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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
One day, says the respectable parish priest of the parish where the event took place (diocese of Alby), one day, I was approached in the street by a little girl of twelve years old. M. le curé, “I have to talk to you,” she said. – What do you want from me, my child?” Then she told me with touching naivety that she had decided her father to come to confession, and that he would be in church in a few moments. “I have been tormenting him for a long time; he always told me, ‘Some day I will go.’ Finally, today I said to him, ‘Well, when will that day come?’ and he answered, ‘I’ll go this very evening.’ I came to warn you. You see, Father, it is thirteen years since he went to confession, probably he has forgotten how to do it. You will have to question him well, because I would not like him to make a bad confession.”
You can imagine if I welcomed this good news with joy and gratitude. I congratulated the poor girl and asked her how she had managed to convert her father. “You see,” she continued, “one day I said to myself, ‘You are the only one who confesses in the house; you must join this brotherhood where they say they pray for the conversion of sinners. Maybe I’ll get mom and dad to confess. I talk about it to one of my companions, who says to me: ‘See, you haven’t made your first communion; they won’t receive you. – And I tell you they will; they will receive me; they receive everyone in this brotherhood.” And I was enrolled.
Then she began to say to me again, “At least you will examine my father well, because, you see, without doubt, he does not know how to confess.” We got as far as the church, I was going to my confessional for the women. I had been there for half an hour, when I saw my little daughter arrive and through the bars of my confessional she said to me softly: “Father, come at once: he has arrived.” I went out at once. I went to the men’s confessional, and there I found the sinner converted by his daughter. He confessed, shedding a torrent of tears, and told me all the entreaties of his child, whom he called his angel, to bring him back to the practice of religion.
A few days later, the mother arrived; but after a confession, she left it at that. Several weeks went by; the child urged her to finish what she had started; she kept promising and sending back.
Finally, one day, as the feast of the Blessed Sacrament approached, the little girl, being in church beside her mother, said softly in her ear: “Mother, aren’t you anxious to receive Jesus Christ? Go and confess.” The mother answered nothing. “Go ahead,” continued the little girl. – I will go later. – Go now.” No answer. “Go ahead,” I said. Aren’t you tired of making me offend the good Lord? Don’t you see that you’ve been making me talk in church for a long time!” The mother smiled and came at once to the confessional, where she told me what had just happened. The day before Corpus Christi, she came back to me and we set a day of the week for communion. When she returned home, the little girl said to her, “Well, Mother, will you be taking communion tomorrow? – How did you arrange that? – Tomorrow is such a beautiful feast! There will be high mass, sermon, procession; go back to the church, and, believe me, go and beg the parish priest to finish you: he will not refuse you.” The poor mother, without a word, returned to the confessional, and told me what had happened. I congratulated her on having followed her daughter’s inspirations; I gave her permission to take communion.
(Extract from the Manual of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Heart of Mary).