A Year with the Saints – 29 April


If you look at the rod of Moses lying on the ground, it is a frightful serpent; if you look at it in the hand of Moses, it is a wand of power. It is thus with tribulations. Consider them in themselves, and they are horrors; consider them in the will of God, and they are joys and delights. – Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi used to say she did not think there could be found in the world suffering so bitter, adversity so severe, or trials so painful, that she could not bear them cheerfully, by simply persuading herself that it was the will of God. And in fact, in the great sufferings of an illness that lasted five years, and at the time of her death, whenever anyone reminded her that it was the will of God that she should suffer those agonies, it would take away all their bitterness and quiet her at once.

It is told in the Life of Saint Lupus that when he heard that the terrible Attila was coming to plunder his episcopal city of Troy, he was first much affrighted. But afterwards, nerved to courage by the spirit of God, he went out to meet him, in his pontifical vestments, in the hope of checking his audacity. When he came into Attila’s presence, he asked him who he was. “The scourge of God,” was Attila’s reply. At these words, the Saint exclaimed: “And I, who am the spoiler of God’s kingdom, well deserve to be scourged by Him!” Then he ordered the gates to be opened without delay. But when the enemy came in, he passed directly through the city, without doing any harm, as if he had seen no one. By this, God willed to show how much He was pleased with the submission and humility of the holy man, in bowing so readily beneath the scourge He had sent him, and in believing that he deserved it.

MLA Citation