December 12, 2014

Washing the Altar Linens

A young nun in Spokane, Washington was assigned to laundry duty. Some of the items that came to her for washing included altar linens, including purificators that come into contact with the Precious Blood. Prior to reaching her, they were always rinsed under careful procedures and checked for stains. Sometimes however, they still had stains when they arrived.

Prior to becoming a nun, this woman had been in training to be a medical technologist, a “lab tech.” In the course of such work, it was not uncommon for lab coats to incur stains from blood. To treat such stains, she often used distilled water. One of her lab partners had discovered this worked well. Distilled water causes red blood cells to burst.

Now, in her role as a nun, this information proved helpful. She tried to remove the stains on the purificators by treating them as wine stains. This proved ineffectual. She found respond, however, that the stains respoded to distilled water, just like blood stains did in her medical work.

Adapted from Proctor, Sister Patricia, O.S.C., 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, Francisan Monastery of Saint Clare, 2004) p. 297.


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