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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
In the year 1631, a vast crater opened up on Mount Vesuvius, from which came such a deluge of fire and ashes that, like an overflowing river, the burning lava covered the neighboring regions, and in particular the place called the Greek Tower. In this place lived a woman named Camilla, very devoted to Saint Joseph: she had a nephew, a child of five years old, whom she called by the name of this holy Patriarch. To escape from this river of fire, she took the child in her arms and began to flee. But, closely followed by the lava and finding the passage closed by a large rock that protruded into the sea, she saw herself exposed to the double danger of being hit and consumed if she stopped, or of drowning if she jumped into the sea. At this critical moment, the poor woman remembered her protector: “Saint Joseph,” she cried, “I commend to you your little Joseph: it is up to you to save him.” At these words, she deposited the child on the rock, and boldly leapt into the waves. But instead of falling in, as she had to do willy-nilly, she found herself at a good distance on the gravel, without any harm; her sorrow then was great at the memory of the child she had left at the mercy of the flames. She began to run here and there, out of her mind and lamenting her misfortune. Suddenly she heard her name called: it was the voice of the child who was coming to meet her full of life and bursting with joy. “O God!” cried Camille, clasping him in her arms, “who was it that made you escape from the ashes that were to suffocate you and the fire that was to consume you? – It was Saint Joseph,” answered the child. And the pious Camilla, weeping with happiness, threw herself on her knees to give thanks to her loving protector for the two miracles he had just wrought at once, in preserving her nephew from the flames that were about to reach him, and herself from the waves where she was naturally to fall and perish.
(Recupitus, Observations on Mount Vesuvius.)
No prayer of our soul is lost. Heaven is attentive to the least of our sighs. Our earthly miseries are very small compared to the power of God’s Chosen Ones.