Victim Souls –Marie Rose Ferron
I was fascinated by the article about the saint of Worscester, in part because I grew up not far from there, and in part because this notion of “victim souls” is not unprecedented in that neck of the woods. A couple of years ago, I was in Rhode Island for Chrstimas, and I picked up a copy of Rhode Island Monthly, which had an article about Marie Rose Ferron– a young French-Canadian girl from Woonsocket RI. She too was a bedridden stigmatist, although she was not in a coma. The French-Canadian Catholic population pushed very hard, and ultimately unsuccessfuly, to have her made a saint, their saint; as I remember, the article suggested that the patrician, lace-curtain Irish Bishop McVinney of Providence didn’t find her a suitable candidate.
Here’s an article about her, which resonates strongly with Audrey Santo’s case.
I don’t remember hearing about her at all, growing up in Rhode Island in the sixties and seventies. My mother, who went to St. Claire’s High School in Woonsocket, had heard about her from the nuns, though–and not, I believe, with approbation. Raised after the Second Vatican Council, I find this manifestation of devotional life very foreign, although it holds a certain morbid fascination. But I gather from my mother that this type of devotion wasn’t part of the mainstream of Catholic devotional life even before the Council.