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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
At the beginning of the 19th century, a priest entered the islands of Fernando-Po and Amban. He was surprised to find a crudely built cross on the shore not far from the sea, and around it a group of native children, among whom was a white child. They were reciting the rosary aloud in Spanish. On seeing the priest, the child exclaimed, “A priest!” and all the others immediately turned their heads. The missionary approached and asked the child, who could have been ten years old, to take him to his parents’ house. “I have no parents here,” he replied; “I was thrown by a shipwreck into this island, and some people took me in. Remembering the teachings of my mother who recommended that I say the rosary every day, I began to recite it. As I did not have a statue of the Blessed Virgin and I did not know how to make one, I made this cross in front of which I come to say my prayers every day. My little friends come there with me, and I tried to teach them the Hail Mary, so that we could say the rosary together.”
The missionary asked the child how long he had been on this island. “I don’t know exactly,” he replied, “but it seems to me that it must be a long time; for it seemed to me a long time, away from papa and mama.” The child led the priest to the house that had taken him in, and these good people received him with great respect. The next day the missionary presided at the recitation of the rosary, which was attended by several families. He addressed a few words to them; he even went from family to family, and soon, under the protection of the Queen of the Rosary, a fervent Christianity was formed, and developed by the arrival of other apostolic men. One of these, returning to Spain, took the child with him. The child had the good fortune to find his parents, who had escaped the shipwreck like him. He told them of Mary’s kindness to him and the prodigious effects of the rosary in the exile in which he had lived.