Recently, the residents of the Leo Fitzgerald flat complex had their homes blessed. The priest came, and if you stood outside your door the priest blessed your home as he went around the complex.
Many people no longer request or think such a blessing necessary, but if you move into a flat which is old and has had many tenants before you acquired the place then it is a good idea to have the apartment blessed, because you don’t know what sort of tenants have inhabited the flat before you arrived and former tenants who should be resting in peace can, and sometimes do, come back on visits! And some never leave at all!
I live in a large flat complex run by Dublin Corporation and one night I woke up and saw a tall, thin man, dressed in an old-fashioned suit and tie with his hair patted down with Brilliantine, standing at the side of my bed staring at me wondering who was in his flat.
I was not frightened by his appearance; I went back to sleep, but when he came on a return visit a few nights later this time my heart gave an unpleasant jump and I took longer to return to sleep. I knew the man meant no harm but I decided to say a prayer for him and told him this place is mine now. GO HOME! A while later I saw a photograph of a group of men who had lived in the flat complex decades ago and I believe he was among the group.
At my request, the local priest duly arrived and blessed my flat and I never saw that man again. Old homes should be blessed, for they sometimes retain the atmosphere created by former tenants and owners.
Remember the old printed frame with GOD BLESS THIS HOME either printed or embroidered on it? Sound advice, especially if you live in a neighbourhood which has witnessed history in the making and has absorbed the vibes from generations of people who helped make that history.
By Annie Losty Byrne