A family perspective… Fr. John Frances Xavier Smith shares the story of his brother’s remarkable entrance into this world.
On Friday, January 13th, Missionary Sisters along with many others, had the opportunity to join Fr. John Frances Xavier Smith at the St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in New York City as he shared the story of the miracle of his brother, Fr. Peter Smith. Fr. Peter Smith’s eye tissue and sight restoration was Mother Cabrini’s first miracle.
Fr. John took us back in time to old New York as he shared the story he had heard from his mother, Margaret Riley Smith. She would retell time and time again the particulars of this miracle that occurred on March14, 1921. He repeated several times how she commented on seeing Peter after his birth and how blue his eyes were. Peter was born healthy and normal but a nurse’s mistake of [administering] the [incorrect dosage of] silver nitrate solution [to baby Peter] ate through his corneas and some of his facial skin.
During Father John’s [presentation] many of the [attendees] were leaning forward in their seats listening to the story that was being retold by this baby’s brother many years later.
Another interesting aspect was how Fr. John paralleled Mother Cabrini’s vulnerability as an infant with that of his own brother.
The group [in attendance] was diverse and all seemed to enjoy being connected to the encounter that was unfolding before them. Father was very generous with his time and he and the audience passed a great deal of time sharing informally during the reception.
Father was accompanied by Fr. Michael McMahon from Colorado Springs and Jo Ann Tedesco-Clayton, a long time friend and videographer.
Missionary Sisters in attendance were Sr. Maria Loretta Caeti, Sr. Dianne McKenna and Sr. Frances Brogan. Sr. Marisel and MSC Candidate Claudia were in attendance from the Formation Community.
The day of the presentation – January 13th – was also the day of the funeral of Sr. Marie Louise DeAntonio, MSC and Sr. Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, therefore, many of the MSCs were unable to attend Fr. John’s presentation.