St Anthony's orphanage was founded some thirty years ago
For homeless and orphaned children, by a priest Father Angelo
Every child was made welcome; race and religion mattered not
And every Christmas Father Angelo ensured presents they got.
Throughout the year many fundraisers were held inside and out
Father Angelo was determined his children wouldn't go without
He had much to do before Christmas and heard snow was on the way
And walked to the bank to get funds, for presents on Christmas day.
He put the cash in an inside pocket and set off for the orphanage
Located two miles up Ford Street, just past the river bridge
He heard someone running behind him then felt a blow to his head
And as he fell forward heard voices, but didn't grasp what was said.
He came too some time later; police and medics were there
Two medics lifted him up and put him in a wheelchair
Then he remembered the money he'd withdrawn from the bank
Put his hand into his inside pocket and his spirits sank.
He was rushed to hospital and a doctor checked the wound on his head
The doctor said "you're suffering mild concussion" and advised rest in bed
A policeman took his statement and said, "no one, witnessed anything "
Father Angelo was more concerned that the kids would have nothing.
Two days later it was Christmas eve and the kids were full of cheer
He hadn't the heart to tell them Santa wouldn't be calling this year
That evening they gathered for carols, by the Christmas tree
Then the kids went upstairs to bed; they were all full of glee.
He then went to the side chapel and knelt down to pray
And for the first time in thirty years he was dreading Christmas day
At least they'd have a nice dinner; the bank always donated food
Then slowly walked up stairs to bed, in a very despondent mood.
He couldn't sleep and asked God why have you abandoned me ?
Usually this time Christmas eve he'd be putting presents by the tree
He couldn't help but feel in some way that he'd let the children down
But he knew that tomorrow he'd have to be jolly, and not wear a frown.
He woke up early but was full of dread on this joyful day
And knew he didn't have answers and wouldn't know what to say
He got up and went downstairs; there was an eerie silence
A feeling of foreboding came over him and thought is this penance.
He could see their disappointment some had tears in their eyes
But unknown to any of them they were in for a big surprise
The silence was shattered by loud knocking on the window
Then in walked Santa who said "sorry, I was stuck in the snow"
An elf was with him and they had presents, for every girl and boy
The sombre mood was lifted and was now one of great joy
All the kids were jumping up and down, squealing with delight
Father Angelo had never before witnessed a more beautiful sight.
Everywhere in the room was the sound of happy laughter
The floor was strewn with sheets of discarded wrapping paper
Santa and his elf were helping all the kids with their toys
And thanked each and every one for being good girls and boys.
Santa then approached Father Angelo who was still in shock
Saying "you're well respected in town and everyone thinks you rock
Then when everyone heard about what had happened to you
They all agreed that there must be something that they could do"
"We called the big businesses in town, and asked for a donation
Total strangers wanted to help too when they heard of your situation
Remember the cop who was at the hospital, well that cop was me
And I was determined that I'd restore your faith in humanity"
"For as long as I can remember you've helped kids through the years"
Father Angelos lip quivered and he couldn't stop the flow of tears
Then added how he'd lost his parents twenty five years back
And said "it was you Father Angelo who got my life back on track"
Father Angelo managed to compose himself and he had this to say
"Last night I prayed to God asking, for a miracle to save the day
You and all those generous people came together to help me
Every one of you are a generous gift from God to humanity"
Written 8th December 2021
Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2021