The Good Bishop and the Determined Little Girl

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June 6, 2014 by lucieromarin

I just read this in the biography of St John Neumann, and had to share it:

A charming story is told us about two little girls who were on day sent by one of the Holy Cross Sisters with a message for the Bishop. In the parlour of the Bishop’s house there was a very beautiful statue of a child in a cradle. When the Bishop was summoned to the parlour, he found these two little ladies bending over the cradle and lost in admiration. Amused at their childish delight, he playfully remarked, “I will give the beautiful cradle to the little girl who can carry it home.” He thought that he was quite safe in saying this, because the statue weighed about thirty pounds. You may imagine his surprise when, after some time, one of them returned with a pram to carry the statue off. The Bishop admitted he had been out-manoeuvred and handed over the exquisite marble carving. When the Sisters discovered what this bright little girl had done, they were horrified and ordered her to return it immediately to the Bishop. The little girl’s name was Margaret McSheffrey and she herself was by no means horrified by what she considered her victory. Looking into her laughing Irish eyes, the good Bishop refused to accept it back. It is said that he told her that she would one day become a nun, and the Superior of her Order. Whether these words were intended as a prophecy or a tribute to her gaiety and brightness, we do not know. But the fact is that Margaret McSheffery in later years became the Mother General of the Holy Cross Sisters. The statue she won from the Bishop is now a prized possession of their Mother House at Notre Dame, Indiana.

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