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After the Polish uprising of 1863, a Russian general was given large tracts of land by the Czar for his services, which were confiscated from the Catholic abbey of Turek, in the Sandomir district. Called to serve in the Russian-Turkish war of 1876, he wanted, before leaving for the campaign, to gain new favors from the czar. So he called his serfs, almost all of them poor Poles, and told them: “I will give to each of you a beautiful land before my departure, but before that you must change the Catholic religion for the Russian-Orthodox religion. Think about it seriously and come back soon to give me your answer.” These poor peasants consulted each other, and then came back to the general with a very joyful air. “Excellency,” they said, “this is our opinion. When someone offers to exchange his horse for ours, and adds an extra price, we conclude that our horse is better than his. So our religion must be better than the Russian one, since you still want to give us land to change our religion. We shall therefore remain what we are. – You rascals! cried the general, go away quickly, or I will have the knout administered to you.”
The faithfulness to their faith of these poor peasants is above all praise. One should not change religion for human reasons.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.