We have been sent by one of our correspondents a ' chain-prayer/ that stuff and nonsense which now and then is circulated by stealth amongst superstitious and silly people.
This 'Sacred Prayer' "was found in the tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ in the year 803 and sent from the Pope to the Emperor Charles as he was going to battle for safety (?)
Of course we are not told by whom it was found, nor how it was found only in 803, etc., etc. But, in order to convince us of its efficacy, we are promised that "they who repeat it every day or hear it repeated, or keep it about them (tangkal?) will never die a sudden death or be drowned in water, nor will poison have any effect on them, etc., etc." And " he who laughs at it will suffer" (?).
And you must believe all this silliness, all that rubbish, "for certain it is as true as the Holy Evangelist." Well, there are four of them; which one please ?
Yet there is something rather distasteful which ends all these wondrous promises; and it is the last one: "They who repeat it every day shall have three days' warning before death."
We have, however, and many and many times indeed, been told that God, in His mercy, keeps hidden from us the time of our death, though He reminds us that we must always be ready for it.
Do the silly people, who have faith in such a 'Sacred Prayer' believe that, by saying it every day, they can avail themselves during their whole life —but the three last days—to live badly, because they are sure to be given time in the end to change and make a holy death?
This 'Sacred Prayer/ like all others of its kind, besides being a master-piece of rubbish, is also absolutely immoral.
Moreover, it promises you no end of advantages to your body, but nothing, not a single grace of God, for your poor soul.
When you come by one of these so-called prayers, laugh at it first, and then put it in the waste-paper basket. The only prayers a Catholic can safely recite are those bearing the IMPRIMATUR (permission) of a Bishop.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, March 16th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp104)