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Saint Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, had an extremely virtuous page who assisted her in the distribution of her secret alms. Another page, jealous of the favor he enjoyed because of his virtue, resolved to lose him, and, to succeed more easily, he persuaded the king that he had a criminal trade with the queen. The prince, who was inclined by the corruption of his heart to think ill of others, gave credit to the slander and plotted to take the life of the alleged culprit. He told a lime kiln master that he would send a page to ask him if he had carried out his orders, and that this was the signal by which he would recognize him: “You will take him, he said, and you will throw him into the kiln. He has deserved death for justly incurring my indignation.”
On the appointed day, the page was sent to the lime kiln. Having passed a church, he entered it to adore the Blessed Sacrament. He heard a mass, in addition to the one that had begun when he entered the holy place.
However, the king, impatient to know what had happened, sent the slanderer to find out if his orders had been carried out. The master of the oven, taking this one for the page of which the prince had spoken to him, seized him and threw him into the oven which consumed him in an instant. The page of the queen, having satisfied his devotion, continues his road, arrives at the furnace and asks if the order of the king is carried out; and as it is answered affirmatively to him, he returns to the palace to report on his mission. The king was singularly astonished when he saw him return, against his expectations; but when he had been informed of the particulars of the event, he adored the judgment of God, did justice to the innocence of the page and respected the virtue and the holiness of the queen ever since.
(Godescard, Life of Saint Elizabeth.)
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.