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A story for every day...

The Holy Family - Jesus, Mary, Joseph

A student appears to his father.

At the minor seminary in Ware, England, there was a pious young man named Philip Weld, whose parents lived in Southampton. One day when the students had taken communion in the morning, he went on a boat trip with his class. By mistake he fell into the water and drowned, despite the desperate efforts of his companions. The director of the house, Dr. Gox, was appalled and resolved to bring the sad news to the young man’s parents himself. No sooner had the father seen him than he said, “I know what you have to tell me. My son is dead.” Then he told the astonished director what had just happened. “Yesterday evening, he said, I was walking with my daughter Catherine. Suddenly she said to me, ‘Father, do you see on the sidewalk opposite those three people? One of them looks very much like our Philip. – Really, I said, it is Philip.’ But when we tried to approach the three people, they had suddenly disappeared, and all I saw on the sidewalk was an old peasant whom I had noticed before. Philip had been standing next to a priest and seemed quite happy. The next day I waited anxiously for the mail and was glad not to receive a letter, but when I saw you I knew that you would bring me the news of his death.” It was found that the father had had the apparition at the time of his son’s death. He would have liked to have known the priest he had seen at his side, and at the funeral he observed all the clergymen present, but none of them looked like him. Four months later, he visited his brother who lived in the country, and on this occasion he also paid his respects to the village priest. In the rectory he was struck by a portrait that reminded him of the priest in whose company Philip had appeared to him. He asked the parish priest who the priest was in the picture. He said, “That is St. Stanislaus Kostka. But he was not a priest, for he died at the age of 18 (1568) as a novice of the Society of Jesus.” The father was very surprised, because he knew that his son invoked St. Stanislaus every day.

All these apparitions prove the immortality of the soul.

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