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A man named Trahec, returning from America, where he had made his fortune, came to settle in Morbihan. He bought an old castle with all the properties which depended on it. He was an honest man according to the world, which grants this title to anyone who is neither unjust nor homicidal, even if he had lost his faith. Trahec was like that: not only was he a free thinker, but he had in his heart the hatred of religion and priests. He subscribed to all the publications devoted to the propagation of atheism.
Trahec had the rage of proselytizing. He indoctrinated his farmers, his neighbors, all those who had the bad luck to listen to him. In front of them he railed against the priests: He denied God and laughed at the Gospel.
It happened that one of his farmers was caught while he was stealing his master’s cash box. The thief was seized. As the officers bound his hands, Trahec, from among the crowd, cried out, “It is only fitting that the law should reach people who dishonor their country.”
At these words the thief, raising his head:
“Sir,” he said to him, “it is not for you to come and preach here.
– I have the right to condemn you.
– And I will shut your mouth,” replied the thief, folding his arms. Do you see this man, gentlemen and police? It is him that you should take, and not me. Here is the one who is the cause of my misfortune.
– Shut up, you miserable fool!” said Trahec in exasperation.
– I will not be silent, sir. I was an honest man as long as I believed in God, and I had resigned myself to being a poor laborer, living as best I could from my work; but you have made me lose my faith by your words, by your examples, and by your printed papers. I have often heard you repeat that there is no God, or that if there is one, he does not care about us; finally, that the other world was nonsense…
– And what does all this have to do with your theft, you wretch?
– What does it have to do with you? Is it up to you, an educated man, to ask a fool like me? If there is no other life, if there is no God, if we are only matter, I refuse to eat sick potatoes all my life, do you hear?”
And, as he spoke these words, the thief’s voice had terrifying accents.
Trahec was silent; he was horrified.
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.