A Year with the Saints – 22 October


When once we have placed ourselves totally in the hands of God, we have no cause to fear misfortune; for if any should come to us, He will know how to make it turn to our good, by ways which we do not know now, but which, one day, we shall know. – Saint Vincent de Paul

Two singular events which happened, one to Saint Francis de Sales and the other to Saint Ignatius Loyola, prove the truth of this statement. When a young secular, Saint Francis, once visited Rome, and returning one evening to an inn near the Tiber where he lodged, he found his servants in a dispute with the landlord, who wished them to find some other house, as he hoped to receive more profit from another party whose luggage he had already taken in and for whom he wished to dispossess the holy baron. Nor would the quarrel have ended with angry words alone, if Saint Francis, with his usual meekness, had not ordered his servants to do as the landlord wished. He agreed, then, to find another lodging, but scarcely had he done so when a heavy rain swelled the Tiber and made it overflow its banks, causing an inundation which carried away the unhappy inn and all its occupants, so that not one escaped, nor was there a trace left of the building, which had been considered one of the best of its kind in Rome.

When Saint Ignatius had arrived in Cyprus on his return from visiting the holy places, he found three vessels ready to sail for Italy. The first belonged to Turkey; the second was a Venetian ship, strong and well equipped, and apparently able to struggle successfully with the most furious gales; the third was a little old boat, leaky and worm-eaten. Many urged the master of the Venetian ship to receive Ignatius on board for the love of God, praising him and extolling him as a Saint. But when the man heard that Ignatius was poor and had no money for his passage, he answered that if Ignatius was a Saint, he did not need a vessel to cross the sea, for he could go on foot, as so many other Saints had done. As he would not receive him, Ignatius was obliged to take the old ship, where they welcomed him freely and with much liberality. The three vessels set sail on the same day; but after they were all well out at sea, in the darkness of the night a fierce tempest arose in which the Turkish ship foundered with all its crew on board, the Venetian ran aground, her passengers barely escaping with their lives, and the old craft alone gained the port. We see in these two examples how the Lord gave His protection to two faithful servants, making use even of the wickedness of men to expel one, and exclude the other, from places doomed to disaster.

It is true that Joseph and Job in the Old Testament suffered great trials, but how incredibly greater were the advantages they derived from them!

MLA Citation