The following true story was related to Sr. M. Veronica Murphy by an
elderly nun who heard it from the lips of the late Reverend Father
One day many years ago, in a little town in Luxembourg,
a Captain of the Forest Guards was in deep conversation with the butcher
when an elderly woman entered the shop. The butcher broke off the
conversation to ask the old woman what she wanted. She had come to beg for
a little meat but had no money. The Captain was amused at the conversation
which ensued between the poor woman and the butcher, "Only a little
meat, but how much are you going to give me?"
''I am sorry I have no money but I'll hear Mass for
you." Both the butcher and the Captain were good men but very
indifferent about religion, so they at once began to scoff at the old
"All right then, " said the butcher, "you go
and hear Mass for me and when you come back I'll give you as much meat as
the Mass is worth."
The woman left the shop and returned later. She
approached the counter and the butcher seeing her said, "All right then
we'll see." He took a slip of paper and wrote on it "I heard a Mass
for you." He then placed the paper on the scales and a tiny bone on the
other side but nothing happened. Next he placed a piece of meat instead of
the bone, but still the paper proved heavier. Both men were beginning to
feel ashamed of their mockery but continued their game. A large piece of
meat was placed on the balance, but still the paper held its own. The
butcher, exasperated, examined the scales, but found they were all right.
"What do you want my good woman, must I give you a
whole leg of mutton?" At this he placed the leg of mutton on the
balance, but the paper outweighed the meat. A larger piece of meat was put
on, but again the weight remained on the side of the paper. This so
impressed the butcher that he was converted, and promised to give the
woman her daily ration of meat.
As for the Captain, he left the shop a changed man, an
ardent lover of daily Mass. Two of his sons became priests, one a Jesuit
and the other a Father of the Sacred Heart.
Father Stanislaus finished by saying "I am the
Religious of the Sacred Heart, and the Captain was my father."
From that incident the Captain became a daily
Mass goer and his children were trained to follow his example. Later when
his sons became priests, he advised them to say Mass well every day and
never miss the Sacrifice of the Mass through any fault of their own.