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The Count of Stolberg, a famous writer, converted to Catholicism in 1800. One of his Protestant friends said to him: “I do not like those who leave the religion of their fathers. – Neither do I,” Stolberg replied with great aptness, “for if my forefathers had not deserted the faith of their fathers, I should not have been obliged to return to the Catholic Church.”
A Protestant woman once said to a converted lady, “I want to die in the faith of my parents. – And I,” replied the other, “want to die in the religion of my forefathers.”
A French ambassador, in England, fell seriously ill. A friend who came to see him pointed out that he was going to be buried among Protestants. But the ambassador replied, “They will make my grave a little deeper, and I will rest among my Catholic brothers.” (Until 1535 England was Catholic.)
The same story is told of Cardinal Commendone, who traveled in 1560 to Germany as the Pope’s legate to make the convocations for the Council of Trent. In Berlin, he was invited to the table of the Elector, and one of the guests took the liberty of mocking him, observing that it would be very unpleasant for him if he were to die in the motherland of heresy. Unperturbed, the cardinal replied, “You will dig deeper and I will lie on Catholic soil.”
There are many very good souls in the various churches. These people born in error are not guilty of it and are part of the soul of the Church. God, who sees the sincerity of hearts, renders to each one according to his works.
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.