vatican city - Matt Talbot, a Dubliner who died in 1925, was once a notorious slap. Now he is on his way to becoming a saint. Pope Francis will honor him on Saturday during his visit to predominantly Catholic Ireland, but not by giving a toast.
Instead of a toast, the church leader will pray at the grave of the 'holy drinker'. This became known as patron of the addicts who try to get their lives back on track.
Talbot grew up in a poor family with twelve children and a violent alcoholic as a father. As a 12-year-old employee, he became a strong investor himself. According to tradition, his alcoholism was once so bad that he did not shy away from bringing his shoes to the pawnshop to pay the pints in the pub.
When he was 28, Talbot took the glass for the last time with the help of a priest. He promised to renounce beer and whiskey and never drank a drop until his death by a heart attack, 69 years old. The former drinking brother became a pious convert and faithful church visitor. He devoted his post-alcoholic life to the campaign for total abstention.