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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
In Metz, in the year 1826, a poor little child was standing at the end of a street; sad, he was crying…
A brave soldier, with a good and generous heart, saw this child and came forward…
“You cry, my child? What is the matter with you?
– Oh! I am very unhappy!
– How old are you?
– Nine years old.
– Are you crying, my child? What is causing you so much grief?
– Two days ago, I lost my father and my mother.
– You’re lying, child!
– Oh, no! I am very unhappy!
– Are you telling the truth?
– Oh, yes! Write to the parish priest of my place; he will tell you.
– Come, my little boy.”
And the brave soldier led him to an honest inn, paid in advance, and said:
“Keep this child for me; take care of him.”
He writes to the priest, who replies: “Alas! it is only too true!… Send him to us; perhaps some charitable soul will take care of this little orphan.”
The soldier replies:
“No, Mr. priest, I will serve as his father, I will serve as his mother.”
Admirable thing! as he was at the end of his first service, he enlists the same day, and brings the money to the estimable superior of an educational house.
“Sir, keep this child for me; bring him up well, take care of him: he is my adopted son. Here are 300 francs. For six years, this sum will be able to give him a good education.”
And he gives his 1800 francs.
“Take care of his soul, and I will take care of his body.”
The child is accepted.
The good soldier goes to Mary’s feet:
“Holy Virgin, he said to Her, watch over this child! I consecrate him to You and give him to You, half to You, half to me…”
After a year, he came to see his dear child… The superior said to him:
“Take him back, he is spoiling the whole house; he has not responded to your views!…”
The brave soldier thought, then, with tears in his eyes, replied:
“Sir, keep him another six months. Yes, I hope he will return to better feelings. I beg you! Try… Something tells me that the good Lord will have mercy on him and on me. Then I will find the Blessed Virgin…”
He goes, indeed, to kneel before the altar of Mary, and, in his abrupt but admirable faith, he says to Mary as he would have said to his mother:
“But, Blessed Virgin, I had abandoned him to You… my child!… He was as much yours as mine!…
But, Blessed Virgin, I had told You to watch over him!… Holy Virgin! but, You don’t think about it!… I sold myself for him… and You wouldn’t do anything!…
I warn You, Blessed Virgin, that I abandon You, or, at least, I don’t ask You anything more…
Come on, good Mother, I hope that You will protect, this time, my child.
I will always love You, I will always pray to You.”
What faith! What admirable faith!
After a year, the poor child was the true model of the whole establishment. Later, he had the good fortune to become a priest, and he became the model for his confreres.
Happy child! Happy and brave soldier!