Monday, 28 November 2016

The unmarked grave

Only the other day, while talking about funeral Mass and other related things with Fr John, did I come to know that Mamma Margaret did not have a tomb of her own.  And that is one of the impediments to her canonization.  Well, leaving the latter matter aside, what struck me was Don Bosco's practical sense. It was a time when private or personal tombs were not very common. Yet considered respectable.  That instead of choosing to 'possess' a private tomb for his mother, he opted for the common burial - just piled up with the rest of the corpses in a large pit - says much about Don Bosco. He had mouths to feed and many to educate. He certainly could not afford to spend money on non-essentials.  The funeral of his mother fell into one of the 'non-essentials'.  Mamma Margaret would certainly have endorsed his decision!

I don't think Don Bosco regretted this or felt ashamed of this.  Considering the fact that the common folk of his times resorted to this kind of a funeral, for lack of funds, he was merely associating himself with this common category of people.  I wonder how many of us religious would dare do that today. That people do not consider us as belonging to the 'middle class' or less, is no surprise.  We too would not like to give that impression!

On November 25 we remembered the birth anniversary of Mamma Margaret. Canonized or not, she did what was best for her times.  With a marble stone tomb or not, her virtues continue to outlive her death.

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