God’s Mercy on Children

It was somewhere around 1955 or 1958. I forget why mom and dad were not home. 

Needless to say, my brother and I liked to horse around. Why we were in mom and dad’s bedroom, I have no idea, maybe because their bed was so much bigger than ours and we liked to play on it.

On mom’s dresser, near her perfumes was the ever vigilant statue, about six inches tall, of either St. Theresa of Avila or St. Theresa of the Little Flower. I can’t recall. 

All I can recall is that through some unfortunate carelessness of ours, St. Theresa’s head cracked off, clean off. The first thing that ran through our heads was, what is the penalty for decapitating a saint, especially a saint who was a nun. We had only an hour or so before we might suffer the same tragedy as St. Theresa.

We were toast. But we had time and glue on our side. God blessed us that the crack was very clean. We studiously reattached St. Theresa’s head, put her on the dresser and hoped for the best. 

God blessed us with the best. Mom never noticed that we had decapitated St. Theresa, that is, until forty some years later. The day eventually came when mom agreed to move out of the house. I know I was in the bedroom with mom when the truth came out. I believe my brother was, too, as we started packing up the bedroom. 

Mom picked up St. Theresa to wrap her in packing when what happens but St. Theresa’s head falls off in mom’s hands. My brother and I looked at each other and laughed. Mom simply looked at the headless statue and said, “How did that happen?” 

We were so happy that the time the law allows for prosecuting kids responsible for decapitating a saint had expired years ago. If I recall correctly, we confessed our misdeed. I have no idea where St. Theresa is today, but we’re alive to tell about God’s mercy.

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