he will be very glad to take her Holy Communion whenever she can't get out. I am going to stay with her at nights so as to look after her in the mornings. Kate and I will be with her all the time except during school hours, and I think she will be all right. There is only one person in the house where she is staying and Fr. Smith says she is very good."

Teresa remained in this lodging until after Easter, when she went to her sisters at Neston and wrote to Father Snow:

[158] "I have not been so well as I usually am in Easter Week, and I think it is our dear b. Lord's holy Will that I shall know greater sorrow and sufferings than I have hitherto. May He be loved praised and blessed for ever."

Truly her soul was being led through the refining fires! She did not return to Bootle. She received a curt note from her former landlady:

"DEAR MISS HIGGINSON,

"You are not to come to 15 Ariel St. any more except to take your things. I think home is the best place for you. If you like, I will send your things to Birkenhead. Rev. Fr. says you need not come back and whether or no I could not do with you any longer."

Doubtless the reverend Father had already himself informed Teresa that her services were no longer required, for he was re-organising his staff and introducing masters into the boys' school, and about this time the Misses Catterall also left St. Alexander's. But even her absence could not silence the busy tongues, and tales of every kind were spread abroad. Some reported having seen her carrying food into a hidden corner and there devouring it. Others declared they had met her in the street the worse for drink. More definite charges were also brought against her, as is clear from the following letter from Father Snow:

"Ap. 17 1886.

"MY DEAR CHILD,

"Another little cross for you. Almighty God has been pleased to allow someone to enquire into certain things concerning you with a view to trying your truthfulness, more especially with regard to your not eating or drinking. You must therefore give me an explanation of the three following things.

"1. It has been said that there has been found a piece of something that appeared to be masticated meat in the vessel that contained the gargle you used recently for your throat.

"2. Some bread and meat was seen in your box. Tell me how it came there and what became of it.

"3. Miss Flynn has said that in the mornings to gargle your throat there was provided for you a quantity of tea equal to two cups full and that after you had finished there remained a quantity equal to one cup full.

"Write me an explanation of these things and send this letter back along with your own.

"I hope you found your sisters very well. How is my little friend Percy? My kind regards to all. Praying God to bless you

"I remain my dear Child                   
"Yrs. affecly. in Christ.         
"ALFRED SNOW."

To this Teresa replied:

[159] "DEAR REV. FATHER,

"I duly received yours of yesterday and in obedience and in the holy Name of Jesus and Mary I answer as far as I can.

"1. With regards to something looking like meat. I remember Miss Flynn passing the remark about it appearing like a piece of flesh, but I think it was a piece of clotted blood. I have often got up something like it before. I know positively it was not meat.

"2. The bread and meat you mention was in my box but I did not know that anyone saw it. I got a barm cake buttered and a quarter of meat from Miss Smith's shop one Saturday night for a poor lad who promised me to go to confession. He was begging and I found out he was a Catholic and had not been to the Sacraments for a long time. I got him to go and thought to give him the bread and meat afterwards. I saw him go into Fr. Rigby and then went to Miss Smith's and bought the above telling her about him, either her or Mrs. O'Hara, and asking them to say a little prayer for him. Then I went to wait for him coming out but I missed him and I put the cake etc. inside my jacket and left it there. On Sunday morning I put it inside my little tin box intending to give it to some child but I forgot it and left it till Tuesday morning. I then took it to school and gave it to one of the boys to give to someone who had hens. I think it was T. Macmanus who took it.

"3. As for the missing cup of tea, I really do not know what became of that without it was the day I upset the basin, or that one of the Miss Catteralls emptied it away before I gargled my throat a second time, for Miss Flynn would bring me some tea in a jug and leave it so that she need not come up more than about twice a day, and Miss Catterall was very kind sometimes bringing warm fresh tea and throwing out the cold and always helping me by raising me and holding the cup for me.

"Many thanks for your kind enquiries for my sisters and Percy whom I found pretty well.

"I am not surprised about the questions you have asked me and I have answered as far as I can. I expected more a great deal to have been said and I know the Devil will do his best and Almighty God will permit a great many things to be sifted and I am only waiting His divine pleasure. You need not mind my feelings — do what you think is best, but I feel convinced that our dear Lord will not gratify vain curiosity and He has continually made me feel in a most singular manner that I am all His and that I must as it were keep myself more to myself, or I should say more to Him, than ever. Begging your prayers and say blessing

"I remain dear rev. Father                             
"Your obedient and devoted child         
"In the s.H. and l.H.                   
"TERESA HIGGINSON."

Many similar accusations were brought against her of which she could sometimes give no explanation. One of her most active opponents was Father — who had formerly been her devoted admirer and done all he could to promote the Devotion. In May, 1886, she wrote to Father Snow:

[162] "I went to Liverpool yesterday and saw rev. — and he told me he felt very dissatisfied about all he had heard. I need not tell you how hurt I was, although I am truly grateful for it. I did not think I could care so much but when our dear Lord sends a cross of course He knows how to make us feel... He is going on his retreat tomorrow, so please say a little prayer for him, and when he returns he says he is going to devote some time in thoroughly investigating things, that he wanted to be quiet now. I know he is doing it all for our dear Lord's sake."

The rev. Father duly carried out his enquiries, with the result that a little later on he wrote to Father Snow: "I have just sent into the Bishop at his own command a full report of the investigations I lately made into the case of Miss Higginson. He told me to write down all I knew about her and all that I have lately found out about her. This I have done at considerable length and I think that the case I have handed in to him is most damaging to her unless you and Fr. Powell can prove that the statements in it are untrustworthy. For this purpose, namely to give her every opportunity of clearing herself from the accusations made, I have petitioned his Lordship to place what I have written in your hands that you may show it up or confirm its statements.

"I am sure that, from what you know about her, you will easily be able to bring the truth to light and I have no fear in abiding by your decision, after you have examined into the facts that I have had to state to his Lordship.

"Above all I trust that you won't be angry with me for not previously stating to you what I was preparing to send to the Bishop, for I was afraid that you would perhaps wish me to make omissions which my conscience would scarcely permit me to make.

"At any rate I have every belief that her case will now appear in its true light, for you can easily prove the matter."

But in fact the matter was not so easy to prove. Teresa herself, who suffered keenly from this notoriety, refused to make any attempt to clear herself except to her confessor, and indeed many of the accusations brought against her seemed impossible of solution at the time. Stories went from mouth to mouth and lost nothing in the telling. Misunderstandings arose and strange events occurred for which no other explanation can be given than that Almighty God allowed them for her sanctification. Her own suggestion as to the Devil's impersonation of her is supported by some of her friends, who are convinced that this did actually happen on more than one occasion.

The following incident, related by Father Snow, shows the sort of mystery that arose for which no explanation could be given and which was eagerly seized upon by those who sought occasions against her.

"A Mrs. Banks, a lady in the parish, presented Fr. Powell with a surplice. It so happened that Miss Higginson made one for him of exactly the same pattern. Not wishing Fr. Powell to know from whom it came, she took it into Cook and Townsend's of Liverpool and asked a young woman at a counter to add some little detail to it and to have it got up at the laundry and send it to Fr. Powell without any word as to whence it came. Some time after the housekeeper, Mary Kelly, was getting up the surplice Mrs. Banks sent and called Miss Higginson's attention to some alteration or repair that was needed, and Miss Higginson, having no other thought than that she had made that very surplice, referred to some difficulty she had had in making it, in short she said she had made it and had it sent to Fr. Powell. Mary Kelly, knowing that Mrs. Banks had presented it, considered that Miss Higginson was lying and taking credit to herself for the gift. Miss Higginson could not explain the mystery, nor did she try to solve it, but left the matter in the hands of God.

"Eleven years later the following letter was sent under cover to the Bishop 'to be forwarded to the Rev. Mr. Powell, late of Bootle.

" 'REV. SIR.

" 'About eleven years since I was forewoman in a Liverpool drapery establishment and while there I undertook to send off by our delivery van a box to you given in by a lady customer, but yielding to a strong temptation I kept it and sold contents which was a linen surplice with deep crochetted lace in Marie monogram for 30/-. I was then a Protestant but have since become a Roman Catholic and wish to make restitution and beg your Reverence to pray for me and to forgive me. I am heartily sorry and beg God to forgive me and I wish to atone for this and my many other sins and ask you holy Sir to pray for me. I enclose p.o. for 30/-."

"In all probability Mrs. Banks was the person to whom the surplice was sold for 30/-.3"

This incident of the surplice was one of the charges brought against Teresa by Father — in his report to the Bishop. When it was cleared up, Father Snow at once wrote to tell him, saying: "I send you a copy of a letter received last week by Fr. Powell. It was sent under cover to the Bishop 'to be forwarded to the Rev. Mr. Powell late of Bootle.'

"The matter concerns you more than me. I had at the time such overwhelming proof of her sanctity and high gifts that I paid little regard to the many wicked things said about her. All the saints have had to suffer such things and Benedict 14th says they are 'essential to a saint that has to be canonised.'

"I will only add that all that has happened since that time (1886) has confirmed me in the conviction I then had that she is not only a great saint but one of the greatest saints Almighty God has ever raised up in His Church.

"On the last page I have copied your remarks on the surplice contained in your letter to me in June, 1886. You see you as it were give the Almighty five years in which to clear this matter up. He has taken eleven. Mirabilis in sanctis Suis."

(This priest towards the end of his days wrote a letter to Canon Snow humbly retracting anything he had ever said against Teresa. The Canon sent to Miss Catterall telling her the good news and asking her to come and see the letter, but before she could go he was taken ill and died. Neither the letter nor the report to the Bishop have been found and the probability is that both were destroyed.)


1. See Appendix B.

2. Letter to Fr. O'Sullivan.

3. Note by Father Snow in his correspondence with Father —.