Temporal Favor of a Holy Soul

    The following is related as a fact by the Abbe Postel, the translator of Fr. Rossignoli's work.  It took place in Paris, he says, about the year 1827, and is inserted as No. 27 in the Merveilles du Purgatoire.

    A poor servant, who had been brought up as a good Christian in her native village, had adopted the pius practice of having a Mass said every month for the suffering souls.  Her employers, having taken her with them to the capital, she never once neglected it, and furthermore made it her rule to assist at the Divine Sacrifice, and to unite her prayers with those of the priest, especially for the soul that had most nearly completed its expiation.  This was her ordinary intention.

    God soon tried her by a long illness, that not only occasioned her cruel suffering, but also caused her to lose her place and draw upon her last resources.  On the day that she was able to leave the hospital, she had but twenty sous left.  After addressing a fervent prayer to Heaven, full of confidence, she went in search of a situation.  She was told that she would probably find employment in a certain family at the other end of the city, whither she went, and as she was obliged to pass by the Church of Saint Eustache, she entered.  The sight of a priest at the altar reminded her that this month she had forgotten her usual Mass for the dead, and that this was the very day upon which, for many years, she ad been accustomed to do this good work.  But what was she to do?  If she disposed of her last franc, she would have nothing left, even to satisfy her hunger. It was a struggle between devotion and human prudence.  Devotion gained the day.  "After all," she said to herself, "the good God knows it is for Him, and He will not forsake me!"  Entering the sacristy, she gave her offering for a Mass, at which she assisted with her usual fervour.

    A few moments after, she continued on her way, full of anxiety as may be readily understood.  Being absolutely destitute of means, what was she to do if she failed to obtain employment?  She was still occupied with these thoughts when a pale young man of a slight figure and distinguished appearance approached her and said, "Are you in search of a situation?"  "Yes, sir."  "Well, go to a certain street and number, to the house of Madame -----, I think you will suit her, and that you will be satisfied there."  Having spoken these words, he disappeared in the passing crowd, without waiting to receive the poor girl's thanks.

    She found the street, recognized the number, and ascended to the apartments.  A servant came out carrying a package under her arm and uttering words of complaint and anger.  "Is Madam there?" asked the newcomer.  "She may or she may not be," replied the other.  "What does it matter to me?  Madame will open the door herself if it suits her;  I will trouble myself no longer about it.  Adieu!"  And she descended the steps.

    Our poor girl rang the bell with trembling hand, and a sweet voice bade her enter.  She found herself in the presence of an old lady of venerable appearance, who encouraged her to make known her wishes.

    "Madame," said the servant, "I learned this morning that you are in need of a servant, and I came to offer my services.  I was assured that you would receive me kindly."  "Oh, but my dear child, what you tell me is very extraordinary.  This morning I had no need of one; it is only with the last half-hour that I have discharged an insolent domestic, and there is not a soul in the world except her and myself who knows it.  Who sent you, then?"  "It was a gentleman, Madame; a young gentleman whom I met on the street, who stopped me for this purpose, and I praised God for it, for it is absolutely necessary for me to find a place to-day;  I have not a penny in my pocket."

    The old lady could not understand who the person was, and was lost in conjecture, when the servant raising her eyes to the furniture of the little parlour, perceived a portrait.  "Wait, Madame," she said immediately, "do not puzzle yourself any more; this is the exact picture of the young man who spoke to me.  It is on his account that I am come".

    At these words the lady uttered a loud cry and seemed to lose consciousness.  She made the girl repeat the story of her devotion to the souls in Purgatory, of the morning Mass, and her meeting with the stranger; then throwing herself on the neck of the girl, she embraced her amid a flood of tears and said,  "You shall not be my servant from this moment; you are my daughter.  It is my son, my only son, whom you saw - my son, dead for the past two years, who owes to you his deliverance, whom God directed to send you here.  I cannot doubt it.  May you, then, be blessed, and let us pray continually for all those who suffer before entering into a blessed eternity."
(Shouppe, Fr. F. X., S.J.; PURGATORY, Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints; Imprimatur 1893; Tan; Illinois; 1973)

    This is a story which can be verified.  From Saint Edmund's College, Father Nicholas Kelly writes (19th January 1950):

    I am sending you the correct version of the Weld story.  The first part, which concerns the accident itself, is substantially the same as given in Mgr. Ward's History of Saint Edmund's College.  It is based on the testimony of Rev. Henry Tel ford set down in a letter written from Newton Hall, Blackrock (July 13, 1891).  He was Prefect here at the time of the accident.

    Philip Weld, brother of Monsignor Weld, of Isleworth, and nephew to the Cardinal of that name who died in 1837, was the youngest son of Mr. James Weld, of Archer's Lodge, Southampton.  He came to Saint Edmund's in 1841, and from the first was a well-conducted and amiable boy, much loved by his companions and superiors.  He had been at the College nearly five years when (the following occurred):

    The (event) occurred on the Thursday in Easter week,  1846.  On that day Philip asked leave for some six or seven lay students to go to Hertford.  The leave was granted, and it was arranged that the dinner for the party should, for their accommodation, be ordered for four o'clock on their return.  They left the College at ten o'clock.  Hertford lies about seven miles southwest of Old Hall.  Ten miles direct south from the College, on the east bank of the Lea, stands the Rye House, scene of the plot against the Royal brothers, Charles II and James Duke of York.  The students had secretly induced the master, to whose care they were confided, to take them to the Rye House instead of Hertford.  Without the knowledge of the superiors they had arranged that a conveyance should be waiting for them on the road.  They took their seats in high spirits, with fine weather, and a day of pleasure before them.  They reached their destination soon after eleven, and a very few minutes later were enjoying their sport on the River Lea.

    All went well till the afternoon, when the time came for setting out homewards.  It was nearly three o'clock and Philip petitioned for one more row.  Leave for this being granted, they went some little way up the river, but when they finally turned back, through an unlooked-for movement of the boat, Philip was thrown out into the river.   The water only reached up to his waist, and no immediate danger was apprehended.  Joseph Barron, who was one of the party, offered to reach him an oar, but he refused it, saying, "Row the boat over me".  He immediately sank.  It was afterwards found that when he had fallen from the boat he had alighted on the verge of a deep layer of clay at the bottom of the river, which, yielding under his weight, held his feet in the tenacious soil.  ("Row the boat over me."  These were his last words for he immediately sank and never rose again.)  He lay stretched at eh bottom of the river beneath the bank.  Drags were procured, from the Rye House, but they failed to grapple the body as it lay in its protected position.

    The master sent the students home immediately, and directed Joseph Barron to announce the painful fact to the President, Dr. Cox, whilst he remained to superintend the endeavours to raise the body.  The President hastened to the riverside and remained there till nightfall, but had to return to the College while the body remained beneath the water.  Next morning he repaired early to the scene,  and had the satisfaction of finding that the body had been recovered.  The Master of Enfield Lock had lowered the river; the movement of the water had shifted the body and placed it where the drags were able to grapple it, and they drew it to the surface.  

    Dr. Cox did not return to the College that day, but proceeded by train to London and thence to Southampton, to break the news to Philip's father.  On his arrival he went first to the priest, the Rev Joseph Siddons.  When he had told him what had occurred, they both drove to Archer's Lodge to inform Mr. Weld,  Father Siddons undertaking to act as spokesman.  

    Before they reached the entrance to the grounds, they met Mr. Weld walking towards the town, according to  his custom at that time of day.  Dr. Cox immediately stopped the carriage, and Father Siddons began thus:

    "It has pleased Almighty God, Mr. Weld, to call your son to Himself by the same element which first conveyed to him Grace."  Mr. Weld's answer took them both by surprise, and as it contained his apparition of his son, it shall be given as Miss Weld describes it.  According to her, he spoke as follows:

    "You need not say one word, for I know that Philip is dead.  Yesterday afternoon I was walking with my daughter Katherine, and we suddenly saw him.  He was standing on the path, at the opposite side of the turnpike road, between two persons, one of whom was a youth dressed in a black robe.  My daughter was the first to perceive them, and exclaimed, 'O; papa, did you ever see anything so like Philip as that is?'  'Like him', I answered, 'why it is him!'

    "Strange to say my daughter though nothing of the circumstance, beyond that we had seen an extraordinary likeness of her brother.  We walked on towards these three figures.  Philip was looking with a smiling happy expression of countenance at eh young man in a black robe, who was shorter than himself.  Suddenly they all seemed to me to have vanished.  I saw nothing but a countryman whom I had seen before.  I however said nothing to anyone, as I was fearful of alarming my wife.  I looked out anxiously for the post the following morning - to my delight no letter came.  I forgot that letters from Ware came in the afternoon, and my fears were quieted,  and I thought no more of the extraordinary circumstance until I saw you in the carriage outside my gate.  Then, everything returned to my mind, and I could not feel a doubt but that you came to tell me of the death of my dear boy."

    The reader may imagine how inexpressibly astonished Dr. Cox was at these words.  He asked Mr. Weld if he had ever before seen the young man in the black robe, at whom Philip was looking with such a happy smile.  He answered that he had never before seen him, but that his countenance was so indelibly impressed on his mind that he was certain he should know him at once anywhere.  Dr. Cox then related to the afflicted father all the circumstances of his son's death, which had taken place at the very hour in which he appeared to his father and sister, and they concluded that he had died in the Grace of God and was in happiness because of the placid smile on his face.  Mr. Weld thanked God most fervently for granting him the consolation in his bitter trial.

    When Mr. Weld left the church after the funeral of his son, he looked round in passing our to see if any of them resembled the young man he had seen with him, but he could not trace the slightest likeness in anyone amongst them.

    About four months after, he and his family were on a visit to his brother Mr. George Weld, at Seagrave Hall, in Lancashire.  He went with his daughter Katherine to the neighbouring village of Chipping, and after attending a service at the church, called on the priest, the Rev. Father Raby (I think).  They waited in the parlour  for some little time before the priest came, and they amused themselves by looking at the framed prints on the wall.  Suddenly Mr. Weld stopped before a picture which had no name written under it that you could see (as the frame covered it) and exclaimed:  

    "That is the person whom I saw with Philip.  I do not know whose likeness it is supposed to be, but I am certain that that is the person whom I saw with Philip."

       The priest entered the room a few moments after, and was immediately questioned about the print.

    He answered that it was a likeness of Saint Stanislaus Koska.  Mr. Weld was much moved when he heard this, for Saint Stanislaus was a Jesuit who died when quite young; and Mr. Weld's father having been a great benefactor to that Order, his family were supposed to be under the particular protection of the Jesuit Saints.  Also Philip had been led of late by various circumstances to special devotion to Saint Stanislaus.  Moreover, Saint Stanislaus is supposed to be the special advocate of drowned men, as is mentioned in his life.  Father Raby presented the picture to Mr. Weld, who of course received it with the greatest veneration, and kept it until his death.  His wife valued it equally and at her death it passed into the possession of the daughter who saw the apparition with him, and she has it now in her possession."

    Philip Weld's body was buried in the Sanctuary of the Old Chapel but was transferred to the vaults under the Sanctuary of the New Chapel when it was opened in 1883.  

    A brass plate on the wall of the Chapel cloister records the accident.  It bears this inscription:

    "Pray for the soul of Philip Weld who was accidentally drowned on the 16th day of April, 1846, aged 17 years.  Jesus, mercy. Ladye, help."

(SHANE LESLIE'S GHOST BOOK; Sheed and Ward; NY; 1956)
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A Poor Soul Abandoned by All

We read, in the life of Sister Catharine of St. Augustine, that in the place where she resided, there was a woman, of the name of Mary, who in her youth was a sinner, and in her old age continued so obstinate in wickedness, that she was driven out of the city, and reduced to live in a secluded cave; there she died, half consumed by disease, without the sacraments, and was consequently interred in a field like a beast.  Sister Catharine, who always recommended the souls of those who departed from this world, with great fervor to God, on hearing the unfortunate end of this poor, poor old woman, never thought of praying for her, and she looked upon her (as did every one else) as irrevocably lost.  One day, four years afterwards, a suffering soul appeared to her, and exclaimed: "How unfortunate is my lot, Sister Catharine! Thou recommendest the souls of all those that die to God; on my soul alone thou has not compassion."  "And who art thou!" asked the servant of God.  "I am," she replied, "that poor Mary who died in the cave."  "And art thou saved?" said Catharine.  "Yes," she answered, "by the mercy of the Blessed Virgin Mary."  "And how?"  "When I saw myself at the point of death, loaded with sins, and abandoned by all, I had recourse to the Mother of God, saying, 'Lady, thou art the refuge of abandoned creatures; behold me, at this moment, abandoned by all; thou art my only hope; thou alone canst help me: have pity on me.'  The Blessed Virgin obtained, for me the grace to make an act of contrition.  I died, and am saved; and besides this, she my Queen obtained for me another favor, that my purgatory should be shortened, by enduring, in intensity, that which otherwise would have lasted for many years: I now want only a few masses to be entirely delivered; I beg thee to have them said; and on my part, I promise always to pray for thee to God and to Mary."  Sister Catharine immediately had the masses said; and after a few days that soul again appeared to her, shining like the sun, and said: "I thank thee, Catharine: behold, I go to Paradise, to sing the mercies of my God, and to pray for thee."
(Saint Alphonsus; THE GLORIES OF MARY; English Trans: Grimm)


(A very interesting episode happened, as well as I can determine,
around the turn of the century, to a learned Jesuit priest from
Georgetown. *)

 "I was accompanying", narrates the father, "some very im-
portant members of the Society.  The travelers were carrying val-
uable documents, money for the journey, Saint Peter's Pence, and
precious gifts for the good works of our order.  We had to cross over
the Apennines and not unaware of how the gorges of those moun-
ains were infested with bandits we took care to choose an honest
coachman.  Before leaving it was agreed upon that we would place
ourselves under the protection of the souls in Purgatory, reciting
each hour a 'De profundis' (Psalm 129). Luigi, the coach driver, had
received the instructions to bang, in case of danger, three distinct
knocks on the roof of the carriage with the whip handle.

  For the whole day we travelled tranquilly, not stopping, except
to have, for ourselves and the horses, the necessary nourishment.
By sunset we had arrived at the summit of a high mountain. Ab-
sorbed in the contemplation of the beautiful and wild nature, we
were suddenly called back to reality by three distinct knocks on the
roof of the carriage.  Before we had the time to question Luigi,
he had administered to the horses whip lashes so vigorous that
the poor beasts took off like lightning, practically hurling us out
of the vehicle. We gave a glance outside and with astonishment
mixed with horror, we saw on both sides of the road a dozen ban-
dits, armed with rifles, in the act of pulling the trigger. But, strange
to say, we saw them remain immobile in their threatening stance
like statues until they appeared to our sight as imperceptible points
on the horizon.  None of us had any breath left, but we all prayed
to the Almighty.

   In the end, the coachman could stop the horses, foaming at the
mouth and so panting, that it seemed to us impossible for them to
regain momentum.

   'A miracle', exclaimed Luigi, making the sign of the cross.
'Praised be God and the Blessed Mother!  I assure you, my Fathers,
it's a miracle that we're not dead!'  'It's true', said the Superior,
'we've been the object of a particular Providence, and we must
thank God with all our heart.'  'I guarantee you', Luigi added, 'they
were terrible men.  I've never seen faces so fierce.'  'Then', inter-
rupted the Superior, 'it would be better that we proceed with the
journey as soon as the horses are able to walk.  Do we have to
change them before arriving at our stopping place?'  'It isn't neces-
sary and since the bandits are on our heels, the best thing for us to
do is to get as far ahead of them as we can.'  'Well', said the Supe-
rior turning to us as we were taking our places again in the car-
riage, 'tomorrow each of us will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving.'
All willingly agreed.

  Two years later, while staying at the Roman College, I was called
out to prepare a prisoner for death.  I visited the poor man often.
And so as to gain his soul for God, I listened, pretending to be
greatly interested, to the anecdotes of his life of brigandage.  One
day while he was telling me about his last years, I was dumfounded
to hear him recount this very episode that I have just narrated.
In going over these facts, he explained to me how, on the point of
overtaking the carriage, both he as well as his accomplices felt their
arms held back by some invisible and overpowering force.

  Then I revealed to my penitent that I was one of those whom
Providence had saved from that danger.  And I told him about our
promise to recite every hour the Psalm for the souls in Purgatory.
who certainly compensated, in that manner, our charity toward
them. He fell down on his knees crying uncontrollably and in the
end asked my forgiveness.

  I prepared him for the frightening lot that awaited him and I am
almost certain that he died in the peace of God.

  He willingly gave me the permission I requested to recount the
particulars of this last part of my story."

  Monsignor Alfred Vitali says that the good Jesuit never missed
an opportunity of telling this miracle of the holy Souls of Purga-

* Louvet Pietro; IL PURGATORIO NELLA RIVELAZIONE DEI SANTI; Marietti; Torino. 1961.
(English translation by the webist)

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I knew a brother myself, would to God I had not known him, whose name I could mention if it were necessary, and who resided in a noble monastery, but lived himself ignobly. He was frequently reproved by the brethren and elders of the place, and admonished to adopt a more regular life; and though he would not give ear to them, he was long patiently borne with by them, on account of his usefulness in temporal works, for he was an excellent carpenter; he was much addicted to drunkenness, and other pleasures of a lawless life, and more used to stop in his workhouse day and night, than to go to church to sing and pray, and hear the word of life with the brethren. For which reason it happened to him according to the saying, that he who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of the church, will certainly be damned, and enter the gate of hell whether he will or no. For he falling sick, and being reduced to extremity, called the brethren, and with much lamentation, and like one damned, began to tell them, that he saw hell open, and Satan at the bottom thereof; as also Caiaphas, with the others that slew our Lord, by him delivered up to avenging flames. "In whose neighborhood," said he, "I see a place of eternal perdition provided for me, miserable wretch." The brothers, hearing these words, began seriously to exhort him, that he should repent even then whilst he was in the flesh. He answered in despair, "I have no time now to change my course of life, when I have myself seen my judgment passed."

Whilst uttering these words, he died without having received the saving viaticum, and his body was buried in the remotest parts of the monastery, nor did any one dare either to say masses or sing psalms, or even to pray for him. How far has our Lord divided the light from darkness! The blessed martyr, Stephen, being about to suffer death for the truth, saw the heavens open, the glory of God revealed, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And where he was to be after death, there he fixed the eyes of his mind, that he might die with the more satisfaction. On the contrary, this carpenter, of a dark mind and actions, when death was at hand, saw hell open and witnessed the damnation of the Devil and his followers; the unhappy wretch also saw his own prison among them, to the end that, despairing of his salvation, he might die the more miserably; but might by his perdition afford cause of salvation to the living who should hear of it. This happened lately in the province of the Bernicians, and being reported abroad far and near, inclined many to do penance for their sins without delay, which we hope may also be the result of this our narrative.
(CHURCH HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NATION; Venerable Bede; Bk. 5, ch. 6)
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Neither do I think that this further miracle, which Herebald, the servant of Christ, says was wrought upon himself, is to be passed over in silence. He was then one of that bishop's clergy, but now presides as abbot in the monastery at the mouth of the river Tyne. "Being present," said he, "and very well acquainted with his course of life, I found it to be most worthy of a bishop, as far as it is lawful for men to judge; but I have known by the experience of others, and more particularly by my own, how great his merit was before Him who is the judge of the heart; having been by his prayer and blessing brought back from the gates of death to the way of life. For, when in the prime of my youth, I lived among his clergy, applying myself to reading and singing, but not having yet altogether withdrawn my heart from youthful pleasures, it happened one day that as we were traveling with him, we came into a plain and open road, well adapted for galloping our horses. The young men that were with him, and particularly those of the laity, began to entreat the bishop to give them leave to gallop, and make trial of the goodness of their horses. He at first refused, saying, it was an idle request'; but at last, being prevailed on by the unanimous desire of so many, 'Do so,' said he, 'if you will, but let Herebald have no part in the trial.' I earnestly prayed that I might have leave to ride with the rest, for I relied on an excellent horse, which he had given me, but I could not obtain my request.
"When they had several times galloped backwards and forwards, the bishop and I looking on, my wanton humor prevailed, and I could no longer refrain, but though he forbade me, I struck in among them, and began to ride at full speed; at which I heard him call after me, 'Alas how much you grieve me by riding after that manner.' Though I heard him, I went on against his command; but immediately the fiery horse taking a great leap over a hollow place, I fell, and lost both sense and motion, as if I had been dead; for there was in that place a stone, level with the ground, covered with only a small turf, and no other stone to be found in all that plain; and it happened, as a punishment for my disobedience, either by chance, or by Divine Providence so ordering it, that my head and hand, which in falling I had clapped to my head, hit upon that stone, so that my thumb was broken and my skull cracked, and I lay, as I said, like one dead.
"And because I could not move, they stretched a canopy for me to lie in. It was about the seventh hour of the day, and having lain still, and as it were dead from that time till the evening, I then revived a little, and was carried home by my companions, but lay speechless all the night, vomiting blood, because something was broken within me by the fall. The bishop was very much grieved at my misfortune, and expected my death, for he bore me extraordinary affection. Nor would he stay that night, as he was wont, among his clergy; but spent it all in watching and prayer alone, imploring the Divine goodness, as I imagine, for my health. Coming to me in the morning early, and having said a prayer over me, he called me by my name, and as it were waking me out of a heavy sleep, asked, 'Whether I knew who it was that spoke to me? I opened my eyes and said, 'I do; you are my beloved bishop.' - 'Can you live?' said he. I answered, 'I may, Through your prayers, if it shall please our Lord.'
"He then laid his hand on my head, with the words of blessing, and returned to prayer; when he came again to see me, in a short time, he found me sitting and able to talk; and, being induced by Divine instinct, as it soon appeared, began to ask me, 'Whether I knew for certain that I had been baptized?' I answered, 'I knew beyond all doubt that I had been washed in the laver of salvation, to the remission of my sins, and I named the priest by whom I knew myself to have been baptized.' He replied, 'If you were baptized by that priest, your baptism is not perfect; for I know him, and that having been ordained priest, he could not, by reason of the dulness of his understanding, learn the ministry of catechizing and baptizing; for which reason I commanded him altogether to desist from his presumptuous exercising of the ministry, which he could not duly perform.' This said, he took care to catechize me at that very time; and it happened that he blew upon my face, on which I presently found myself better. He called the surgeon, and ordered him to close and bind up my skull where it was cracked; and having then received his blessing, I was so much better that I mounted on horseback the next day, and traveled with him to another place; and being soon after perfectly recovered, I received the baptism of life."
He continued in his see thirty-three years, and then ascending to the heavenly kingdom, was buried in St. Peter's Porch, in his own monastery, called Inderawood, in the year of our Lord's incarnation 721. For having, by his great age, become unable to govern his bishopric, he ordained Wilfrid, his priest, bishop of the church of York, and retired to the aforesaid monastery, and there ended his days in holy conversation.
(CHURCH HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NATION; Venerable Bede; Bk. 5, ch. 6)

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Father Laprimadaye's Ghost Appears at Hour of Death

      When Cardinal Maiming started work in Bayswater, he
 introduced the Oblates of St Charles.  Amongst his
 followers during  the 'fifties  (18 hundreds) were the Gasquet
 family and  Father Laprimadaye, who had been his curate in
 Anglican days at Lavington.

      More than half a century later Francis Gasquet had become
   a Cardinal and in his reminiscences recorded how his sisters
   saw the ghost of Father Laprimadaye.

     When the Oblates moved from 12 Sutherland Place into
   their permanent home, my mother took the lease of their
   old house and here a curious incident happened, which
   may be recorded.  Amongst the Oblates who had been
   living in the house was Father Laprimadaye. He had a
   small room at the top of the house, and my sisters had the
   top floor when we went to live there.  One night, my
   mother being away, my sisters, on going upstairs to bed,
   saw a figure, which they thought resembled Father
   Laprimadaye, passing into the room he had before occu-
   pied.  My brother and I, who were on the floor below,
   heard the cries they uttered and going up, found the
   reason. We noted the time, and next morning we told the
   Oblate Fathers what had happened, and we all concluded
   that it was one of those cases where the wraith of someone
   on the hour of death is allowed to visit a place where he
   had been. We afterwards found that Father Laprimadaye
   had died in Rome at the dme.

(Ghost Book, Shane, Leslie; Sheed and Ward; 1956)

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Eusebius, Duke of Sardinia

    Among the many instances of pious munificence which the life of Eusebius, Duke of Sardinia, presents, it is recorded that he devoted the revenues of one of his richest cities to the benefit of the suffering souls in Purgatory.  But his powerful neighbor, the King of Sicily, panting for military glory, and even more eager for plunder, declared war against him, and appearing unexpectedly before this very city with a formidable army, made himself master of it.  This loss was more keenly felt by Eusebius than would have been the loss of half his dukedom.  Determined, therefore, on defending his rights, he assembled his troops without delay.  Notwithstanding his great inferiority in point of numbers, he boldly marched against the usurper, relying on the hope that the justice of his cause would supply for the inequality.  

    On the day of battle, while both sides were preparing for the attack, it was announced to Eusebius that, besides that of his rival, another army was descried approaching, whose banners and uniform were completely white.  This unforeseen event at first disconcerted him, and suspending his preparations, he sent forward two heralds on horseback to demand on the newcomers whether they were friends or enemies.  But lo, from the ranks of the unknown army four cavaliers advanced, and announced that they belonged to the heavenly host and were come to recover the city of suffrage!  

    The allies then united and advanced against the common enemy.  Losing courage at seeing himself opposed by two armies, and having learned whence the new auxiliaries had come, the King of Sicily at once sued for peace, offering to restore the conquered city, and to make, moreover, twofold compensation for the injury he had done.  These terms were accepted.

    When Eusebius turned to thank his supernatural allies, the chief explained to him that their ranks were exclusively composed of those who had been freed from Purgatory through his means, and that they watched unceasingly over his welfare.  The good Duke took occasion from this to become more than ever devoted to the Souls in Purgatory, whose protection he experienced to the last.  


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