Tuesday, January 31
From Golden Legend to Urban Legend?
1975 saw a rash of reports of a prophetic nun vanishing from cars after hitching lifts near the Austrian-German border. On 13 April that year, after a 43-year-old businessman drove his car off the road in fright at the disappearance of his passenger, Austrian police threatened a fine equivalent to £200 (1975 value) to anyone reporting similar stories.While urban legends about vanishing nuns have also appeared up in the Pacific Northwest, probably the most unusual variant (chronicled by a brace of folklorists, Beardsley and Hankey, rather than a proper miracle detective) deals with, of all people, Mother Cabrini, who apparently got picked up by a motorist in Kingston, New York in the year 1941, before disappearing.
In early 1977, nearly a dozen motorists in and around Milan reported giving lifts to another vanishing nun, who (prior to her unexpected disappearance) forewarned her benefactors of the impending destruction of Milan by earthquake on 27 February (this disaster did not happen) (La Stampa, 25 and 26 February, 1 March, 1977; Dallas Morning News 25 February 1977).
Well, I suppose there have been stranger modes of private revelation. I wonder how Mary's Fiat fits into all this?