Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Saint in Waiting: Venerable Matt Talbot

by Fr Richard Ebejer  
Pioneer, April 2015, page 21

“We are commemorating the ninetieth anniversary of the death of Venerable Matt Talbot this year. Coming from a poor and deprived background, Matt found himself sucked into the culture of addiction and embraced alcohol as a means of escape from the misery and poverty of daily life. Today, we live in an age of addictions more sophisticated than ever before; addiction to alcohol and a wide range of drugs. All these have the ability to destroy our lives and often end up eating away at our very souls as well.

Matt Talbot came to a realisation of how his life was being wasted, and from the time of his conversion as a young man of twenty-eight years of age, he spent the rest of his life living to a heroic extent the Christian virtues through prayer, spiritual reading, work and acts of charity.

We believe that Matt has a strong message for today, and can be a role model to the young people of our time. His life is a testimony of how people can, by God’s grace and their own self-acceptance, say 'no' to that which leads to addiction or addictive behaviour. Matt sets before us a radical example, which demonstrates how young people,in particular, can do
extraordinary things.

The message of Matt Talbot is a call to conversion, a call to change our lives, letting go of our particular attachments while giving God a place in our lives. In promoting his devotion, one is extending this message of conversion to all who come in touch with his life. We are encouraging you to keep his memory alive in your own parish and within the Pioneer Association by promoting his devotion.”

‘For Matt, the Pioneer Association was a source of support and encouragement, but just as important it gave him the opportunity to support others suffering from alcoholism through his daily Pioneer Offering of prayer on their behalf. Matt understood the human condition with all it's weakness and frailties. He once said to his sister Susan, "never think harshly of a person because of the drink. it's easier to get out of hell than to give up the drink. For me it was only possible with the help of God and our blessed Mother".’

Prayer for the Canonisation of Matt Talbot

Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you
have given us a wonderful example of
triumph over addiction, of devotion to
duty, and of lifelong reverence for the
Holy Sacrament. May his life of
prayer and penance give us courage
to take up our crosses and follow in the
footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ.

Father, if it be your will that your
beloved servant should be glorified by
your Church, make known by your
heavenly favours the power he enjoys in
your sight. We ask this through the
same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Note: Fr. Ebejer is the administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Dublin, location of the Matt Talbot Shrine.