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Holy Family

God gives the grace of faith to those who ask for it through prayer.

Count Frederick of Stolberg, whose father was grand marshal at the court of the Queen of Denmark, was born in Holstein in 1760. From his youth he had a great love for the truth, and this nobility of soul earned him the friendship and esteem of famous men, such as Klopstock, Herder, and Goethe. Later on he held very important positions; he was ambassador in Copenhagen and governor of Oldenburg. But the more he studied his religion, the more he became convinced that Protestantism could not be the true religion, because the principle of free examination took away all basis for certainty. For seven years he prayed fervently to God to help him find the true religion. One day, while traveling, he passed through a village where children were taking their first communion. Before communion, the priest gave a talk to the children on the happiness of being Catholic, because one is sure to possess the truth. This speech was decisive for the Count of Stolberg; he immediately resolved to convert to Catholicism, and on the day of Pentecost 1800, he and his wife abjured themselves at the hands of the famous Overberg, which caused him to lose his position with a salary of 6,000 ecus. The noble count published since then many writings, among others, a great history of the Church and a book on the love of God. He died on December 5, 1819, with the words: Praise be to Jesus Christ!

How fitting that the conduct of this man, who sacrifices an important position for the love of truth, should shame those cowards who for temporal interests, such as a rich marriage, betray their religion.

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