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Mrs. Mattingly's Miracle: The Prince, the Widow, and the Cure That Shocked Washington City Hardcover – March 28, 2011
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“Nancy Schultz has produced another extraordinary work of historical recovery, bringing vividly to life a cast of characters that could easily populate a major motion picture even as they reveal hitherto neglected aspects of nineteenth-century social, religious, and intellectual history. The provocative questions raised by Mrs. Mattingly's Miracle will linger, satisfyingly, with readers long after they've reached its unusual conclusion.”—Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, winner of the Francis Parkman Prize
“An entertaining and meticulously-researched study of one of the first accounts of miraculous healing in the young United States. Schultz illuminates every possible angle of the Mattingly story, thereby enriching American and Catholic history immeasurably.”— Paula Kane, University of Pittsburgh
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Above all, this is the story of Ann Carberry Mattingly, a member of St. Patrick's Church and a woman of profound faith. This is also the story of her successful brother Thomas Carberry, who was mayor of Washington while her estranged husband Joseph Mattingly was a perpetual debtor. To make matters even more interesting, her son, like his father before him, became estranged from the family after eloping with a mixed race woman. Perhaps the most amazing, if not unbelievable, aspect of Ann's story is that she had a second miracle in 1831, seven years after her first healing, this time for a severely infected leg and without the intercession of the famous German Priest.Read more ›
That Mrs. Mattingly's Miracle is at once a well-researched and entertaining book is a given. But what I find most fascinating are the deeper questions it raises. Human beings have a biological capacity for spontaneous healing. That is, we don't "kick off" with every cut, cold, or insect bite. The body fights illness and rebuilds cells as part of its normal functioning. We don't pause to think about it, but what if we did? Even at its most mundane, isn't the way a paper cut disappears from a finger without a trace something of a marvel? How does that happen? Medically and scientifically speaking, how much do we really know about it?
Was Ann Mattingly's healing simply a question of degrees? Was there something special about her or the circumstances of her existence that allowed her to tap more deeply into a healing resource available to all of us? What can her story teach us about extending the boundaries of what would be considered ordinary spontaneous healing? What was it exactly that allowed her to fight and rebuild to such an extraordinary degree?
In her masterful work, Professor Schulz explores the possibilities. She gives us details of Ann Mattingly's illness, treatment, family circumstances, and religious life, including her connection with a German faith healer, all the while, placing her into the broader religious, social, and political circumstances of the era. By the end of the book, the reader has all but met Ann Mattingly. And still we wonder--how did she do it? Professor Schultz has not only given us a gripping story, she's given us a lot to think about.