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PASSIONIST AcVkmIC INSTITUTE 



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A NATIONAL 
^MONTHLY 



CATH©XJC 

MACAZ1NEN 



VOL. I. 



WEST HOBOKEN, N. J. /?<j(*<y«r, 112 




^^ m ^*ITH tKis issue of THE SIGN, the Passionist Fatkers present to American 

W I ^^ CatKolics a new monthly magazine. It is their ambition to publish a 

\ m w periodical which, both in physical make-up and intellectual content, w"ill 

^"••^ be worthy of the interested approval of its actual and prospective readers. 

THE SIGN, in common with other Catholic publications, purposes to 
disseminate truth; to combat the thousand and one errors confronting Catholics at 
every turn; to interpret from a Catholic viewpoint significant current events; to offset, 
in some measure, the pernicious influences of the lurid secular press. 

To this end, it publishes instructive expositions of the doctrines of Holy Church, 
pertinent articles on present-day" issues, live discussions of industrial, social, and economic 
questions, refreshing and wholesome literary" entertainment. 

We feel that this new venture must have the cordial approval of the American 
Hierarchy", w"ho, in setting aside last March as Catholic Press Month, convincingly" 
stressed the need of a strong Catholic press and cogently" appealed to the Catholic 
conscience to support such a press. Unfortunately, this appeal w"as more than necessary", 
for as a matter of strict fact, less than 25% of Catholics in the United States read any" 
Catholic periodical. Hence, any publication attempting to reach the remaining 75% 
of present non-readers is a praiseworthy" enterprise. 

The distinguishing feature of THE SIGN is the prominence it gives the Cross. 
Never w"as the setting forth of Christ Crucified so essential as in our own day w"hen 
the opportunities and means of pleasure so abound; when to the non-catholic the Cross 
no longer is a symbol but an empty decoration; w"hen ev"en our Catholic people are all 
too prone to substitute an easy-going piety for the stern gospel of self-denial. Where- 
fore, THE SIGN aims at holding up before the public none other than "THE SIGN 
OF THE SON OF MAN" — the norm of Catholic thought and conduct. 

Bearing in mind that there are over 3,000 monthly publications in the United 
States, each loudly declaring its message, surely no apology is required for one that 
shall voice, however faintly, the appeal of our Savior Crucified. 

In carrying out its leading purpose THE SIGN becomes the Official Organ 
of the Archconfraternity" of the Sacred Passion. 






Current Fact and Comment 



& 



NEWSPAPER LANCETS AND THE PUBLIC CONSCIENCE 



k ECENTLY a nationally-read columnist took 
the public into his confidence. He laid be- 
fore them the ethical principle which, he 
would have us believe, justifies newspaper 
editors in playing the search-light upon the lives 
of some of our 'best' families. It is hardly neces- 
sary to say that the main feature of these lives are 
lust, divorce, drunkenness and wild extravagance. 
The principle which justifies the detailed story of 
these horrid sins is that the knowledge of them will 
be more effective than any sermon. In other words, 
the editors expect that the people by being constant- 
ly surfeited with the intimate revelations of dis- 
graceful and degraded lives will be shocked into 
the observance of the Ten Commandments. They 
would furnish us with a brand-new proverb : "Would 
you be clean? Wallow in filth." Surely, Judg- 
ment, thou art fled to brutish hearts. 

That ulcers exist in the soul as well as in the 



body, no one will deny. But their existence is no 
reason for lithographing them and displaying them 
to public view. Would that the same privacy were 
observed in the treatment of the moral ulcer as 
common precaution exacts in the probing of the 
physical ulcer. It would be something new in 
medical practice unnecessarily to expose a man to 
certain infection as a means of keeping him healthy. 
Likewise is it the limit of folly to engulf a man in 
temptation in the deluded hope of preserving his 
virtue. As well might St. Paul have told his con- 
verts to mingle freely with the libertines about them. 
We are not to take our principles of morality from 
the venal secular press. And no editor, or any 
number of editors, can improve on the inspired 
wisdom of the Apostle: "All uncleanness or covet- 
ousness, let it not so much as be named among you, 
as becometh saints." 



TIME FOR A MOMENTOUS DECISION 



QOW is the time for parents to give anxious 
thought as to where their children are to 
take up or resume their schooling. No 
conscientious Catholic parent can fail to 
consider the strong arguments in favor of the 
Catholic school and college. As a twig is bent, the 
tree inclines. With what character and spiritual 
equipment will children complete their school days 
if through all those impressionable hours spent in 
the class-room they hear not a syllable about God, 
His rights, their duties to Him, their soul, their 
eternity! What can be expected from them if they 
never learn the only sure motives of self-discipline 
and straight conduct? The Daily Chronicle of 
Chicago says that a child in the public schools of 
that city will learn more of the plaintive, grey grass- 
hopper than of the great God Who created it: 



pistils, anthers, whorls, ovates are studied while 
the commandments of God are ignored. Parents 
would not hesitate in this matter did they hear the 
nerve-racked teachers after a day's session in a 
metropolitan school commenting on the growing 
insubordination of the children. In the largest of 
all our Catholic reform schools 99% of the boys 
have received their education in a non-Catholic 
school. There would be no need of reform if children 
were correctly formed. The most ardent supporter 
of the public school cannot honestly maintain that 
in it sufficient attention is given, or can be given, 
to the moral training of its pupils. The Catholic 
school peremtorily insists upon the fundamental 
principle of all true education — the moulding of 
character. 



"THE GOLDEN HOUR" ARRIVES 




MOVEMENT is afoot to establish the 
"Golden Hour" in the Public Schools. 
The promoters seem to be urged by genu- 
ine solicitude for the betterment of Ameri- 
can youth. They claim that the lack of training in 
character-building is a staggering national condition 
and the country's greatest peril. Incidently the 
census is quoted: fifty eight million citizens attend 
no Church. Letters of commendation of the plan 
from eminent Americans show that they sense the 
danger. And there is the general admission that 
the public schools are failing in their trust, or rather 
that it is a delusion to rely upon a program of mere 
mental culture to remove the peril. 



The Golden Hour is proposed as a remedy for 
the country's greatest peril! A suggested daily 
program includes ethical examples, inspirational 
talks, readings, golden texts, interspersed with 
music as an attractive background. There must be 
no sectarian feature. 

It is largely a desperate plan and, we fear, 
can have only ephemeral results. We should hearti- 
ly wish it were otherwise when we hear public 
school teachers describing the general insubordi- 
nation of their charges and when we consider what 
is the material out of which the citizenship of the 
country is being formed. It must be disheartening 
to the eminent Americans as they plead for 



THE +SIGN 



"character- building," "social ethics," "moral 
strength," etc., to be convinced that the means 
suggested are wholly inadequate, are only a sop 
to their own solicitude. Such movements, however, 
are not altogether fruitless. They turn the attention 
of so many more sincere people to the one system 
of education which, untrammeled, and day by day, 



implants in the soul of the child a personal know- 
ledge of God, wholesome fear and filial love of 
Him, and a corresponding instinct of submission 
to all authority. Nothing less than this can fit 
American youth even for good citizenship with all 
that this entails of self-restraint and of service to 
others. 



PASSIONIST GENERAL IN THE UNITED STATES 



ON June 12, the Most Reverend Silvius 
DiVezza, Superior General of the Passion- 
ist Order, arrived in the United States. He 
is making a canonical visitation of all the 
provinces of the Order. In doing so he will com- 
plete the circuit of the globe. He left Rome March 



Father Jeremias visited here in 1897 and 1911 
respectively. 

Father Silvius was born at Monte S. Biagi, 
Italy, Sept. 15, 1849. He entered the Order as a 
mere youth, and was ordained to the priesthood in 
1873. Practically his whole priestly life was lived 




MOST REV. SILVIUS DI VEZZA. C. P. 




VERY REV. LEO KIERKELS, I 



31, for France where important matters claimed 
his attention. From there he went to Spain, whence 
he sailed for Cuba and Mexico. He embarked for 
this country at Vera Cruz, and will remain here till 
the latter part of September. In the meantime he 
will visit the thirteen establishments that make up 
the two American provinces. 

The Order was established in this country in 
1852 by the saintly John J. O'Connor, Bishop of 
Pittsburgh, Pa. Its growth has been in keeping 
with the remarkable development of the American 
Church. Father Silvius is the third Superior- 
General to have visited the United States. His 
lamented predecessors, Father Bernard Mary and 



in France, where for four terms he held the pro- 
vincialship of the Franco-Belgium province. He is 
now serving his second term as General. On his 
departure from this country he will visit Australia. 
Accompanying Father General, as secretary, 
is the Very Rev. Leo Kierkels, Procurator General. 
He is a native of Holland. He made his university 
course in France and Italy. Previous to his ordina- 
tion, he spent a year and a half in Palestine, in 
biblical study and research. Later he taught phil- 
osopy and theology for seven years in the monastery 
of SS. John and Paul, Rome. Father Leo is a 
linguist of distinction. A young man — he is not 
yet 39 — his remarkable versatility promises great 
service to his Order and the Church. 



Some Personal Recollections of Cardinal Gibbons 



e 



Felix Ward, C. P. 



'ULOGY from me of our beloved Cardi- 
nal, after the great prelates of the 
Church and the most distinguished men 
of the State had spoken, would seem 
not in good taste. But "Some Personal 
Recollections" afford me the prized opportunity of 
recording my esteem and affection for his Eminence, 
and will prove I trust, not uninteresting to the readers 
of THE SIGN. I jot down these recollections just 
as they occur to me. 

The Cardinal gave me a letter of introduction 
to Archbishop Ireland upon hearing that I had been 
requested to give a retreat in St. Paul : It was a 
motu proprio on the part of his Eminence. It 
secured for me the kindest 
welcome from his Grace 
who invited me to spend 
an evening with him. The 
Cardinal had often spoken 
of the Archbishop in the 
most kindly terms, and 
now, when I had given 
him the Cardinal's mes- 
sages, I told him of the 
esteem in which his 
Eminence held him. The 
great Archbishop looked 
pleased and said: "I am 
well aware of the affec- 
tionate and generous re- 
gard in which Cardinal 
Gibbons has been willing 

to hold me during those many years. His friendship 
has been one of the great joys of my life. Your cita- 
tion of his words does not surprise me." The Arch- 
bishop put me at my ease by his gracious manner 
and I recounted many things I had learned from 
the Cardinal in our walks. Sometime afterwards 
his Grace told a very dear friend that I had the 
Cardinal's friendship and confidence, and what 
pleased his Grace was that it had lasted so many 
years and was always so beautiful: "It was a 
privilege to hold it" he said, "it was so fine, so 
delicate, so true. To faun, to flatter, to cease to be 
true, meant the loss of it. Yet it was not difficult to 
hold it. The Cardinal was the gentlest of friends; 
he put you at your ease and at your best. He had 
the faculty of seeing what was best in others and of 
approaching them from that side. "I never talk 
with anyone who is sincere," he said, "without being 
the better for it." 

Your approval was grateful to him; he was so 
simply human, and it won your heart to feel that he 
accepted your humble friendship. He preached in 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, on the occasion 
of the first centenary of the great Archdiocese. He 
had outlined his discourse on our evening's walk. 



JT is a pleasure for the Passionist Fathers 
■* to pay a deserved tribute to the memory 
of Cardinal Gibbons, in the first issue of 
THE SIGN. We are fortunate in having 
these personal recollections from Father 
Felix Ward, C. P. whose singular privilege 
it was to have enjoyed the friendship and 
confidence of his Eminence during many 
years. — The Editors. 



I was intensely interested and knew that his success 
would greatly depend upon his feeling well. A 
slight indisposition from which he suffered now and 
then would mar his effort. Well, he was never in 
better form than on that morning. The elite of the 
Church were there from many other lands as well 
as from our own. His Eminence never did better. 
We were all very happy and proud of Baltimore. 
In the evening I had occasion to see him at his own 
request with Fr. George, C. P., who was just leaving 
for the General Chapter in Rome. I told his 
Eminence of the joy we felt at his success that day. 
He was pleased with the little tribute. He would 
not dissemble it; he was too fine for that; yet who 
would say that it detracted 
in the least from the high 
motive he had in all he 
did? He simply remark- 
ed that when Cardinal, 
then Archbishop, Farley, 
came to request him to 
preach that sermon, he 
begged to be excused. He 
was busy and had some 
timidity in meeting the 
demand. After the de- 
parture of the Archbishop, 
his heart smote him and 
he wired his acceptance. 
His success he ascribed 
"to a little act of kindness 
for a friend." 
No wonder that one's esteem and affection 
for his Eminence grew apace. His friendship was 
like an inspiration from heaven; a virture went out 
from him; it acted like grace; it led to his own 
ideals; it was a pearl of great price; it was worth 
any sacrifice. No wonder the priests of his own 
household were so like him and so devoted to 
him. Nay, the long line of priests who felt the 
gentle and holy influence of his presence while 
in the seminary, "his own St. Mary's," bore a 
marvelous likeness to him when they knelt before 
him to receive the character of the holy priest- 
hood. 

VERY simple was the start of our friendship. 
Fr. Fidelis Kent Stone accompanied me 
when I went to ask for the faculties of 
the diocese. Fr. Fidelis said: "Your 
Eminence, I know that you and Fr. Felix will be 
friends." Some time afterwards I assisted the 
Cardinal at the ceremony of confirmation outside 
the city and accompanied him to the train. Our 
friendship dated from that evening. After this 
came the request to accompany him on the evening 
walk. 



THE T* SIGN 



Soon I learned that the Cardinal had a rule of 
life neither too elastic nor too rigid, and this rule he 
never surrendered though at times interrupted by 
the demands of courtesy and simple charity. Every 
duty had a fixed time in the order of the day. This 
rule gave an economic distribution of time and acted 
as the guardian of peace and tranquility. He spent 
■ an hour be- 







> ;; 




F*^5! 




kji 






^^ 







fore Mass 
reading the 
New Tes- 
tament, or 
simply 
meditating 
on our 
Lord's life. 
He was a 
man of 
prayer. He 
once said 
to me: 
"With ever 
increasing 
demands on 
me, I could 
never say I 
hadn't time 
to pray." 
He never 
missed his 
visit to the 
Blessed 
Sacrament 
in the even- 
i n g . "A 
visit to our 
Lord in the 
Blessed 
Sacra- 
ment," he 
said, "dis- 
sipates the 
w o r d 1 y 
mist that 
may have 
enveloped 
you and 
brings you 
nearer t o 
the God of 
light and 
diffuses a- 

round you a spirit of heavenly tranquility." He 
timed himself nicely and made this visit after the 
walk. Often I knelt behind him in the "Great 
Presence" as the shadows fell on the old historic 
Cathedral, and the "spirit of heavenly peace and 
tranquility" was diffused around him, and I felt 
its influence as I wended my way home with his 
blessing. The Rosary was precious to him It 
was his daily tribute to our Blessed Lady; and 



when duty or courtesy took him out in the evening 
he said it on the way. It was often my privilege 
to join him in this devotion while walking or in the 
carriage. "The steady stream of the milk of human 
kindness flows" he said, "from the heart at peace 
with God and man." It was his own case, and he 
left the Divine Presence with a serene heart. It 

was the 
secret of 
his gentle- 
ness and 
strength. 

Though 
pietyis pro- 
fitable for 
all things, 
ace ording 
to the A- 
postle, 
bodily ex- 
ercise i s 
useful. His 
day was 
never com- 
plete with- 
o u t exer- 
cise and 
h i s Emi- 
n e n c e 



loved h i s 
walk. The 
cares of 
the day 
were for- 
gotten i n 
this exhila- 
rating ex- 
ercise and 
it kept him 
in good 
health. 
Those 
pleas ant 
hours with 
him on this 
walk! Ire- 
call them 
now as a- 
mongst the 
most preci- 
ous of my 
life. It was 
an education in itself: — the reminiscences, personal, 
storied, historical, the questions affecting Church 
and State; the problems, social, political, economic; 
his hopes and fears for the country he loved so well ; 
— all were told and discussed. I was always glad 
to be "held up" for that walk. His Eminence walk- 
ed steadily for an hour at a nice gait, and he was 
always pleased to get your views on the questions 
of the day. 



AMES I'AKDIXAL C.IRHnXS 



THE f SIGN 



The priests of his own household sought to 
keep needless trouble from him and so prolong his 
days. This was no easy task, his Eminence was so 
democratic and accessible. I followed the same 
rule. On missionary and other duties, up and down 
the country, I was alert to catch up every note of 
hope and safety and progress in Church and State 
and report it to him. The welfare of the Church 
was a joy to him as it not only advanced the King- 
dom of God but added greater security to the 
country. How beautiful are his words in the 
"Retrospect of Fifty Years": "My countrymen and 
my fellow-Catholics will forgive me if I seem to 
yearn over this Church and this people ; but I do so 
because I believe both the American Church and 
the American people to be precious in the sight of 
God and designed, each one in its proper sphere, 
for a glorious future." They are an echo of his 
earlier words in Rome when he was created Cardinal 
in 1887: "I belong to the country where the civil 
government holds over us the aegis of its protection 
without interfering with us in the legitimate exercise 
of our mission as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. 
Our country has liberty without license and authority 
without despotism. The men who would endeavor 
to undermine the laws and institutions of this 
country deserve the fate of those who laid profane 
hands on the Ark." 

Some years ago on returning from Rome I 
recounted to the Cardinal a remark made by another 
illustrious member of the Sacred College in Rome. 
The Cardinals in Curia come to the Passionist Re- 
treat of Sts. John and Paul, sometimes for confes- 
sion, and sometimes to walk in the gardens with 
their friends among the Fathers. They like to meet 
the "American Consultor" and chat with him. They 
are always interested in America. Fr. Thomas 
O'Connor, at this time represented the Americans 
in the General Council. On hearing from him an 
account of the Church in America the prelate ob- 
served : "In thirty years the Church in America has 
made greater progress than she has in three centu- 
ries in the so-called Catholic countries." On hear- 
ing this the Cardinal said: "The Church is free in 
our country to live her normal life and this accounts 
for her progress." The calumny that "a good 
Catholic cannot be a good American" is dead. The 
Cardinal killed it. A normal man would be ashamed 
to reiterate it today. 

CARDINAL GIBBONS had the simplicity 
of greatness, yet charming natural dignity, 
without a tinge of "effect." It was simply 
natural to him. In sereneness of heart 
and courtesy of manners, he was like St. Francis de 
Sales who says: "Courtesy is the spontaneous ex- 
pression by word and act of genuine kindness of 
heart. Affability and good breeding are indispensa- 
ble for a clergyman. The want of them is apt to 
impair, if it does not neutralize, his usefulness." 
Hence he looked for gentle refinement and courtesy 



in the clergy. "The precious gems of domestic 
charity," he said, "hang like pearls on slender 
threads, and these threads are common civility and 
gentle manners. Charity cannot long abide without 
them." In twenty-eight years of closeness to him, 
I never detected in his Eminence the absence of nice 
composure even under aggravation. His gentle 
courtesy and forbearance never failed him. He 
combined gentleness and strength. So innate was 
his gentle urbanity, that those nearest to him, the 
priests of his own household, and his friends, with 
whom he held the most familiar intercourse, seemed 
singled out for its delicacy. 

He requested me to accompany him to Lake 
Mohank where he was to address the Inter- 
national Peace Congress. We were to stop with the 
Fathers at West Hoboken en route. We arrived 
there early in the evening and at once the Cardinal 
told me to go to see my father in Brooklyn, as I 
might not have time to do so on our return trip; 
and when death entered the home, his Eminence 
sent a kindly message and counselled us as if we 
were his own. Who would not love him? 

At the opening of the Congress at Lake Mohank 
the Cardinal offered the prayer. Just before leaving 
his rooms at the hotel for the hall down stairs I said: 
"Your Eminence, won't you wear your robes ? These 
people have read of the great Cardinals of history; 
they have seen the 'stage-Cardinal' but never a real 
Prince of the Church." He answered: "Father, if 
you think it well I will do so." He entered the hall 
wearing his robes and the assembly arose to receive 
him. Next day his address was on the program. 
His gentle manner and his modesty won all hearts. 
His address was surely the best at that meeting and 
there were very distinguished men amongst the 
speakers. At the close of the morning session an 
impromptu reception was held for his Eminence. 
All crowded to the stage to be presented to him 
and express their appreciation of his address, and 
I was charged by many of the ladies present to take 
the greatest care of the Cardinal's health, he seemed 
so frail. The Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts 
was present, a very large man of the English type, 
but poor Dr. Lawrence elicited very little sympathy 
on the score of health. He conceived the greatest 
friendship for the Cardinal, and we found him a 
very nice gentleman. 

At home in Baltimore we resumed our walks. 
One evening we stopped before an humble dwelling 
and entered. Death had been a visitant there, and 
the Cardinal came to offer his condolence to the 
family and a prayer for the dear one departed. His 
visit brought peace and comfort to the bereaved 
family. I recall another instance of his gentle 
charity. It was a cold evening in winter and 
we walked rapidly. The Cardinal stopped and said : 
"Father, we will enter here for a moment." It was 
an elegant home. This time his Eminence called 
to see a venerable gentleman, who had come into 
Baltimore to visit his friends. He fell on the ice 



THE + SIGN 



and injured himself severely and was now confined 
to bed in his friend's home. The injured man was 
the former Episcopal bishop of Maryland, but now 
retired. They had met often, the Cardinal and 
bishop, in their rounds of duty and were friends. 
As the Cardinal entered the room, the old man 
reached out his hands in welcome, and the tears 
came to his eyes as he said: "Whence is this to me 
that my Lord Cardinal should come to visit me?" 
The scene was touchingly beautiful. 

Sometimes the poor on the street would ask 
his aid. This he never refused, though he knew 
there were cases that did not deserve much pity. 
He once said : "Father, I would prefer to be deceived 
ninty-nine times than refuse one worthy person in 
need." 

On his way home from the Conclave that 
elected Pius X, the Cardinal wrote me from Paris 
to meet him at the pier in Hoboken. Delegations 
of the clergy and laity had come from Baltimore 
to meet his Eminence. After the addresses of wel- 
come and the reception in the saloon of the great 
liner, the Cardinal turned to me on the gang plank 
as we were stepping ashore and said : "Father, I 
am coming up to spend the day with the Fathers at 
the Monastery." I sent word ahead to Fr. Stephen 
Kealy, the Provincial, and the clergy took their 
places in the carriages. His Secretary, Fr. Gavan, 
Mgr. Fletcher and I were with the Cardinal. As 
we drove around the hills on that lovely morning in 
Autumn, the glow of health and happiness was on 
that gentle face, while he recounted the incidents 
of the Conclave. The only thing about the Cardinal 
we didn't fancy was the little low French hat he 
wore. It didn't become him at all and we were 
amused. The Cardinal saw it and said: "But 
gentlemen it's the only hat I have." The day was 
pleasantly spent with the Fathers at the Monastery. 
The representatives of the press came with their 
cameras. The Cardinal received them all very 
graciously and the evening papers of New York 
were crowded with accounts of his mission aboard. 

In the evening we drove over to Major Keiley's 
in Brooklyn as the Cardinal wished to visit the 
family who were his devoted friends. We crossed 
the ferries and were driving up Fulton Street in 
Brooklyn. We passed a large hat store and it 
occurred to me that this was a chance to get rid of 
the French hat. I asked his Eminence to step out 
for a moment and we entered the store. The pro- 
prietor at once recognized the Cardinal and he 
brought a chair and would attend to us himself. In 
a moment the Cardinal's little red cap was recog- 
nized from the street. A crowd gathered and grew. 
Traffic was held up. The police hurried to the 
scene. The way was cleared and business resumed. 
Then two of New York's "Finest" entered the store 
and knelt down to receive the Cardinal's blessing 
and kissed his ring. It was the triumph of their 
careers on the force. "What a privilege, and his 
Eminence just from the Conclave," they said. The 



Cardinal now wore an elegant silk hat suitable for 
an elderly gentleman and looked himself again. 
The clergy complimented him and Mgr. Fletcher 
said: "Father Felix, this time you have given his 
Eminence 'The Cardinal's Hat.' " 



© 



UT what was the secret of the Cardinal's 
life, the secret that won the hearts of men ? 
One distinguished priest said: "His pru- 
dence was genius and this was the secret." 
Another said: "His tact was genius and this is the 
secret." One great prelate said: "The secret of the 
Cardinal's life was his simple piety;" while another 
declared: "It was his intense consciousness of his 
divine calling as a priest." This consciousness 
accounts for his simple piety; and it may be said, 
it was his priesthood. For sixty years he bore its 
sacred character with the same lovely innocency, 
the same high ideals and the same zeal for souls as 
on the morning of his ordination, but ever mellowing 
with wisdom and age and grace. His priesthood 
was peerless, beautiful, precious to him beyond all 
things else. He was preeminently the "Ambassador 
of Christ" as portrayed in his own writings. 

The Baltimore Sun of April 2, said: "His 
Christ-like spirit won the hearts of all to him and 
was the secret of his influence;" "he strove to be like 
his Master;" "he simply lived the life of Christ." 
The Sun spoke for the people of Baltimore and 
they knew the Cardinal's "secret." His ideal of the 
priesthood seemed ever present to him; it was part 
of his life; he simply lived it, but with a grace and 
beauty that precluded even the suggestion of 
"effect." It was like a delicate essence of which he 
was unconscious, but which diffused sweetness about 
him. We all felt it. 

I recall the place and surroundings as he stop- 
ped on our walk. He was intense at the moment: 
"It would be a crime," he said, "for the priest to 
fall below the estimate of the faithful and betray 
their confidence. He enjoys their esteem and ad- 
miration. Their intuitions come from the instinct 
of Faith. He 'the dispenser of the mysteries of 
God', the priest must be as pure as though he stood 
in Heaven itself in the midst of the heavenly 
powers." Unconsciously the Cardinal for a moment 
drew back the veil and revealed his own priestly 
life. St. Francis de Sales was his model and he 
loved the ideals of St. John Chrysostom. Life on 
earth, they said, like that which the Angels and 
Blessed Spirits lead in heaven "renders souls as 
fair as lilies and as pure as the sun." Excessive 
rigor and pernicious laxity the Cardinal disliked. 
He made our Lord's yoke sweet and His burden 
light for the faithful and they loved to hear him. 
The word of life fell so sweetly from his lips that 
he won their hearts to God. They loved to receive 
his blessing and to feel the inspiration of his gentle 
and holy presence. The clergy often invited me 
to assist his Eminence at Confirmation and other 
functions; and it was delightful to see the radiant 



THE + SIGN 



faces and wrapped attention of the people as he 
addressed them. Naturally the little children clung 
to him. He was their friend and they clustered 
round him as they did around our Blessed Lord 
Himself. He was indeed the good shepherd. I 
once said to him : "Your Eminence, I have heard you 
often; you never compromise the truth and yet you 
win non-Catholics to it." "It is the best way to 
reach them," he answered. "St. Francis de Sales 
simply set forth the doctrines of the faith without 
controversy and he decares that the preacher who 
does so with love, preaches sufficiently against 
heresy. Our people are fond of hearing about re- 
ligion and we should treat them with courtesy and 
benevolence and abandon controversy if charity is 
likely to be offended by it." 

He had won the attention of the country and 
he presented the Church to the American people, 
not as she is misrepresented by traditional bias, 
but as she is, the Spouse of Christ without spot or 
wrinkle but holy and unblemished; and he lived to 
see the most pronounced opponents of the ancient 
Faith her staunchest defenders. It wasn't his 
"reformation" of the Church, but his "presentation" 
of the Church, that won them to her. He always 
claimed that those who are out of her fold are so 
without any fault of theirs and their upright and 
honest hearts when they seek the truth win the 
grace of faith for them. "The people of our country 
are not hostile to the doctrines of the Church; but 
to what her opponents represent as her doctrines." 

Though he loved the people, he would never 
sacrifice principle to be popular. His stand on 
every great issue affecting the welfare of the country 
is well known. He stood for the Constitution and 
"sensed" danger to it. Any tampering with it by 
faddists was a menace to the country and he dis- 
liked it. "Let no profane hand touch it," he said, 
"it will secure the permanence of our institutions." 
On this point he stood with Lincoln. On the ques- 
tion of amending the Constitution, the grand old 
President said: "I think we had better let it alone. 
No slight occasion should tempt us to touch it; 
better not take the first step which may lead to the 
habit of altering it; better rather habituate ourselves 
to think of it as unalterable. New provisions would 
introduce new difficulties and thus create and in- 
crease appetite for further change. No, sir! Let 
it stand as it is. New hands have never touched it. 
The men who made it have done their work and 
have passed away. Who shall improve on what 
they did?" Lincoln would stand no tampering with 
the Constitution by faddists and the Cardinal was 
like him. He did not agree with the people who 
sought to "reform" the country by amending the 
constitution. He was opposed to the "eighteenth 
amendment." I remember well the occasion on 
which he said it would be "the first wedge" to under- 
mine it. He said it could never be enforced; it 
would lead to evasion, hypocrisy and contempt for 
the principle of authority. This was before the 



Amendment became law. He had always stood 
for temperance and the correction of abuses and 
declared that the liquor traffic should be regulated. 
But like Lincoln he was opposed to prohibition and 
its methods. 

Still his faith in the future of the country and 
the fine sense of the American people never wavered. 
On his last birthday when the disturbed state of the 
pubic mind was referred to and he was asked: 
"What in the present emergency are the duties 
devolving upon the American citizen ?" he answered : 
"I would say the temporal salvation of the American 
people and the endurance of our government in 
every emergency are secured, under God, by the due 
enforcement and the faithful observance of the 
Constitution and laws of the country as long as they 
remain on the statute books. When the citizens 
of the United States find from experience these laws 
to be vicious or unpractical, they will not hesitate 
to modify or repeal them, because the people are 
not made for the laws, but the laws are made for 
the people." The professional reformer feared his 
wisdom and his keenness, while the people trusted 
him and wanted his views on all great social pro- 
blems affecting the welfare of the country. 

OFTEN I had occasion to observe his fine 
tact in eliciting the views of others on these 
subjects while formulating his own. He 
received men from every part of the 
country with the greatest civility and they felt 
honored in giving him their views. These he weigh- 
ed in the light of Christian ethics and the enduring 
welfare of the country. His wisdom and patriotism 
were recognized by all. Mr. Taft spoke for them 
in his tribute : "The Cardinal was a man of most 
kindly heart and broad vision, of statesman-like 
views on great questions and with indomitable 
courage in expressing them. He represented the 
highest moral aspirations of the community and all 
classes of good people, without regard to creed, 
were grateful to him for his constant effort to lift 
its members out of sordid ambitions and pursuits 
and to aim at higher things. As a non-Catholic I 
am glad to bear witness to the power for good which 
Cardinal Gibbons exercised. He was an able 
churchman and patriotic citizen." On hearing of 
the death of the Cardinal, President Harding sent 
the following message to Bishop Corrigan: "In 
common with all our people, I mourn the death of 
Cardinal Gibbons. His long and notable service 
to the country and to the church makes us all his 
debtors. He was ever ready to lend his encourage- 
ment to any movement for the betterment of his 
fellowmen. He was the very finest type of citizen 
and churchman. It was my good fortune to know 
him personally and I held him in highest esteem and 
veneration. His death is a distinct loss to the 
country, but it brings to fuller appreciation a great 
and admirable life." 



THE +SIGN 



When trouble came to the Catholic University 
in its great financial loss, he was in retreat with his 
devoted clergy. It was a staggering blow and all 
feared its effect on the Cardinal's health. I arrived 
in Baltimore on Friday evening and called to see 
him on Saturday morning. He had just returned 
from the seminary at the close of the retreat. As I 
entered his room he reached his hands out to wel- 
come me and said: "Father, you will be my friend, 
won't you?" It pained me to see his Eminence in 
distress and I replied: "Your Eminence, it is the 
privilege of my life to be your friend." Then sud- 
denly he rang the bell and the porter answered. 
The Cardinal directed him to bring back the mail 
he had just given him for posting. He took from it 
a letter he had written me with the request to come 
to see him, and gave it to me. I was Provincial at 
the time and I pledged the resources of the Passion- 
ist Fathers to aid the University. His Eminence 
then requested me to go to Pittsburgh to see good 
Bishop Phelan and his coadjutor, Bishop Canevin, 
and other gentlemen whom he had met at the Pas- 
sionist Fathers Golden Jubilee, in the interest of 
the University. All came to the Cardinal's rescue. 
His friends everywhere answered nobly. They not 
only saved the University, but the Cardinal's health. 

The Cardinal's first episcopal act after his 
consecration was to bless and open St. Joseph's 
Monastery in Baltimore, on Sept. 13, 1868. After 
fifty years in the Episcopate, his Emenience was 
present at the Golden Jubilee of the Monastery on 
Sept. 15, 1918. His great kindness to the Fathers 
during his long career will be told in The Passionists 
in America, now in preparation for the press. Just 
one incident here. 

He was invited to the Golden' Jubilee of the 
Order in America, held in Pittsburgh, 1902. He had 
never refused a request from the Fathers but now 
he pleaded pressure of work and begged to be 
excused. There were other requests in the way 
and to these he had been committed. The Rector 
and the people of Pittsburgh looked for his coming 
and his presence would crown that celebration. 
They appealed to Fr. Stephen Kealy, our Provincial, 
to see if he could not bring the Cardinal to Pitts- 
burgh. Fr. Stephen requested me to go to Baltimore 
and explain the situation to his Eminence. I told 
the Cardinal that we would ask him just to preside 
at the grand function on the first day, that Arch- 
bishop Ryan would sing the Mass and Fr. Fidleis 
would preach the formal sermon. His Eminence 
said: "Fr. Felix, I don't want to refuse you." Then 
he walked back and forth across his room, as if in 
thought. Suddenly he stopped and said: "I have 
just mailed a letter to Bishop Donahue promising 
to be with him on Dec. 10. If I could interrupt that 
letter and ask him to postpone his celebration till 
after yours, I could make both on one trip. Could 
you go to Wheeling?" "Yes, your Eminence" I 
answered. "Can you go tonight?" Again I answer- 
ed in the affirmative. "Then go with God's blessing 



and arrange it with the bishop." I left that night for 
Wheeling and arrived there as soon as the Cardinal's 
letter. The Bishop readily agreed to the Cardinal's 
proposal. I reported to his Eminence and all was 
arranged for the Golden Jubilee. Never was the 
Cardinal received more cordially anywhere than in 
Pittsburgh by all the people. 

nE loved his priests and I could repeat many 
a delicate tribute he paid them individual- 
ly as their names came up in our walks, 
but I must refrain. He loved to see them 
honored. "God sanctions the reverence paid his 
priests," he said, "not to gratify personal vanity, 
but to render their ministry more fruitful and effec- 
tive, for the word of God acquires additional lustre 
and persuasive force when it is proclaimed by men 
who are honored with public esteem and veneration." 
To the clergy he dedicated "The Ambassador 
of Christ." In it we have the experience and 
wisdom of his years. The lessons that he learned 
are set forth with a modesty and gentle charm that 
win us. Its illustrations are delightful; its facts 
are the best from his readings and personal inter- 
course with the leading men of the nation and the 
illustrious prelates and priests with whom he lived 
or came in contact during his long career. There 
is nothing finer in this line of literature in our 
language. The saintly gentle presence has passed 
away. We shall see him no more, nor hear him 
again, nor feel the virtue that went out from him. 
But he said himself : "We are drawn nearer to great 
and good men and we know them better in reading 
their thoughts than in seeing their portraits. Their 
portraits are the work of another; their thoughts 
are the photograph of their own mind. The por- 
trait fades with time; but the words of the author 
are as fresh as when first spoken." "Our beloved 
Cardinal" still speaks to us in "The Ambassador 
of Christ." 

Once on our walk his Eminence referred to the 
sad state of men without faith when the end of 
this life approaches. Here I quoted the words of 
Cardinal Newman: "Either the Catholic Religion 
is verily the coming of the unseen world into this, 
or there is nothing positive, nothing dogmatic, noth- 
ing real in any of our notions as to whence we come 
or whither we go." The Cardinal added: "There 
would be nothing for us but black dispair, if the 
Church is not divine." 

I saw his Eminence shortly before the end and 
he told me he would not recover and then added : 
"God's Will be done." He was willing to live, but 
resigned to die. He declared that our holy Faith 
sustained and consoled him in the supreme trial. 
It was "The Faith of our Fathers," the faith of the 
Saints, the faith delivered to the Holy Apostles, the 
faith of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolit 
Church and in this faith he passed from earth to 
Heaven. 



The White Rose of Lucca 

Tke Stor? of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
1 — Birth and Childhood 



XT has always Deen the fashion of un- 
believers to stigmatize ss imaginary 
tales the authentic records of those 
saints who have given extraordinary 
manifestations of the workings of God's 
grace. The bold assumption that such things can- 
not happen is an easy way for the skeptic to relieve 
himself of the necessity of proving that they do 
not happen today. The Catholic, of course, can 
have no sympathy with this attitude of the skeptic 
But it would be a matter of surprise if many were 
not led, unconsciously it may be, to think that God 
no longer sees fit to bestow upon a few favored 
souls such miraculous favors as are recorded of so 
many saints of former times. Besides the spirit of 
the age, being one of absorbing pre-occupation with 
and love of material things — physical science, in- 
vention, and the luxuries to which they minister and 
give birth — like a lowering cloud tends to obscure 
in many the quickening light of faith. The example 
of the servant of God, Gemma Galgani, refutes the 
skepticism of the one, and rebukes the wavering 
faith of the other. Her life-story, authenticated as 
it is by the unimpeachable evidence of contempor- 
ary witnesses, proves that the wonderful super- 
natural manifestations recorded of other great 
servants of God are not necessarily legendary; that 
God is as near to us through the Church as ever 
before; and that His desire and willingness to unite 
men to Himself in the closest bonds of familiarity 
and friendship still endure. 

The sanctity of Gemma Galgani, a child of our 
own time, is quite in line with that recorded of the 
greatest servants of God. In fact she is unique, if 
not in the nature of the supernatural favors of which 
she was the recipient, at least in the abundance and 
variety of the heavenly gifts which were lavished 
upon her. She was indeed a flowering field of lux- 
uriant spiritual beauty upon which beamed in full 
strength a supernal light, all the more visible to the 
eyes of men by contrast with the surrounded gloom. 
As the radiant glimmerings of dawn bespeak 
the beauty of the coming day, the infancy and child- 
hood of Gemma were the pledges cf her future 
holiness. Given saintly parents like Henry Galgani 
and Aurelia Landi of noble and saintly forbears, a 
flourishing little garden of the faith like Lucca, and 
given such an ideal Christian maiden blessed with 
the noblest qualities of heart, and mind, and soul, 
and at once we recognize a providential arrange- 



ment of circumstances, that, with due co-operation, 
will naturally produce a saint. 

Camigliano, a village in Tuscany, was the birth- 
place of the angelic girl who is the subject of this 
story. She was the fifth child and first daughter of 
Henry Galgani and Aurelia Landi and was born on 
the 12th of March, 1878. Before the birth of 
Gemma her mother was filled with extraordinary 
joy. Signora Galgani had prayed to Jesus for a 
daughter. What could those abundant emotions of 
supernatural happiness never experienced before 
or after at such a critical time, signify to one of her 
saintly dispositions, but that now her prayer was 
to be answered? She was not perhaps aware that 
through this child she was to become, with the 
mothers of other great seivants of God, blessed 
among women. To Signora Galgani belongs the 
honor, whether or not she anticipated it, of being the 
mother of one who was destined to be especially 
favored of Heaven. Signor Galgani participated 
in her happiness as soon as he rested his eyes upon 
the new-born child. 

The name of Gemma bestowed upon her next 
day at the baptismal font of St. Michael's Church 
shall be the witness to men of his conviction that 
God has given him a gift beyond price. Only a 
few short years will be necessary to reveal that 
Signor Galgani's daughter is indeed h resplendent 
"Gem" in the crown of his fathers, in the crown of 
the Church, in the crown of the Crucified in Heaven 
— a new request of His Blood. 

Camigliano, where the Galganis were living 
when Gemma was born, must be content with the 
honor of being her birthplace. Lucca whither the 
family removed when Gemma was but two months 
old, will be forever glorified by being associated 
with her name, because it was there that God ac- 
complished in her the miracles ot His grace. 

■^^^^HE manifold graces with which Gemma 
a C~\ was adorned and by which God made her 
^ i entirely His own even from her birth, are 
^^^ all that is to be recorded of her infancy 
and childhood. Applying the principle laid down 
by the Master Himself, "by their fruit ye shall 
know them," we should know without further in- 
formation that the parents of such a child as Gemma 
Galgani were models of Christian faith and piety. 
Even if Providence had destined for her merely 
the ordinary gifts of grace, it is certain that under 



THE 1* SIGN 



the care of Aurelia Galgani, they would have blos- 
somed into the finest flowers of virtue. Has God 
made it a law unto Himself to give a mother who 
is a saint to one whom He destines for high 
sanctity? At all events Signora Galani was such a 
saintly mother. 

This good mother sought to learn from the 
Divine Master Himself, how to instruct, guide, and 
educate her children. Living in her Savior, as she 
did, by constant prayer, by daily Mass and Com- 
munion, Signora Galgani had but one desire, to 
sanctify her home. With gentle sweetness she 
supplemented the teaching of the school by her 
own zealous words. Children do not quickly for- 
get, nor can they easily divest themselves of the 
influence of a devout and loving mother's teaching. 
Words that come from a heart glowing with natural 
affection purified by Divine Love, have an unction 
and authority like the words of a Sheoherd of the 
Flock. 

Signora Galgani loved Gemma as she did none 
other of her children, because it was clear to her 
that Gemma was especially dear to God. But she 
was too wise, as well as too spiritual, to waste time 
in useless caresses. Her special love was apparent 
rather in her special pains to bring her child nearer 
to God. It is like a record from the Golden Age 
of Christianity to be told how this good mother 
would kneel in prayer with Gemma, morning and 
evening, in order to teach her to pray; how she 
would take her to Church in the early morning to 
assist at the Holy Mysteries; how at home she would 
take her into her arms and explain to her the truths 
of faith — the malice of sin, the goodness of God, 
the happiness of serving Him, the joys of Heaven, 
and the meaning of the cross and of Christ's sacri- 
fice. "Look, Gemma," she would say, "see how 
much this dear Jesus has suffered for us." The 
Holy Child relished these instructions so much 
that her soul would hunger for them between times. 
It would sometimes happen that while her mother 
was engaged in household duties, Gemma would 
take hold of her dress and say, "Mamma, tell me 
more about Jesus." 

Signora Galgani was particularly eloquent on 
the subject of Heaven. Her thoughts must have 
frequently turned to that consoling truth during the 
years of Gemma's infancy, because consumption, 
the disease to which the Signora afterwards suc- 
cumbed, was then rapidly undermining her health. 
"Gemma," she said one time, "Gemma, if I take 
you with me where I am going would you come?" 
"Where is that?" asked the child. "To Heaven 
with Jesus and the angels." "Yes," she replied, 
her young heart being filled with eagerness to go to 
Heaven at once. This desire thus awakened, went 
on increasing as long as Gemma lived, until it be- 
came a consuming fire. 

Signor Galgani also cherished a special love 
for Gemma. He delighted to be with her at all 
times. On entering the house his first inquiry was 



for her. He would often take her with him on his 
walks and at home Gemma received almost his 
undivided attention. Not being as discreet as his 
saintly spouse, he made no effort to conceal his 
predilection. 

"I have but two children," he would say, 
"Gemma and Gino." Gino was an elder brother, 
like her in piety and innocence and emulating her 
in the practice of virtue. Who would be proof 
against such partiality when the object of it was so 
completely informed by spiritual beauty and sweet- 
ness? None of Signor Galgani's other children 
was so charming in person and character, none so 
full of unearthly seriousness and dignity of bearing. 
None inspired in him such delight, admiration and 
even wonder as little Gemma. 

We do not wonder that Gemma's brothers and 
sisters were not jealous, as children are wont to 
be. They were too well convinced of her worth, 
too full of the same love for her to resent their 
parents partiality. Therefore it seems entirely true 
to say, that neither the holy mother nor the devout 
father, nor even both together were the focus of 
the family union and affection; rather it was angelic 
little Gemma, still an infant lately carried in her 
mother's arms. 

And Gemma — shall she not rejoice ? Shall she 
not take a childish complacence in such devotion? 
Rather she weeps and pleads with her father not 
to give her any marks of his preference. What 
more natural for a doting parent, who has a saint 
for his child, than to bestow caresses upon her. But 
he never succeeded in doing so. Gemma not only 
remonstrates, but resists, "Am I not your father?" 
he would say to her. "Yes; but, Papa, do not touch 
me. I do not want to be touched by anyone." 
Signor Galgani, we are told, wept with joy at this 
evidence of such saintly dispositions in his child. 

That young cavalier cousin, seated upon his 
horse standing at the gate, had a novel experience. 
Having forgotten something, he called to Gemma 
to bring it to him. No doubt in his mind that she 
would do it. But such charming grace in the doing 
was irresistible. Could any stalwart cousin do 
otherwise than pat her on the cheek? Much less 
could he forget the manner in which his expression 
of appreciation was received. He was repulsed 
with such impetuous firmness, that in a twinkle of 
an eye he was sprawling in the dust at the feet 
of his horse. The injuries he afterwards nursed 
must have taught him caution in bestowing his 
caresses on Gemma. 

TGNOR GALGANI removed his family 
to Lucca because of the better opportuni- 
ties there afforded for the education of 
his children. Gemma was but two years 
old, when with two brothers and a sister, she was 
sent as a day scholar to a private school kept by 
two estimable ladies, Emilia and Elena Vallini. 
The same qualitites that endeared her to her family, 




THE + SIGN 



made her a favorite with all at school. , Her pre- 
cociousness proved that her parents made no mis- 
take in sending her to school so young. In fact it 
soon became known that she was blessed with 
unusual mental gifts. Her mistresses have left it on 
record that she quickly memorized all the prayers 
the children were accustomed to say, though it 
would take a half hour to recite them together. She 
learned with ease whatever was taught; and found 
no difficulty in mastering certain branches that 
seemed rather beyond the capacity of even older 
children. 

Teachers naturally like a bright pupil, but 
Gemma was especially dear because of the beauti- 
ful qualities of her heart and soul. Though of a 
lively disposition, she was always diligent and 
exact, and seldom needed correction. But when she 
was corrected for the little faults natural in a child 
of such tender age, one word was enough. She 
received praise and blame with an angelic com- 
posure, that was beautified by the delightful smile 
with which both were received. She was never 
seen to give expression to bursts of anger or of 
childish caprice. In a word there were so many 
beautiful qualities in Gemma, her conduct was al- 
ways so exemplary that her mistresses were con- 
vinced that she had come to the use of reason long 
before the usual age. 

In fact it was apparent even from her earliest 
years that Gemma was no ordinary child and that 
God had "marked her for His own." Such was her 
sweetness and seriousness, and even dignity, that 
she appeared to be an angel in human form who 
had taken up abode in the large family — five boys 
and three girls — with which God had blessed the 
devout Galganis. The sacred water of baptism 
would seem not only to have removed the stain 
of original sin, but also to have healed its wounds. 
The innocence of her soul seemed to beam from 
her white brow, the pallor of which was heightened 
by her jet black hair and her dark luminous eyes. 
The engaging beauty of her countenance when lit 
up by the sweet smile natural to her, endowed her 
with charm that seemed altogether divine. 

Meantime Signora Galgani's malady had pro- 
gressed to such a critical point that the children 
were withdrawn from school. Though confined 
to her bed Signora Galgani's anxiety for her 
children's spiritual education increased, because 
she knew that her time was short. She prepared 
them all for confession, although some were scarce- 
ly six years of age. She was particularly delighted 
with Gemma. How carefully she examined her 
conscience, and how bitterly the dear chid lamented 
the faults she felt she had committed against the 
good God. 

It was the earnest wish of the Signora Galgani 
to have her Gemma confirmed and thus to entrust 
her into the keeping of the Holy Spirit. Gemma 
was judged worthy even at the age of seven to 
receive this great sacrament. Her mother instructed 



her with great care, and also engaged the services of 
the Sisters of Christian Doctrine to supplement her 
own efforts. Gemma was confirmed on May 26th, 
1885, in the Basilica of St. Michael in Foro. 

Gemma needed the strength this Holy Sacra- 
ment gives, for the great trial that was in store for her. 
When the malady, from which her mother suffered, 
was recognized as consumption, by the advice of 
the physicians, who feared contagion, the children 
were forbdden entrance into the sick-room. This 
was a great privation to Gemma, who pleaded so 
earnestly that an excepton was made in her favor. 
She tells us how she was occupied during these 
visits. "I drew near to mamma's pillow and we 
prayed." Later on Gemma bitterly regretted her 
importunity in this mattter, thinking it was the result 
of caprice and self-will. 

How could such a child bear to be separated 
forever on earth from this beloved mother. Besides 
giving her the grace through Confirmation to support 
this trial, God also ordained that she should have 
all the merit of a sacrifice wholly voluntary. After 
the ceremony of Confirmation, Gemma with those 
who accompanied her, remained to hear another 
Mass in thanksgiving. It is better to give in her own 
words what happened. "I was hearing holy Mass 
as well as I could, praying for mamma, when all at 
once a voice said to me : 'Wilt thou give me thy 
mamma?' 'Yes,' I answered, 'providing thou takest 
me also.' 'No,' said the voice, 'give me thy mamma 
unreservedly. For the present thou must remain 
with thy father ; I will take thy mother from thee to 
heaven.' I was obliged to answer, 'Yes,' and as 
soon as Mass was over I hastened home." The 
poor child feared, perhaps, that her dear mother 
would die before she got there. 

When Gemma reached home, her mother was 
dying. She knelt beside her bed, praying and 
weeping as if her heart would break. Signor 
Galgani feared that the child would die before her 
mother. She was therefore removed to her Aunt 
Helen Landi's at S. Gennaro. Afterwards Signora 
Galgani rallied somewhat, and lingered for a few 
months longer; then relapsing, she rapidly grew 
worse, and died Sept. 19, 1886. 

This loss was a crushing sorrow to Gemma, bet- 
ter imagined than described. In the death of her 
mother, she had sacrificed all that she held dearest 
on earth. "Who will now teach me," she was heard 
to lament, "who will now teach me to love Jesus." 
Gemma could declare that her mother was her first 
teacher in the knowledge and love of God and 
divine things. 

Though her mother's death was a great cross 
to her, Gemma's resignation was a source of wonder 
and admiration to all. Gemma knew by divine 
revelation that her mother had exchanged a place 
of suffering and trial for the Crown of Eternal glory, 
that she had merited by her holy life. She was 
too well aware of the benefits of a sainted mother's 
prayers to wish that her exile had been prolonged. 



A Galakad of the North 

Gabriel Francis Powers 



V^^^^^IiE faint sound, like a muffled knock, 
A <^~>k came at the door again. The wood- 
■ | man took hi s PiP e from his mouth, 

^L^ M and turned, from the ten-days-old paper 
^^^l^r he was reading, to listen. The woman, 
busy with the child in her lap, had not even heard. 
Beside the fireplace, in the glow of the fire, a curly- 
headed small boy was singing lustily, keeping time 
with his tin cup and a spoon. "Ta, ta, ra-ra, 
ta tah". . . 

"Stop your noise, Jimmy!" 

The man turned again to listen. He was quite 
young, barely thirty, of medium height, with a lean, 
keen face, eyes of steel blue, and the clean, ener- 
getic, elastic movements of one who lives out-of- 
doors. 

One of those snow-storms which sweep down 
upon the mountain, even in July, was noisy with 
gusts and soughing of pines and cedars around the 
house, but the trained ear of the hunter had detected 
another sound. "Can't be nobody outside," he ex- 
plained to his wife, "and yet I heard a scuffling." 

"You're dreaming, Dermot. Who'd be coming 
up here, and in the snow?" 

"I know who it is, Daddy! It's the baby bear. 
Him is hungwy and wants his bwead and milk, he 
does!" 

The woodman opened the door. 

Outside was a dumb figure, motionless, the head 
wrapped in a muffler, the face dead white. The 
hands clung to the door-post. Sharp, icy snow whip- 
ped into the cabin. 

"Come in, man, come in!" There was no an- 
swer. The figure, which some stark, subconscious 
power kept upright, was as though it had been 
frozen stiff where it stood. 

The vigorous arms of the forester shot out, and 
with quick force brought it in, laid it flat, and, un- 
ceremoniously, with a fist full of snow, proceeded 
to rub that face so ghastly in its waxen pallor. The 
eyes looked at him, but gazed, as though death had 
already entered in. 

The young man worked almost with fury: 
"Take off his shoes, Mary, and get me some ice- 
water." The woman, calm, yet with anguish in her 
expression, obeyed. 

"He aint going to die, Dermot?" . . . 

"I d'no . . . seems pretty far gone . . . Jimmy boy, 
kneel down and ask God to let this man live." 

Jimmy tumbled to his knees, and squatting, 
with two round blue eyes fixed upon his father's 
face, prayed aloud in emphatic tones : "O God, 
please let this man what was out in the snow, and 
got cold, and wasnt the baby bear, be alive as 
Daddy says . . . And make me a good boy. Amen." 



He ended with an elaborate Sign of the Cross, 
begun carefully at the left shoulder, and made with 
the left hand. 

The man upon the ground moved his head 
and sighed. The woodman fetched more snow. 
Presently, over the blue lips, came the faintest pos- 
sible sound of a human voice: "Where am I?" 

The woman answered. Laying a comforting 
hand upon the limp arm, she said: "Don't worry, 
you are with friends." 

The stranger turned his head to glance at her: 
"Who are you?" 

"Just Mary," and she laughed a little, happily. 

"Ah, Mary, I am so glad; I had forgotten you 
were there." 

Then he looked, still wondering, at the fine 
young face of the woodman bending over him. "I 
know you very well," he murmured. "I have often 
seen you at the Communion rail." 

Husband and wife glanced at one another, 
mystified. 

"I never left the mountain, sir, except to go to 
France." 

"I have been walking in the cold and the dark 
so long ... I don't remember very well." Presently 
he made a determined effort to raise himself. "I 
must be going on. I have to be in Valley Mill by 
Sunday. This is Friday, is it not?" 

"No, sir, Saturday." 

"Saturday? . . . Why where have I been! Are 
you sure it's Saturday?" 

"Positive!" 

The stranger struggled to get upon his feet, 
and fell back dizzily. "I guess it's weakness, I have 
not eaten since Thursday." 

The housewife got to her feet quickly and 
went out. 

"And you've bin on the mountain all this time?" 

"I fell in a crevice once, I don't know how long 
I was there — but it -was the wind that finished me. 
Maybe you know what the wind is like up there? 
I was so near over the brink of a precipice that I 
don't know myself what saved me." 

"Take the coffee now and a bite of bread; it 
won't hurt you! Supper will be ready before long." 

"Thanks, friends, you are very good to me, ar.d 
I won't forget it. After supper I must be going on." 

"You had best wait for the morning light, sir. 
The mountain is full of pitfalls in the dark, and 
its very hard to find the paths in the snow. It's 
lucky for you that you have no baggage to carry." 

"Lucky? Between yesterday and today I lost 
a pack that I would not have taken ten thousand 
dollars for. And I've got to go look for it, or it's 
no use for me to go on." 



THE 1* SIGN 



"What are you selling?" 

"Nothing; I'm a priest, a missionary. And all 
that I need to say Mass is in that valise." 

"We're Catholics ourselves, Father. Of Father 
Francis' parish." 

"I don't know why, but I felt sure you were 
Catholics. And I was sent down last month to help 
Father Francis. Some parish he has! Mountains, 
valleys and plains, ten thousand square miles of it, 
and only God's holy Name to keep him on horse- 
back or in a rattletrap Ford. What's your name, 
neighbor?" 

"Dermot Healy, sir." 

"A woodsman, I take it?" 

"Yes, sir, and guide." 

"The Lord directed my footsteps . . . Would you 
be willing to help me look for my baggage and then 
show me the way over the mountain?" 

"That I will, Father!" 

"God bless you, boy! I'll hear your confes- 
sions before we go to bed." 

"How often does the priest get around?" 

"About every three months, sometimes its four 
if the roads are bad." How did you come to lose 
your baggage?" 

"I'll tell you. You see that I am hatless? Well, 
the wind took all I had. I was sitting down eating 
my lunch in a place that I thought sheltered, when 
the wind suddenly rose and started to blow a gale. 
I had no idea it could be so terrific! My hat and 
my thermos bottle went like straws, and before I 
could catch the pack which I had rested against a 
tree-trunk, it started to go down hill in leaps and 
bounds. I ran forty or fifty yards, striving to catch 
it, but right in front of my eyes it was whirled over 
the edge of a ravine, and the snow which had just 
commenced prevented my seeing further. On top 
of that, I lost my way." 

"Could you give me any idea of where you 
were at the time?" 

"I can tell exactly where I stopped for lunch, 
and the spot wasn't far from there. There is a small 
stream, three or four juniper trees in a group, and a 
towering rock with the initials A. C. S., and a date 
scratched on it." 

"Steel's camp! I know it well. He was hunt- 
ing here the year before we went into the war." 

"And you'll take me there first thing in the 
morning?" 

"I surely will. I guess an outfit for Mass like 
that is worth a lot of money?" 

"This one isn't worth so very much; its old and 
shabby, but we can't have Mass without it. It holds 
a little crucifix and candlesticks, the vestment and 
cruets, all in the smallest possible space. Then an 
altar-stone that it takes a bishop to bless and con- 
secrate; a round gilded plate we call a paten for the 
sacred Host, and a chalice that has held the blood of 
Christ. Think of all that lost somewhere up on the 
mountain!" .... Let me look out at the weather, 
Dermot." 



He struggled to get up on his feet and fell back : 
"That's curious ... I don't seem to be able to stand. 
It's my knees ... or maybe my spine." 

The young man regarded him with some 
anxiety. "Better get to bed tonight, Father. A 
good rest will set you up." To his wife, an hour 
later, he was whispering. "Unless I'm much mis- 
taken, his two feet are frost-bitten and he won't 
walk for four days." 

His own practise was to rise at dawn. Some 
unwritten law seemed to require it. Every day, 
summer and winter, he must see the sun rise : that, 
solemn, magnificent, awe-inspiring spectacle, spread 
like a sign in the heavens, and new and different 
every day that broke. At that elevation, the cold 
was intense, though the lower world was at summer. 
The morning promised to be clear after the storm. 
It was a marvelous world, somewhat sullen still with 
drifts of clouds clinging mistily to the crags, but 
overhead the air was transparently pure. The 
woodsman prepared his breakfast and ate it without 
haste, then put the coiled rope over his shoulder, 
took his pick, his lunch-box and a change of gar- 
ments, systematically, like the man who means busi- 
ness, and was slipping noiselessly out when his wife 
appeared. "You won't take any risks, Dermot?" 

"Mary dear, you see me go out every day, 
don't you? And wouldn't you say I was an ordinary 
careful man?" 

" 'Taint snowing," she answered, "but somehow 
I feel worried. I coudn't help thinking of poor 
Larry all night." 

"Now, Mary, that's just blamed foolishness. 
Would you leave all those holy things, the stone of 
consecration, the gold plate for the Blessed Sacra- 
ment and the chalice, that, as he says, has held the 
Blood of Christ, would you leave them lie up there 
among the rocks? I tell you frankly that I was 
glad he made me go to confession last night, other- 
wise I would be scared even to touch the outside of 
the pack. "Goodbye, dear . . . and don't worry if 
I'm late." 

Another voice reached the woman from the 
door of the inner room. "Has he gone? . . . Call him 
back quickly, child! I'm going with him. 

He stood in the gray half-light, a plain man in 
a flannel shirt, breeches and leggins; he was a little 
bald and his eyes looked tired, but what amazed the 
woodman was that he was on his feet at all. 

"You're not thinking of going out, Father?" 

"I'm ready to start now if your wife will just 
give me a cup of coffee." 

"But your feet are badly swollen and I bet they 
hurt like the mischief." 

"They do hurt a bit, but I managed to get 
my shoes on." 

"You can't walk like that, Father. Let me go 
look for the valise and I'll come back for you soon 
as I find it." 

"No, sir : You lead right on, Macduff, and the 
tenderfoot follows." 



THE + SIGN 



'5 



In about five minutes they were out. The gray- 
ness of first dawn had lifted and a pale, chilly light 
was all around them. The great peak in the shadow 
of which they lived, towered blue and dreary. The 
east was behind it, and, in that sky, was a burning 
and a stirring, an actual busy, rapid, observable, 
rotatory movement of incandescent cloud-bodies as 
though in that immense, limitless, aerial furnace, 
the fire was being kindled for the new day. The 
snow lay underfoot, virgin, and as yet untouched by 
color; fields of white cloud and mist shut out the 
world below; and only two things were really alive 
and significant, that tremendous, isolated indigo 
peak above them, flinging its fingers of rock toward 
high heaven, and, behind it, those fires, burning, 
spreading, spark-launching, a conflagration which, 
if it lasted more than a few minutes, must consume 
the very sky. 

At the head of the first steep ascent, the mis- 
sionary begged for a short rest. The guide guessed 
that he was in pain and proposed returning but the 
suggestion, in fact the appeal, was made in vain. 
"I shall be all right when I get my second wind." 
So they trudged on again, with the snow up to their 
knees. 

"I thought we would go to Steel's camp first 
and walk back from there," the young man pro- 
posed. "Suits me," his companion answered. "I 
could never find the way myself." 

"And were you going over the mountain like 
that, Father, without a guide? 

"My boy, I'll tell you: its a long story. A 
friend brought me in his own car the first lap of the 
road. Then the mud got so bad I had to leave him 
and the machine in a village of sixty inhabitants 
and go on in the auto-stage. The gasoline gave out 
and the chauffeur advised me to go forward on foot 
since I was in a hurry, for, at about two miles from 
that point, I could connect with another conveyance, 
the wagon that takes the mail to Valley Mill. I 
believe this connection was to be made at a place 
called Fir Crest." 

"Fir Crest is right." 

"It may be, but I never got there. I must have 
walked ten miles instead of two, and round about 
instead of forward for night came on, and then the 
wind and the snow storm, and I have not got to 
Fir Crest yet." 

"You are more than five miles to this side of it 
now." 

Once more they tramped on in that silent, 
sympathetic companionship of the long trails, until 
at length, close on noon, the guide pointed to a 
massy rock ahead of them. "Steel's camp," he said. 

"So it is, and the stream. Let's rest a bit and 
you eat your lunch." 

"There's plenty for two, Father . . . Right here 
is where the timber belt ends!" 

They sat down together, the priest with a Latin 
grace, the woodsman with one of his own that he 
never failed to say, and he said it with reverence: 



"God bless my grub." But they did not sit long. 
There was a thought in the minds of both of them 
that spurred them on. 

"Now, look, Dermot, this is where my hat went 
overboard, and yonder, no, come along the path a 
little, boy, you can't see it from here. Down there, 
to the left, where there is an edge of sheer rock, 
and kingdom-come beneath it, that's where the pack 
went down." 

"You'll never see your pack again, Father " 

"I won't?" 

"You never will. That ravine is from two to 
three hundred feet deep with sheer walls of rock, 
smooth as board, and a torrent at the bottom of it. 

"But I've got to try." 

"Not if you value your life, Father." 

"Couldn't you let me down with your rope and 
let me take a look around for it?" 

"The rope ain't long enough." 

"I've got to try, Dermot. I see some little 
ridges and a bush here and there out of the crevices; 
with the help of the rope I am sure I could do it." 

The young man threw his own belongings upon 
the ground. "If it comes to that, Father, I'm the one 
to go!" 

"Nonsense, you've got a wife and a child. I 
wouldn't think of it. I'm free." 

"Being free don't help much if you can't climb. 
It takes the head and it takes the foot. You'd grow 
dizzy and drop. Sure you would ! . . . And your feet 
are aching you!" He was stripping off his coat. 
"You stay and watch, and pray that I may find it; 
that will help me much more." 

He secured the end of the rope to the trunk of 
a tree, testing it before he threw it over, made a 
pad of his muffler lest the sharp edge of the rock 
saw it, stuck the pick in his belt, and gallantly, 
with laughter upon his face, began the downward 
slide. The rope oscillated, swinging with the weight 
of the body. "Top of the morning to you, Father!" 

"Same to you, boy . . .Careful there now, care- 
ful .. . Go easy" . . . 

The white face, peering over the cliff's edge, 
was far more anxious than the bright, ruddy face 
of the guide. Feats of this kind were not new to one 
born in the mountain. But if anybody had told him 
yesterday that he was going to attempt Knife Gorge, 
he would have thought the speaker insane. The 
place had a bad name, having cost several lives 
already. Little did the stranger know of those too 
daring climbers and naturalists! Healy knew, but 
he went down humming. The face of granite was 
passing, passing before his face, as though there 
would never be an end to its gigantic slab. He came 
to the end of the rope with: "Ho, boy!" ... to him- 
self, and a sudden tightening of grip as it swayed 
and jerked. The thing now, clinging with both 
hands, was to find a footing. Fortunately, the knot 
gave him some support. The watcher overhead 
could not see clearly, but he guessed that he had 
come to the end of the rope. The faintest, furthest 



i6 



THE + SIGN 



sound of a human voice came floating down: "All 
right, Dermot?" . . . and the echoes took hold, even 
of those weak sounds . . ."All right ... all right . . . 
Dermot . . . Dermot" . . ."Yes !" went back the lusty 
shout, so vigorous it carried clear to the top. A 
volley of echoes repeated it. Then silence. He set 
his foot in a crevice and relinquished the rope. Hand 
by hand downward, with almost prehensile feet, on 
the narrowest ledges, clinging to trifling patches of 
green powdered with yesterday's snow, and flat 
against that tremendous adamant expanse of the 
great wall. He tired of it at last, the caution, 
the slowness, and looking over his shoulder decided 
to jump. It was a long flying leap some twenty 
or thirty feet, and a bad landing in the midst 
of brambly shrubs and broken quartz, but at least 
he was there. Rising, short of breath and a little 
stunned, he surveyed this gorge in which he had 
never been before. There seemed no entrance and 
no issue from it anywhere. The huge cliff-sides 
went up sheer, perpendicular, and, if there was the 
smallest inclination, it was outward toward the top. 
The sky was a mere rift of blue between two im- 
mensities of rock. The small torrent poured and 
brawled noisily as it picked its difficult way ob- 
structed by boulders. The guide gazed up and 
down, and across. Not a sign of baggage anywhere. 
"The chances are," he soliloquized, "that it broke in 
the fall, and that the stream swallowed the things 
all up." He tried to look into the water, but the 
foam made it impossible to see. Stepping from 
rock to rock, he endeavored to cross over, but in the 
very midst fell, a hard, sharp, unexpected fall — 
upon a stone slippery as glass, and the thick, warm 
trickle from his forehead, told him he was cut. His 
handkerchief, confirmed the information, but he 
kept on, too eagerly bent upon his task to heed so 
slight a wound. No, there was no valise here. He 
walked, or scrambled, some thirty or forty yards 
along the stream-bed, searching diligently as he 
went, and became convinced that no parcel was' 
there. Then he waded into the ice-cold water, 
searching and probing that too, and at length made 
up his mind that the quest was vain. "But its 
got to be here, its got to be here," he raged, baffled 
and furious at the idea of giving up. And once 
more he began to search the banks, going in the 
opposite direction. As he lifted his eyes, they 
chanced to alight upon a dwarfed tree, growing" 
hardily out of a crack in the granite, and some dark 
object hidden among the branches caught his at- 
tention. Could it be the package? Or was it 
merely a bird's nest, or blackened foliage? He 
drew near, scanning it carefully. Too large for a 
nest . . . solid . .it was certainly an unfamiliar object 
in the branches of a tree. And as he drew nearer 
and got a better view, he saw quite distinctly that 
it was that object of his desires, a traveller's pack! 
For a moment he was almost beside himself with 
joy; then came the question how to reach it. It 
hung, seventy or eighty feet above his head, tanta- 



lizingly, among the scrawny boughs, against an 
implacably smooth wall. He stood and looked at it. 
There was only one thing to do, and that was to 
climb for it. He could no longer see his companion; 
by now he had travelled perhaps fifty yards up 
stream; and the watcher, gazing in vain over the 
cliff's edge, could no longer see the figure which was 
hidden by a jutting vertical ridge. Consumed with 
anxiety, the older man kept pacing back and forth 
the path at the edge of the chasm, and praying 
desperately that no harm might befall the brave 
lad whom he had unwillingly allowed to expose 
himself to this danger. The agony of self-reproach 
was added now to the horror of fear. 

Dermot, using hands and feet, and with his pick 
slung behind him, had begun the perilous ascent. 
At every step he was obliged to pause and consider, 
and look where he would next place his foot. He 
was extraordinary calm, as men often are in great 
peril, with mind keen, and heart resolute upon his 
undertaking. His hands, spread upon the granite 
surface, felt for and found inequalities almost in- 
visible to the eye, and yet an assistance to him in 
that difficult situation. His shoe tip, or the side 
edge of the sole, rested upon almost imperceptibly 
narrow ridges, mere wrinkles in the face of stone. 
Once, seeing nothing above him, he felt for his pick 
and gently, with infinite caution, broke a tiny dent 
in the rock. It did not respond as ice does, but he 
succeeded in breaking away enough to give him a 
tiny foothold; then another in the same slow, labori- 
ous way, and up again. How terrible! And how 
precarious! Could he ever make it? And would 
it not be better to go back to where the rope hung, 
where there seemed to be more scrub growth, move 
the rope, and try to reach the package from above ? 
Ay, but if the rope fell short, then the face of the 
rock which was just as smooth above as below the 
dwarfling tree, would be even harder to travel in the 
descent. The climber rested a moment, his fore- 
head leaning against the rock. There was some- 
thing up there, dangling among the branches, for 
which the missionary had said he would not take 
ten thousand dollars. What would he, Dermot 
Healy, be willing to give for that golden cup which 
his hands were not worthy to carry? The humility 
of the young man's heart was faith, tremendous 
faith, and adoration of what the Cup had held. 
"Would you leave all those holy things to lie up 
there among the rocks?" he had asked his wife, 
and he asked himself the same question now. It 
was in great lowliness of spirit that he went forward 
once more. "I am not worthy to touch them, as it 
is!" A little higher was a small ledge. He reached 
it and paused again to breathe, with arms extended, 
flat against the bosom of the rock. Then on again, 
his muscles aching from the mere strain of the posi- 
tion, and his finger-tips, his nails even, called upon 
to support him. And above him loomed endlessly 
the adamant surface of granite. He felt himself 
tremble a little and grow dizzy. Was he going to 



THE 1* SIGN 



faint? He had never done such a thing in his life, 
and had always esteemed the weakness womanish 
but this cloudiness of vision, this nausea! He 
closed his eyes and rested once more. If he let go, 
he must fell. Courage, only a few feet more now, 
and he could touch it! There it was, just above him, 
he could see it plainly. If he could but reach it! 
He was praying now, eager and fearful that at the 
very last he might fall. A large parcel, wrapped 
in waterproof cloth, bound around with thin cord, 
and over that again with straps. He leaned toward 
it and the very rock seemed to grow more friendly, 
warmer, as though it were trying to support him. 
Could he carry it ? Could he secure it, or would it 
be best to drop it? Then he observed that the 
straps formed loops; it had been carried haversack 
fashion, on the missionary's back; and turning 
slightly with infinite caution, he passed one arm 
into the further loop, holding fast by the fibrous 
trunk of the tree. Even then he did not feel that he 
had secured it, or that he was safe himself. A jerk 
might cause it to fall to the ground, or unbalance 
him. Clinging hard to the boughs, he allowed the 
weight of the pack to depend from one shoulder 
and, with lightning quickness, thrust the left arm 
through the second loop. The settling of the sack 
had the expected pull and he held fast. He shut his 
eyes, breathed as deep as he dared, and said : "Thank 
God!" Then suddenly, sweeping over him as the 
realization of a thing for which he was totally un- 
prepared, came the thought that he must retrace 
his way; seek with his feet for the invisible foot- 
rests, go down with arms extended and gripping 
hands, and the added weight upon his back. The 
thing was impossible! He had not been climbing 
for twenty years in vain. He knew that with 
infinite labor and pain the ascent was possible, 
where sometimes the descent meant certain death. 
How had he ever been so insensate as to suppose 
he could do what his knowledge of the mountain 
told him very clearly he could not do! ... A genuine 
trembling seized him, and he felt the sweat drops 
forming upon his forehead. Motionless, he stood, 
and the certainty that he must drop and die, or live 
on, a broken cripple, paralized his whole frame. He 
clung there shaking so that the leaves moved and 
trembled under his clutch. Then the lilting refrain 
of one of those songs of France, drifted, mocking 
through his brain. 

"What's the use of worrying? it never was 

worth while, 
Just pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag, 
And smile, smile, smile!" . . . 

He lifted his head and began to feel for the next 
foot-rest. God would not let him die. Mary needed 
him and the kid needed him. The priest was up 
there in the path, praying for him. And this that 
he bore upon his back was a something that the very 
angels of heaven would help him to sustain." How 
hard the little ledges were to find! . . . but slow does 



it, and easy does it . . . There is another! No, wrong 
guess, he can't get his foot on that. Ah, yes, there 
it is! Now another. . . Where have they all gone to? 
He found a few, and made a few, and he got up by 
them. Now they have all disappeared and he finds 
nothing. Once more he pauses and his foot gropes. 
This time he cannot find it. And his arms are so 
tired, the muscles "ache like toothache." It is no 
use; he might as well give up; the thing is impossi- 
ble. And the agony of his mind is terrible as he 
realizes that the measure of his life will be the 
few short moments he is able to hang there cramped 
and straining. Desperately he clings. And then, 
comforting him, comes the remembrance of a pious 
mother's teaching in childhood. When he was in 
any trouble or difficulty he must always say a "Hail 
Mary" and the holy Mother of God would infallibly 
help him. He tried it now, with closed eyes, his 
face against the stone. And then once more reached 
out and felt, and felt, until his foot found the 
infinitesimal projection. He breathed a deep sigh 
and tried once more. "Might as well die moving," 
the thought made him quite cheerful, "Sure, might 
as well die moving!" and found another cranny. 

Suddenly, something struck him from above. 
He recoiled in horror, almost losing his footing, a 
something dangling and serpentine like a snake that 
is darting to bite. Then he looked again and laugh- 
ter came to his lips. "O you man up there, God 
bless and love you!" 

It was the rope. The watcher had found him at 
last and understood. With a gasp of relief, the 
young man laid hold of it. First he secured it 
around his chest under his arms, then began to haul 
himself up by its assistance, seeking every ledge, 
every crevice as before, to plant his feet; but 
mounting hand-over-hand, with all his weight upon 
the rope. From time to time, he felt a strong pull 
so that he knew the man above was trying to hoist 
him, but he was too much accustomed to help him- 
self to allow any other person to bear the burden of 
succoring him unasssisted. Even at the best, the 
ascent seemed very long and very slow, that inevi- 
table face of granite, passing, passing, in dread 
monotony before his face. Would it never end? 
Then he raised his eyes once more, and, just above 
him, was the lip of the chasm. At that point a sud- 
den fear seized him that his rescuer would let go, 
and that he would plunge into the abyss. He held 
his breath, so imminent, so deadly the danger 
seemed. Perhaps at the very last, the rope sawing 
over the sharp edge of the rock would break. . . . 
But no, it is his own right hand that reaches out, 
straining to clutch the brink, and the left follows it; 
and he is in the act of hauling himself up over the 
edge, when those two strong arms enfold him and 
lift him bodily in an embrace that crushes him 
against the heaving chest. "Boy, boy . . . you are 
hurt .. your head is bleeding! My God, why did I 
let you do it." . . . 

.... "Tis nothing . . skin . . ." But for a moment 



THE f SIGN 



he lies flat upon the ground breathing hard, like a 
swimmer that is exhausted, and glad to close his 
eyes. 

The older man kneels to wipe those dark 
streaks from the brow and cheek. Then, suddenly, 
with the joy of a child, the mountaineer sits up. 
"Here it is, Father". . he cries, "your chalice . . . I've 
got it!". ..And folding his arms about the shabby 
pack, he presses it close against his heart . . ."Your 
chalice — that has held the Blood of Christ." 

Still kneeling, with his two knees in the snow, 
the missionary drew the bundle gently away from 
those tense hands, spread over it so eagerly every 
sinew in them was taut. "Give it up to the priest 
now, Dermot, though God knows, he is not more 
worthy than you to carry it; but the Blessed Sacra- 



ment is inside the pack. I had not told you : I did 
not dare to tell you. Father Francis advised me to 
take it for the sick he frequently finds upon his long 
rounds, and I had it around my neck as usual in the 
burse. The string broke the other day when we 
were struggling with the machine in the mud, and 
I almost lost it. So I put it inside the valise think- 
ing it would be safer. That is what you brought up 
that frightful wall." Then he laid his hand upon 
the wounded head and the young man saw, in the 
depths of the grey eyes, the unspeakable gratitude 
of the priest for reverence shown his Eucharistic 
Lord. — "Boy, you can remember all your days, and 
when you are dying you can remember, that once 
you risked your life for the sake of a Mass kit . . . 
and God put the Body of Christ into your hands." 



Txtfo Timely Antidotes 



A Clean Heart 



XN the recent drive for the Catholic press 
the need of an antidote against misrepre- 
sentation and calumny was emphasized. 
As great is the need, if not greater, of an 
antidote against the bare-faced immorality that 
boldly stares from out the printed page. If through 
the campaign of vilification some non-Catholics are 
kept out of the Church, many who are already within 
her fold are exposed to the loss of faith by the 
rampant immorality which is photographed and 
published in our daily prints. 

A metropolitan daily carries the emblazoned 
boast: "The Newspaper of a Million Homes." 
Can it be that this enormous circulation has been at- 
tained through a correct appraisal of the public taste 
by its pandering editors? Are we to conclude that 
the reading public is for the most part composed 
of morbid sensualists and avid sensationalists? 



Rather, we should affirm that in their feverish 
ambition to build-up and maintain a huge circulation 
the editors have wantonly betrayed a sacred trust 
by deliberately and unblushingly catering to all 
that is base in human nature. To this purpose, in- 
genious and fake illustrations flaunt the religion and 
fire the inflammable imagination of the reader. 

Lest this all too crude violation of public pro- 
priety and decency should defeat their purpose, the 
editors intersperse their pages with some valuable 
information and instructive articles, the while they 
justify the 'rot' by an appeal to high-sounding mo- 
tives. 

The clean-minded reader will not be deceived 
by such an appeal. The Catholic will remember 
that "the carnal man perceives not the things that 
are of God," and that only "the clean of heart shall 
see God." 



The Sacred Thirst 




'N American audience would be much start- 
led to-day on hearing a preacher announce a 
sermon on temperance. Why try to interest 
•them in the 'dead and buried'? Has not 
the parching Volstead Act succeeded where moral- 
ists for ages failed? The familiar talk on tem- 
perance may no longer be heard in the land, but that 
has not come about through the conviction that the 
abuse of drink has been destroyed. Prohibition has 
been on trial and furnishes another proof of the 
homely truth that you cannot legislate men into 
virtue. To be effective, Prohibition must not over- 
look the personal equation. Its steam-roller method 
and slashing decree open the way to a sanctimonious 
hypocrisy and pussy-foot subterfuge. It brandished 
its club and, forsooth, bar-lights went out, mirrors 
and brass-rails were scrapped. But, alas!, it did not 
extinguish the thirst or eradicate the craving. What 



the Volstead Act buried with official pomp, 
avaricious cunning uncerimoniously digs up. You 
can whip the huge elephant into servility, for the 
Almighty has not endowed him with the faculty 
into servility for the Almighty has not endowed him 
with the faculty of free-will and choice. It is just 
this faculty in man which must be approached and 
which Prohibition evidently fails to consider. Often- 
times men, from selfish motives, or in the consequent 
disgust of intemperance, have resolutely sworn-off. 
The more compelling are the religious motives — the 
sinfulness, the scandalous example, the crushing 
injustice of intemperance. More powerful than all 
else to the Christian should be appeal of the Cruci- 
fied. How many a weak mortal has at last strength- 
ened his palsied will and found peace by pleadging 
himself to total abstinence in honor of the Sacred 
Thirst! 



Impressions of a Present-Da}? Calvarj) 



ff 



BERNARDIME DUSCH. C. P. 



UMORS of the wonders occurring at 
Limpias had reached us before we set 
sail, in April 1920, on our maiden 
voyage to the Eternal City; ample and 
graphic accounts were given us while 
we were in Rome by a party of Spanish priests who 
had actually witnessed them. These thrilling tales 
— no longer to be called in question — fired us with 
the ambition to see for ourselves this new evidence 
of God's immediate dealings with men. 

So, toward nightfall on June 23, two months 
later, the train from Bilbao brought us to Limpias, 
a village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, 
charmingly situated on the northern coast of Spain. 
No throbbing industries pulsate within its drowsy 
limits. Hidden away among the spurs of the 
Pyrenees, this village, until but yesterday, was 
unheralded and unknown. We were not surprised on 
our arrival to find the spot so unpretentious. Jesus, 
the Carpenter's Son of Nazareth, is wont, when He 
has riches to disburse, to seek out places of no ac- 
count and shunned of men, that so His mercies 
may shine forth the more. Least of the villages of 
the Spanish domain, from out of Limpias were to 
come marvels unsurpassed in the annals of Chris- 
tendom. Lifted out of her lowliness, she was to be 
crowned with an aureola of glory, and to command 
the reverence of the world. 

As the village boasts of no hotel, we arranged 
for a night's lodging in a private dwelling, after 
which we made our way without delay to the church, 
there to do homage to the far-famed "El Santo 
Christo de la Agonia" — the Crucifix which has 
brought world-renown to this secluded hamlet. The 
church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, serves as 
parish church for the neighboring district. The 
present structure, according to best calculation, was 
erected in the fifteenth century. It stands at a 
distance from the village on a hillside; encircling 
trees and shrubs relieve an unattractive exterior. 

Within the church are five wooden alters each 
delicately carved and heavily guilded. In a niche 
over the tabernacle on the high alter is a Calvary 
group, also wrought in wood, depicting the Sorrowful 
Mother and St. John standing on either side of a 
cross, which rises to a height of more than eight 
feet, whereon hangs the riven body of the Savior. 
This is the miraculous Crucifix, — the cynosure of 
every eye. The corpus is six feet in length and 
portrays the Crucified in the throes of lingering 
death. The head is thrown back, the eyes are 
raised heavenward, the whole telling of mortal 
anguish and of intense prayerful pleading. To such 
as are of the Faith, it is enough to behold this 
Crucifix to have the heart melt as wax. It may well 
be that the more than human expression of the 
Sacred Countenance is in some way due to the 



many extraordinary transformations it has under- 
gone during the last two years. 

The only trustworthy information concerning the 
origin of this Crucfix is, that previous to its being 
erected in the church of Limpias, it was in the 
possession of a merchant of Cadiz, a city in the 
south of Spain, where it adorned his domestic 
chapel. Certain priests and bishops, chancing to 
come upon the Crucifix, thought that it ought to be 
venerated in a public church. The owner, acting 
upon this pious suggestion, determined to present 
it to the parish church of his native town, Limpias; 
whither it was transferred in 1749, one hundred 
and seventy years before the first miraculous mani- 
festation in 1919. Of the artist who executed this 
exquisite work nothing authentic is known. Many 
legends there are, indeed, clinging to this now cele- 
brated antique, but these cannot be substantiated 
by historical proof. For those one hundred and 
seventy years it reposed, shrouded in obscurity, in 
the little church of St. Peter, without attracting more 
attention than do the other beautiful and realistic 
figures of the Crucified of which Spain has many. 
But since that eventful March 30, 1919, when the 
Sacred Countenance became, for the first time, a 
living image of Christ's agony, it has been the focus 
of an ever-widening interest. 

Remarkable manifestations on the part of the 
Crucifix have been accompanied by still more re- 
markable effects worked in the consciences of be- 
holders. A new spirit of fervor has freshened in 
the souls of the once tepid inhabitants, and the 
Holy Christ of the Agony is become the axis 
around which the spiritual life of the village now 
revolves. Grace has fallen plentifully upon the 
constantly increasing influx of visitors who have 
sought out this remote shrine; both upon such as 
were guided hither by a propulsive faith, and who 
have gazed with wistful gratitude upon the Holy 
Christ, as likewise upon sinful calloused souls whom 
an idle curiosity or some less worthy motive has 
brought within the transforming influence of the 
wondrous Crucifix. Instinctively men feel that 
effects, so multitudinous and astounding as are 
authoritatively attributed to the Lympian Crucifix, 
are not due to any innate worth had by a mere 
inanimate figure, however inspiring in its conception 
or artistic in its workmanship such an object may 
be, but must inevitably emanate from some higher 
source. 

ON entering the church we knelt for fome 
little time before the main altar absorbed 
in prayerful contemplation of the most 
expressive Crucifix that it has ever been 
our privilege to gaze upon. While kneeling thus, 
we were prenetrated with an unwonted feeling of 
awe and reverence mingled with deep confidence. 



THE 1* SIGN 



A consciousness of a very close proximity to the 
supernatural rested upon us. 

Having satisfied our devotion, we entered the 
sacristy to arrange for mass on the morrow. Here 
we met the village pastor, Don Eduardo Miqueli 
Gonzalez, a n 
aged priest of 
over seventy 
years. He re- 
ceived us with 
true Spanish 
cordiality and 
very graciously 
acceded to our 
long cherished 
desire to say 
mass at the 
high altar — one 
of us at five 
o'clock, the 
other later. It 
fell to my lot to 
say the early 
mass. The next 
morning I of- 
fered the Holy 
Sacrifice at the 
shrine but saw 
nothing unusu- 
al. Twelve or 
fifteen Vincen- 
t i a n Fathers 
from a nearby 
college follow- 
ed me, cele- 
brating at the 
various altars. 
About eight 
thirty o'clock a 
pilgrimmage of 
five hundred 
arrived from 
Barcelona 
among whom 
were some 
thirty priests. 
They likewise 
said mass, the 
pilgrims receiv- 
ing Holy Com- 
munion. A t 
eleven o'clock 

a solemn high miraculous CRt 

mass began. 

After the gospel one of the visiting priests ascended 
the pulpit and addressed the assembled pilgrims. 
Towards the close of the sermon the preacher turned 
to the Crucifix, beseeching a blessing on the con- 
gregation and on the nation. It was during this 
prayer that many of the faithful present distinctly 
observed the mysterious phenomenon. I was not 



present at the time, but was afterwards informed 
that very many saw the head and eyes of the Christ 
moving as though in agony, and that many of them 
swooned away, while others cried out for mercy, 
all being thrilled with a strange emotion. Short- 
ly after the 
solemn mass 
was over, I met 
one of the 
priests who had 
witnessed the 
miracle. H e 
was visibly 
agitated, and 
still so over- 
wrought as to 
be scarcely a- 
ble to narrate 
what he had 
seen. 

Lunch over, 
we returned a- 
g a i n to the 
church. The 
pilgrims were 
reciting in com- 
mon the rosary 
and litanies, 
and occasional- 
l y singing 
hymns. At two 
o'clock, as ac- 
curately as I 
can recall, 
there was a 
sudden, un- 
looked for 
commotion i n 
the congrega- 
tion. The eyes 
of the figure 
were moving to 
and fro. A 
salvo of aston- 
ishment sound- 
ed throughout 
the church. 
This time, I 
too, saw the 
wonder. It is 
quite impossi- 
ble for me to 
CIFix of UMPIAS analyse fully 

the emotions I 
then experienced. I felt a great longing steal upon 
me that the whole world might see what I saw, and 
might come to realize, as I then realized, the ach- 
ing craving of the Crucified that all men might be- 
lieve in His immeasureable love for them and 
might profit by the fruits of His redeeming sacrifice. 
The movement of the eyes lasted for a considerable 




THE + SIGN 



spectacle 



period and was witnessed by most of the pilgrims 
present, the storm of whose vehemently agitated 
emotions was long in subsiding. At length, in mid- 
afternoon, we quitted the scene of this soul-stirring 
spectacle to continue on our journey. 

'Y fellow-traveler, the Very Reverend Father 
Clement Lee, C. P., of Holy Cross Pre- 
paratory College, Dunkirk, N. Y., confirms 
my experience in the following account. 
"I can never describe adaquately my feelings 
and emotions as I beheld that wooden Crucifix 
hanging over the main altar 
transformed suddenly into 
the living, breathing, life- 
like, body of my Crucified 
Saviour. All I can do is to 
relate, simply and truth- 
fully, what I beheld with 
my bodily eyes. I arrived 
at Limpias about five 
o'clock one Thursday even- 
ing in June, 1920. I went 
immediately to the church 
and saw the crucifix. There 
was nothing out of the 
ordinary about it — just a 
life-size figure of Our Lord 
on the Cross, as may be 
seen in many of our 
churches in this country. 
It hangs on the wall directly 
over the main altar. I 
prayed before it for a long 
time that evening and 
watched it very closely, but 
observed no movement of 
any kind. Next morning I 
had the privilege of cele- 
brating Holy Mass beneath 
it and remained in the 
church afterwards to make 
my thanksgiving. During 
this time the crucifix, while 
satisfying my devotion, for 

it is very beautiful to look at, remained a lifeless 
image. About nine o'clock a pilgrimage arrived 
from Barcelona. There were about three hundred 
pilgrims. They marched in solemn procession from 
the railroad-station to the church. Nearly all were 
fasting, though they had left Bilboa, where they had 
put up for the night, that morning at six o'clock. 
Some of the priests in the party went to the several 
confessionals scattered throughout the church and 
heard confessions; others began the celebration of 
Holy Mass at the side altars. A priest at the main 
altar gave Holy Communion and I observed that 
nearly all the pilgrims received the Sacred Host. 
I scarcely took my eyes from the crucifix during all 
this time and the pilgrims too were all gazing 
intently at it, but nothing extraordinary took place. 
The crucifix was motionless. The solemn pilgrim- 




FUIX FACE VIEW 



age mass began at eleven o'clock. The little church 
was crowded to the doors. The priests, about 
twenty in all, were in the sanctuary. Solemn Mass 
began and went on as usual. After the first Gospel 
a priest ascended the pulpit and delivered the 
sermon in Spanish. I could not understand what 
he was saying, but I could see that his words were 
making a deep impression on his auditors. Pres- 
ently I saw him turn abruptly in the pulpit, and with 
outstretched arms, make an appeal to the crucifix. 
At once there was a great commotion in the church. 
Shouts and shrieks seemed 
to come from every nook 
and corner of the edifice. 
Something like pandemoni- 
um reigned. I became very 
much frightened, for I did 
not know what was happen- 
ing. I could not under- 
stand the cries of the men 
and women about me. I 
was too frightened to think 
of looking at the crucifix 
at that time. I began to 
fear that in the turmoil 
about me some would be 
seriously injured. Some of 
the women fainted. A man 
directly in front of me stood 
with his arms outstretched, 
frantically gesticulating to- 
wards the crucifix and cry- 
ing: "0 Signor! Signor!" 
He fell down in a swoon 
and was carried out by 
some men. The priests in 
the sanctuary stood up on 
the benches and tried to 
quiet the people. After a 
while quiet was somewhat 
restored. The Mass pro- 
ceeded. I knelt down and 
took courage to look 
towards the crucifix. I 
seemed to see a vision. Though I was looking 
directly at the crucifix, I have no recollection now 
of seeing anything else but the head. The arms, 
feet, and trunk were not visible, or at least I did not 
notice them. The head was indeed a living head 
and moved distinctly from side to side very slowly 
and deliberately. Sometimes I could see the full 
face looking directly at me, then the side view with 
the long flowing hair. The face was beautiful but 
very pale. It was not an angry face; the expression 
was one of intense sadness. The eyes were cast 
down but not entirely closed. Time and again I 
watched the bowed head gently sway from right to 
left, and it seemed to me that it turned more to the 
right than to the left. This movement continued 
until after the Elevation of the Mass. After that 
the vision was gone, the crucifix hung before me as 



THE + SIGN 



motionless and lifeless as it had been the evening 
before. Strange to say, I did not feel afraid when 
the head was actually in motion. I had a feeling of 
calm and quiet contentment that I cannot very well 
describe. It was only after the marvel ceased that 
I became nervous and agitated, when I realized that 
I had had the special privilege of seeing the great 
Miracle of Limpias. 

The picture of that beautiful face of my Re- 
deemer will always be deeply imprinted on my 
memory. May it ever serve to make me a better 
Passionist priest and religi- 
ous and more zealous to 
bring many souls to the feet 
of Jesus Crucified." 

QHENOMENA, 
such as here de- 
scribed, cannot 
be easily gain- 
said. It was on March 30, 
1919, at the close of a mis- 
sion given by two Capuchin 
Fathers, Anselmo de Jalom 
and Agatangelo de San 
Miqueli, that, while an in- 
struction was being given 
by the latter, the congrega- 
tion was thrown into panic. 
Expressions of wonder and 
amazement arose from 
every side. From the fren- 
zied exclamations and fran- 
tic gesticulations the prea- 
cher gathered that his au- 
ditors were convinced that 
the Crucifix over the high 
altar was agonizing before 
their very eyes. Persuaded 
that they were the subjects 
of an optical illusion he at- 
:empted to calm them, but 
in vain. Young and old 
persisted in affirming that 
the Figure upon the cross 
had really moved, that the head had swayed, and 
that the eyes had rolled as if in living agony. So 
certain were they of this that later they signified 
their willingness to testify under oath to what they 
had seen. 

For prudent reasons the two missionaries as 
well as the pastor used every endeavor to cover the 
facts. It was not long, however, before the stories 
which had begun to circulate throughout the dis- 
trict reached the sharp ear of the newspapers in 
that locality, so that reporters came swiftly to un- 
earth material so fertile for sensational copy. The 
resultant publicity gave rise to a stream of visitors 
that gathers steady volume in its course. The 
subsequent sphinx-like silence of the Spanish irre- 
ligious press, together with the incredulous, dis- 
cordant voices of the willfully deaf and blind, could 




PROFILE VIEW 



not obstruct the ceaseless onward-flowing current of 
public opinion which carries the fame of Limpias 
unto remotest tribes and peoples. Already Limpias 
is become a household word, and is held in benedic- 
tion by thousands of grateful pilgrims. 

Manifestations alike to those which happened 
during the closing exercises of that memorable mis- 
sion of more than two years ago have often since 
recurred. These have been avouched by simple 
country-folk, by lawyers, by doctors, by scientists, 
by atheists, by leaders of secret societies, by those 
of the household of the 
faith and by such as are 
outside her pale, by men 
high in church and state; 
in short, by friend and foe. 
The marvels vary. The 
corpus, at times, seems a- 
live, when the spectators 
behold the very pangs of 
the dying Christ. Again, 
the sunken eyes turn from 
side to side, now darting a 
piercing look upon a scof- 
fer, now casting a melting 
glance upon some chosen 
soul. Not infrequently, 
the thorn-crowned head 
oscillates; from time to 
time, the cracked and 
fevered lips are seen to 
part, disclosing the mouth 
frothed and bloody. Occa- 
sionally, the ashy counten- 
ance takes on a purplish 
tinge, while oftentimes cold 
perspiration bedews the 
body, or blood issues from 
the open wounds, streaking 
the Sacred Form. Such 
heartrending sights can- 
not but elicite tears. Un- 
believers and sinners re- 
peatedly fall upon their 
knees converted, whilst robust men often faint away. 
The Limpian Crucifix presents certain unique 
features which have given rise to much discussion 
and are still an unsolved riddle to the most pain- 
staking investigators of the facts. 

The manifestitations are irregular. Several 
days may pass during which visitors are doomed to 
leave the church disappointed; at other periods, not 
a day will go by without its averred record of extra- 
ordinary signs and harrowing scenes. By showing 
forth, on occasion, all its singular manifestations 
together, the Figure appears to all present veritably 
to live; or, mayhap, this overwhelming appeal is 
reserved for one only, or but few, among expectant 
hundreds. Sometimes, the congregation sees but 
one such manifestation, perchance, the rolling of the 



THE 1* SIGN 



23 




abysmal eyes, the remembrance of which will haunt 
the beholder throughout life. 

PRUDENT man will naturally demand 
strong proof before crediting happenings 
which transcend common experience. But 
such a man will not deny facts, such as the 
marvels of Limpias, which stand upon irrefutable 
proof. 

A local committee, made up of men of recog- 
nized integrity and ability, received the sworn testi- 
mony of hundreds of eye witnesses, and passed 
upon it favorably. Greater care, perhaps, has never 
been taken to winnow doubtful testimony and to 
secure unimpeachable evidence than here. They 
who deposed on oath, were, for the most part, pro- 
fessional men having a national reputation. Some 
there were who had no religious belief whatsoever; 
others were indifferentists ; while a few were avowed 
atheists. A number of them made no secret of the 
fact that their coming to Limpias was motived by 
cynicism; but having viewed with their own eyes 
what they had meant to impugn, they were forced to 
avow that hearsay had fallen short of reality. 

The Roman ecclesiastical court has appointed 
a further body of learned and fair-minded men, 
which is at present making formal investigation of 
first-hand witness. There is every reason to think 
that the finding of this committee will accord with 
the impartial judgment of the first. 

The fact of these phenomena is beyond cavil. 
The manner in which they were brought about is 
still an open question. A discussion on this point, 
though interesting, would take us too far afield, and 
would be out of harmony with the scope of this 
paper. The settlement in so delicate a controversy, 
as to the mode of these prodigies, were best left in 
abeyance until the rightfully constituted authorities 
have determinately pronounced. 

HOR the Almighty to choose a crucifix of 
wood to make known His power before 
the world is not strange in Him Who put 
a rod into the hand of His servant, Moses, 
whereby mighty signs were wrought before all 
Egypt. What Providential design underlies these 
present-day wonders may be conjectured by con- 
sidering a few incidents casually selected from a 
well-nigh exhaustless store. 

The good pastor, Don Eduardo Miqueli, is our 
surety for the following anecdote, which first ap- 
peared in the Diario de la Rioja. Eighteen young 
women, dressmakers of Santander, came one day on 
a pleasure trip to Limpias. The day was to be 
spent in merry-making in a grove hardby the church. 
A_ dance was to be held in the evening. Little in- 
clined to piety at best, and totally immersed in the 
enjoyment of the moment, the Miraculous Crucifix 
worried these volatile young women not at all. In 
search for a new thrill to stimulate their flagging 
gaiety, they betook themselves to the church to 



glimpse the village curiosity. Besides, to have seen 
a real miracle would bring such a coveted notoriety. 
Boldly they entered the church, and unabashed they 
proceeded to a supercilious scrutiny of the altar- 
piece Suddenly, the Holy Christ turns His 
agonized eyes full upon them, and, presently four- 
teen of the group, as if struck down by an invisible 
hand, fall unconscious to the floor. On recovery, 
all whole-heartedly pleaded pardon, pledging an 
open promise to forsake their loose and shallow life. 
Reluctantly they left the hallowed precincts resolved 
that henceforth their chief concern would be the 
culture of the soul. 

No dance took place that night. 

The experience of Father Anselmo, the Capu- 
chin, during whose sermon the first manifestation 
occurred, is more relevant than the former. For 
over sixty days his "eyes were held" so that his 
credence in the Holy Christ was based solely upon 
hearsay and what he personally saw effected in 
the lives of others. During this time he often visited 
the parish church, for he longed, as he himself 
admits, to behold with his own eyes what countless 
others about him were professing to have seen; 
that so, to the many questions, which quite naturally 
were being daily put to him, he might answer as 
one having authority. He resolved, at all hazards, 
to spend a night alone in the church. Permission 
to carry out his design was readily granted by the 
parish-priest. 

The night of June 2, 1919, was the time deter* 
mined upon. He procured a ladder from the sacris- 
tan to the end that should the privilege be vouch- 
safed him of seeing the Crucifix vivified, he might 
obliterate, once and for all, by the closest possible 
view, any trace of misgiving still lurking in his 
mind. Long had he watched before the electrically 
illuminated Image, when, on a sudden, he was aware 
that the head and eyes were in motion, bespeaking 
the heart-rending anguish of the dying Christ. Still 
distrustful of self and fearing an optical illusion, 
he viewed the figure from divers parts of the church 
and from every angle the amazing spectacle was 
the same. Then, to dispel the last lingering doubt 
as to the actuality of what he saw, he ascended the 
ladder to the niche over the altar, and so stood face 
to face with the animated form of the Savior Cruci- 
fied. 

Thus he relates the sequel. "I no longer beheld 
the figure of wood, but the living Christ in agony, 
I felt as if I myself were about to pass away, and to 
prevent my falling threw my arms around the Savior, 
and so remained, how long I cannot tell, in rapture. 
When I came to myself, I looked up once more at the 
sacred face, and could see naught but the lifeless 
wood." 

In the investigation held on this event, Father 
Anselmo was asked to describe what transpired 
whilst he was in ecstacy. He replied with frank- 
ness, "There are things which human tongue cannot 
utter." Questioned further as to whether these 



24 



THE + SIGN 



wonders were to continue, he answered, "Not only 
will these continue, but you shall hear the Christ 
speak." Again, when the query was put as to the 
significance of so great marvels, he said, "I was 
always under the impression that they portended 
some dire calamity with which God was about to 
discipline the nations because of their abominations ; 
but now I am convinced that they are nothing more 
than another token of God's mercy, Who wishes to 
save men despite their coldness and enmity." 

■^^^^HE authenticated list of acknowledged 
d C~\ favors contains few cures of bodily ills, 
^ L J but the many spiritual blessings accorded, 
^^^ prove that the purpose disclosed by the 
Capuchin missionary is being luxuriantly attained. 
Hardened hearts are touched; the spark of faith 
falls into unbelieving minds, while the dying 
embers of languid faith rekindle into a brightening 
flame; freethinkers are metamorphosed into ardent 
apostles of the Crucified; they who come to scoff, 
remain to pray. 

"By their fruits you shall know them." "Every 
good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree 
bringeth forth evil fruit." This Christ-given criter- 
ion may be applied with the same persuasive force 



to the occurrences at Limpias as when applied by 
the Master to the moral life of individuals. No 
daring fraud, no deliberate deceit, no fervid imagi- 
nation, no unhinged brain, no optical illusion, can 
account for transformations so radical as are effect- 
ed today at Limpias. Indeed, the finger of God is 
here! 

At a time when the nations would get rid of 
Christ Crucified and treat the doctrine of the Cross 
as a worn-out legend; when Governments, inflamed 
by a positive hatred of Him, are striving to blot out 
His very memory; when many of His professed 
followers are tempted to think it the part of pru- 
dence to cloak their allegiance to Him; it would 
seem that Christ Himself has come back, not in 
person, but through a lifeless figure, to preach to 
a gross generation the essential lessons of self- 
abnegation and just dealing; to reveal anew to for- 
getful men the transcendent love that bound Him 
to a tree; to bruit the Cross, to-day as of old, the 
Power of God and the Wisdom of God. 

Persuasive mystery enveloped the Cross on 
Calvary. May the kindred mystery of the Limpian 
Crucifix fit individuals and nations for the saving 
graces of the Crucified! 



Much has been written about the Crucifix of Limpias. This article from the pen of an 
American priest who visited Spain with the sole purpose of studying the Crucifix, will, we trust, 
prove interesting to our readers. We are in receipt of a letter under date of May 10, from the 
Rector of the Passionist Monastery of Santander, a short distance from Limpias, in which he 
writes "On the eighth of this month Limpias was visited by a pilgrimage of 612 persons, more 
than 200 of whom saw the movement of the head and eyes and also the agony of Christ on the 
cross." — Editors. 



Resignation 



COLMAN LADD 



Were God a ruthless reaper 

Rushing through the world, 
By whom both weed and flower 

Beneath his scythe were hurled, 

Then might we stand and question 

His purblind fierce decree, 
And shun it with defiance 

Or bear it mockingly. 

But He who clothes the lily 
And marks the sparrow's fall, 

Who midst all earth's full, loud lament, 
Hears e'en the feeblest call, 



He bids us come in spring-time 
Or in our full-spent years, 

By long decline or sudden blow, 
Despite our present tears. 

Were God to heed the sorrow 

Of parent and of child, 
We reck not what He'd save us for 

Amid the tempest wild. 

Then, let us bide the morning, 
When, wakened from this spell, 

We'll stand together in God's light 
And tell how all went well . 



Were God the world to govern, 
Just by His children's whim. 

Oh, how the wreck of life and love 
Would teach us to trust Him! 



Yourself and the Monies 



Anselm Secor 




"T night, in the theatre district of any 
large city, one's eyes are assailed by a 
brilliance wonderful to behold. Lights 
of every kind abound, and more than 
abound: — lights that twinkle invitingly; 
lights that spell names and do acrobatic feats and 
race in dizzy circles overhead; lights that glitter 
with a splendor outshining the stars and rivalling 
the sun; lights that emulate the rainbow in prismatic 
effect, and burst into bombs of color as gorgeous as 
any pyrotechnic display. All this energy of effort 
is for the purpose of calling our attention to the fact 
that some screen celebrity or other is depicting love 
or adventure, or tearing an emotion to tatters on the 
celluloid strip which ingenious mankind has endow- 
ed with life. 

Do the lights succeed ? It is not hard to find an 
answer. Watch the crowds as they scan, with keen 
interest, the gaudy posters outside the door of the 
theatre; observe the long line of motor-cars parked 
for blocks around the neighborhood ; see the throngs 
wending their way past the urbane doorkeeper, to 
settle themselves in the darkened hall for an hour 
in the land of make-believe, — and you have the best 
kind of evidence of the popularity of the movies. 

The development of the motion-picture is one 
of the marvels of modern industry. Commencing 
in the crudest way, with disconnected episodes as 
its offering and vacant stores as its places of exhi- 
bition, it has grown, with astonishing rapidity into 
an attraction ranking among the foremost, both in 
size and in hold upon the public interest. Its capital 
runs into the hundreds of millions; its popular 
artists receive enormous salaries; its performances 
play, night after night, to packed audiences; its 
theatres, long since discarding the humble nickelo- 
deons of former days, now rival, both in size and in 
splendor, even the most elaborate of legitimate 
playhouses. 

And how fascinating the pictures are! Pictures 
always attract; but when they are cunningly 
blended so as produce life and action, the appeal 
is intensified a hundredfold. They have a variety 
and flexibility impossible in the living performance, 
and consequently, even though deprived of the sup- 
port of the spoken word, they can produce effects 
which are the envy and despair of the stage. The 
wide range of topics is another source of their at- 
tractiveness. The motion-pictures vivify the dry 
chronicles of past centuries, and call forth from their 
musty pages the great characters who have left 
their imprint on the history of the world. They 
present before us the mask-like face of Lincoln, 
seamed with the nation's sorrows; they summon 
Napoleon and Washington and Dante and Caesar 
into our presence; they re-enact the great events of 



dead ages, unrolling, with stately pageant, the bat- 
tles and conquests and discoveries of times long 
since passed away. They call forth from the pages 
of fiction, the immortal creations of the classic 
authors. John Silver leers at you even more cunning- 
ly from the screen than he does from Stevenson's 
thrilling pages; Oliver Twist and Little Nell unfold 
their pathetic tale; Huck Finn, the mischievous, acts 
out the various episodes of his adventurous career; 
the fairies and gnomes and giants, so dear to the 
fancy of childhood, disport before your eyes : — in a 
word, the pictures often improve on the original, and 
present the story more concisely, more vividly, more 
appealing than it is told on the printed page. 

They bring the great world before our eyes, 
showing us the wonders of nature, and the habits 
of peoples of far distant lands. We can see on the 
screen the silver beauty of the lakes of Killarney, 
or watch some nimble-footed South-Sea Islander 
climb a cocoanut tree, or view the impressive cere- 
monies of St. Peter's, or see the patched, fin-like 
sails of the sampans navigating the yellow waters 
of the Yangtze Kiang. Important happenings, great 
catastrophes, noteworthy events, — all these are 
eagerly gathered from the farthest parts of the earth, 
sometimes at risk of life itself, and reproduced with 
a fidelity of detail which is the next thing to witness- 
ing the actual occurence. When we consider these 
facts, it does not seem strange that the silent drama 
should have taken such a strong hold on the popular 
fancy. 

DEARLY every great achievement has had 
the misfortune of being seized upon by 
tainted hands as a means of unscrupulous 
enrichment. Thus perverted, its very 
power makes it all the more dangerous. Such, 
evidently, is the case with the motion pictures and 
one need not be a sour and meddlesome alarmist 
to relize this fact only too keenly. Honest observa- 
tion can easily see that a mighty force for good has 
been perverted by conscienceless producers, — and 
this with an influence all the greater because so 
alluring. As presented today, the movies are a 
menace, rather than a blessing. The good film is 
the exception, not the rule : and the majority of 
productions which are being let loose on the public 
set before their audience a type of picture which is 
debasing to a deplorable extent. 

A casual scanning of the announcements in the 
daily papers serves to furnish clear evidence of 
this fact. The general theme of them all seems to 
be the sex-topic : and by sex is meant, not legiti- 
mate love or honest affection, but a debased kind 
which lingers morbidly over that which is illicit. 
There are many variants of this theme in the motion- 



26 



THE 1" SIGN 



pictures. There is, for instance, the tale of unlawful 
affection, — the kind that casts aside the most sacred 
obligations in a wild pursuit of what is forbidden. 
Only too often, such dramas, presented in a most 
artistic manner, are a glorification of passion, and 
an extenuation, if not an actual defence of sin. 
Then there are problem-plays, officiously concerned 
with the noisome exhalations of human depravity: — 
solemnly analyzing and discussing, with lofty pre- 
tense at zeal for betterment, what could, a thousand 
times better be passed over in silence. It is a 
fallacy to think that loftiness of motive justifies the 
indiscriminate discussion of some themes, — and 
then, too, one is inclined, at times, to question the 
motive. What a pity that scenario-writers have to 
go to the gutter for their subjects, when there are 
so many noble stories waiting to be told! 

The late war, with its necessary attention to the 
health problem, has brought before the public 
certain educational films, dealing with moral topics 
of the most delicate kind. Perhaps, such films, 
handled properly, and shown before select audi- 
ences, can accomplish something in the way of warn- 
ing as to the wages of wrong-doing. But shown 
indiscriminately, or with a pretended exclusiveness 
which is merely a bait for the curious, they are 
certainly worthy of condemnation. We may be 
reasonably sure that announcements such as: "Men 
and women not admitted together on account of 
delicate subject and scenes," are not printed in the 
newspapers because of excessive solicitude for pro- 
priety, or of zeal for the public welfare. Besides, 
considering the fact that, in nearly every case, the 
sole restraining motive put forth in these films is 
the danger of physical harm, the adequate force of 
the appeal may well be disputed. Only too many 
have drawn as their conclusion from such produc- 
tions, not the warning of religion, "Be chaste," but 
the warning of prudence, "Be careful." 

The country is flooded with a certain class of 
pictures, — mostly comic, — which deal with the low, 
the vulgar, and the suggestive. Designed expressly 
for this purpose, they cater to the grossest instincts, 
and represent a sordid phase of the degradation of 
the screen. They go as near the immoral as the law 
allows, — and, unfortunately, the law allows a great 
deal. At times, even when the general character of 
the film is wholesome, it is spoiled by offensive 
scenes, dragged in with no regard for relevance, in 
order to give, as some producers say, "pep," to the 
picture. Those who have had any experience in the 
selection of films know this fact only too well ; and, 
to their vexation, have found out, with an uncen- 
sored showing, that what they thought was presenta- 
ble, contained parts which had to be eliminated 
before a future performance. In their chagrin, they 
ruefully modernized an old saying so as to read: 
"Call no film safe till it is ended." 

What effect has the unclean film on the mind 
of an audience? Certainly, anything but an edify- 
ing one. The eyes are the soul's windows, letting in 



from the outside the impressions that fall under 
their observation. They furnish the greater part of 
the material which the imagination uses in making 
up the images it presents to the mind. And what if 
that material is sensual and debasing? Will not the 
imagination which welcomes and harbors the pic- 
tures be an unclean one, reeking with the slimy 
creations of its own construction? Who can esti- 
mate the harm done in this way: — the souls that 
are tainted, the hearts that are besmirched; the 
minds which, moved at first by curiosity, gradually 
become more and more familiar with evil, until, with 
familiarity, there grows the lessening of fear and 
the dawn of a liking which only too soon deepens 
into fascination. Surely, upon those who produce and 
upon those who exhibit, there is a mighty weight of 
responsibility for the iniquity of which they are the 
purveyors. Some, perhaps, can view such things 
and yet remain unscathed. Their natural cleanness 
of mind makes them instinctively reject the vulgar, 
and refuse to gloat over that which is suggestive. 
Yet, even they cannot trust too much to their im- 
munity; for evil can find a weak joint in the strong- 
est armor and can exercise its debasing influence 
so subtly, yet so effectively, that, almost before one 
realizes the harm, it has done its deadly work. 

The young, with their curiosity, their ignorance, 
and their impatience of correction, are the chief 
victims of the unclean film. It is true that a certain 
percentage are not harmed, at least to any great 
extent, by these productions. Owing to good home 
training and religious surroundings, they are able to 
throw off the bad impressions that come to them, 
just as a healthy body will resist the attacks of even 
the most malignant germs. But to others, the evil 
film does a great, and sometimes an irreparable 
injury. Their home environment is by no means 
favorable; false principles and bad example have 
made their minds a fertile field for vice: and then 
comes the immoral picture with its sensual appeal 
and its instruction in what is debasing. The result 
is an advanced course in depravity. Their thoughts 
are of the unwholesome kind that batten on corrup- 
tion; their conversation expresses these thoughts; 
and thus they become carriers of contagion, spread- 
ing to others the moral infection which they them- 
selves have contracted. No one who is concerned 
about the welfare of others can question the harm 
of the unclean film. Its pernicious results are too 
evident to be denied, and too serious to be passed 
over in silence. Plenty of pictures, now showing, 
could well have as their caption: "Satan Film Co., 
Inc.," and have as their ending, the malignant face 
of the devil, leering at those whom he has done his 
best to corrupt. 

M^^^HE day of the blood-and-thunder motion 
m C\ pictures seems to have passed away and 
^^ J few there are who will shed even a sur- 
^^^ reptitious tear over its passing. The two- 
gun bully who terrorized western towns, and the 



THE + SIGN 



27 



professional bad man who cowed shrinking mail- 
clerks into a corner while he rifled the registered 
letters, and then casually lit a cigarette as he drop- 
ped off the speeding train into the darkness are not 
so much in evidence of late years. They are rapidly 
passing into the limbo of discarded popularities, to 
join company with Diamond Dick, and other thril- 
lers of by gone days. And yet, crime is still a 
popular theme with the movies. Having graduated 
from its cruder stages, it is now more refined, more 
subtle, and, perhaps, more dangerous. It goes in, 
at present, for dress suits and international intrigue, 
with Sherlock Holmes as its model and the under- 
world as its setting. We may well be thankful that 
the average boy is not harmed, at least to any con- 
siderable degree, by such themes. Usually, all he 
sees in them is the adventure and the excitement, 
which, — because he is a boy, — appeal to his pirate- 
loving, rowdy imagination. It may even be possible 
that he looks on them with vague approval, as he 
would on any career, — be it of buccaneer or aviator 
or policeman, — which gives promise of thrills and 
novelty. But as far as real mischief is concerned, 
they have scarcely any practical or lasting influence. 

But what of the lad whose vicious surroundings 
are an encouragement to evil ? Certainly, this class 
of pictures is a crime-school for him. Particularly 
in the cities, where lawlessness seeks the slums 
where it can hide and plot with comparative im- 
munity, the movies which depicts violence and 
shows methods of crookedness is a liberal education 
to the gangs who congregate for mischief, and who 
are a source of annoyance to the neighbors and of 
concern to the police. Youngsters who should be in 
school, getting an education, are getting it, indeed, 
but not of the right kind, or in the right place. 
Instead, they are eagerly absorbing lessons which 
fit them for the reform-school, from which, later on, 
they will emerge, full-fledged criminals, outrivalling, 
in real life anything they saw on the screen. 

Some things do harm because it is their nature ; 
others because they are abused. In the latter case, 
the fault lies, not with the object itself, but with the 
manner of its using. We may well apply this axiom 
to the case of the motion-pictures. 

We all like, at times, to be lifted out of the 
daily grind. Lives that are drab demand color; 
lives that are monotonous crave change; lives that 
are commonplace seek the thrill of adventure and 
the charm of romance, where they can be for a time, 
the hero of their dreams, and thus enjoy, at least by 
proxy, that which is denied them in real life. This 
fact explains, in great part, the popularity of the 
pictures. They provide relaxation and diversion, 
where the cares and burdens of daily existence can 
be forgotten for a time, while the spectator absorbs 
himself in the story which is passing bo vividly be- 
fore his eyes. Some can enjoy their little excursion 
into the land of fancy, and return, with renewed 
2est to their daily tasks. Others, succumbing 
to the lure of what fascinates them so greatly, 



fall ready victims to the unrealities they are so con- 
stantly absorbing. It would be interesting to find 
out how much of the present discontent, especially 
among the young and recently married, is traceable, 
directly or indirectly to the pernicious effect of too 
much movies. Impressionable young women, satu- 
rated with silly notions gained from this source, are 
constantly comparing their plain home surroundings 
with the false ideals they have formed from the films, 
with the result that they become dissatisfied, critical 
and petulant. And perhaps, if the whole truth were 
known, the downward career of many a girl began 
in the eagerness with which she absorbed the arti- 
fical atmosphere of the screen; — an eagerness which 
combined with a shallowness that prevented her 
from realizing that life is different in fact than in 
fiction, and a wilfulness which determined her to 
soften her surroundings, no matter at what cost, 
made her sacrifice duty to love of pleasure, and buy 
at a pitiful price, the attractions she had learned to 
love and resolved to have. Certainly, the best cor- 
rective of this false hunger for romance is the same 
viewpoint which accepts things as they are, and 
which strives, by cultivating the spirit of content- 
ment, to take the realities of life with a cheerful 
mind, instead of nourishing bitterness and resent- 
ment against the position in which Providence has 
placed us. 



er 



'VEN of good things, too much, is bad. 
There is a time for everything; and to use 
that which attracts without due regard 
for moderation, is bound to bring harmful 
results. Certain people are what is called, in 
popular parlance, "movie-fans." So great is the 
lure of the flickering film, that they simply cannot 
resist its captivating appeal. They spend hour after 
hour in the theatre, making a frequent occupation 
out of what should be merely an occasional diver- 
sion. Children, because of their love of the fanciful, 
fall a ready prey to the picture habit. Attracted 
by the glitter of lights and the lure of posters, they 
are inclined to sacrifice home study to the easier 
task of patronizing some neighboring movie, where 
they can gain much pleasure but little profit. And 
thus is added another conspirator to the already long 
list of enemies of knowledge, that are combining 
to steal the hours which should be spent at books. 
Nor are grown-ups free from blame in this matter. 
An inspection of quite a few homes would reveal 
the fact that, with household duties left neglected 
and necessary work piling up, the mistress of the 
home is comfortably seated in the theatre, deeply 
absorbed in some story which were, perhaps, better 
untold. The clock-hand is pointing imperatively to 
five ; children are home from school ; a fretting hus- 
band is awaiting the evening meal; — and still she 
lingers to see the final uniting of two faithful hearts, 
which she must not miss, no matter how urgent the 
call of duty. It is such things as these that bring 
discord and quarreling into the home. 



28 



THE 1* SIGN 



A prominent insurance company found it neces- 
sary, not so long ago, to actively combat the incli- 
nation, on the part of some of its solicitors, to yield 
to the soothing seduction of the pictures, during the 
time when they should have been hard at work 
getting business for the firm that employed them. 
And, if truth were told, nearly every audience, es- 
pecially the afternoon ones, represents, to some 
degree, the squandering of time by those who can 
ill-afford such prodigality. 

HATELY the films have drawn on themselves 
a great deal of criticism, — and not only 
criticism, but an active opposition, which 
threatens to take a very energetic, and by 
no means favorable turn. Prominent men and 
women all over the country are realizing, with ever 
growing concern, that the motion-pictures have been 
steadily degenerating, and that, if vigorous measures 
are not soon taken to purify them, they will become 
hopelessly submerged in foulness. A cleaner 
standard is imperative; without it, the screen is a 
menace to public morals. 

The question of censorship is one that gives 
rise to a host of opinions, — some favorable, others 
loudly condemnatory. Naturally enough, the pro- 
ducers look with suspicion on outside reviews of 
their productions. Many of them claim that legal 
censorship is wrong in principle; that it violates the 
liberties of an untrammeled people, and therefore 
has no place in a country such as our own. Perhaps 
they speak thus because so many of them learned 
to love freedom from the lack of it in the ghettos 
of Odessa or Petrogard. Perhaps, too, their idea 
of liberty is that of the foreigner who, when fined 
for beating his wife, exclaimed in grieved tones as 
he left the courtroom, "and yet, they call this a free 
country!" 

Some, however, oppose censorship on account 
of the practical impossibility, — as they claim, — of 
wise and impartial application. Standards differ, 
it is alleged, and individuals are often swayed by 
interest, prejudice, likes and dislikes. One producer 
instances the case of the woman censor in Kansas 
who, because of a recent death in her family, ruled 
out all funeral scenes as too depressing. The pro- 
ducers want their own censorship, if any; and some 
of the more responsible ones, alarmed, very likely 
by threats of drastic legislation, have given pledges 
of an honest and thorough effort towards cleanliness. 
But what of the other kind? Should there not be 
something to take the place of the conscience they 
lack, and to force these purveyors of filth to do by 
law what they will not do by inclination? Self-cen- 
sorship may work out very well for the men who are 
really in earnest, but with a certain class it is apt to 
prove just as one-sided as any the state can impose. 
To have the parties involved pass judgment on their 
own work is like letting the customer pick his own 



change from the cash-register, or permitting each 
ball-team to make its own decisions on the diamond. 
Such things could be done, — theoretically; but then, 
we have the principle, as true in life as in law, that 
no one is a judge in his own case. Particularly is 
this the fact when thousands of dollars are involved, 
and when an adverse decision means heavy pecuni- 
ary loss. For a man to discard a picture after he 
has spent money on it demands heroic determina- 
tion. The producers are well supplied with determ- 
ination; — but it is to get their money back, with a 
good rate of profit if they can. 

The attitude of the National Catholic Welfare 
Council on the question of censorship is an eminent- 
ly sane one, and one which, if followed, will furnish 
the best solution of this perplexing problem. It 
starts out with the principal that, while indeed there 
are many abuses to be corrected, a reasonable amount 
of good will on both sides will serve to remedy these 
abuses, and raise the moving pictures to the high 
standard which morality demands. It recognizes 
the fact that constructive criticism can do more than 
mere condemnation. Co-operation, rather than 
coercion is its method, and it regards legal censor- 
ship as a final resort, to be used only when all 
other remedies have proven unavailing. 

In last analysis, the only effective censors are 
the public. It is the court of last appeal, and 
what it condemns will inevitably prove a failure. 
For this reason, the burden of approval or disap- 
proval rests largely with those who have at heart 
their own well-being, and that of those committed 
to their care. Parents, in particular, should be 
deeply concerned with the uplifting of the motion- 
pictures. Part of their responsibility consists in 
watching over the moral welfare of their children; 
and what is of greater moment regarding such moral 
welfare than the supervision of the vivid scenes 
which can educate so rapidly and so effectively, 
either for good or for evil. If fathers and mothers 
only took this obligation more seriously, their pres- 
ent attitude of tolerant indifference would change to 
one of close and vigorous watchfulness. 

Our Catholic people should realize the fact that 
they are a power in this matter, and chould bestir 
themselves to use this power for good. To patronize 
the vulgar movie even when disapproving, is to give 
positive encouragement to that which is harmful. 
To express active condemnation, both by word and 
by action, is to take the only effective measures 
towards betterment. Intelligent interest and a keen 
zeal for what is wholesome will do more, in the long 
run, than anything else to maintain high ideals, and 
put an effective stop to the salacious and the sug- 
gestive. Such a course of action will result in 
pictures which, while striving for interest and popu- 
larity, will draw their inspiration from what is 
ennobling and inspiring, instead of seeking for 
material from the dregs of life. 



Wkat Do You Know About: 

Luther and the Reformation? 



VJ^^^^HE centenary of Luther's exploits at 
M^^T^\ Wittenburg and Worms was celebrated 
■ | w i tn a soft-pedal. There was a reason. 

^ J The centenary in 1883 of his birth had 
^^fc^^ been the occasion for impartial scholars 
making researches anew into his tumultuous life. 
With their revelations at hand we must conclude 
that if the Reformation was God's work, then He 
choses for His ends not only the "weak and the 
foolish" but the hypocrite and even the impure. 
However, in the recent celebration they ventured 
once more to proclaim the unfrocked friar of Erfurt 
as the herald of a pure evangel and the liberator 
of men from spiritual and intellectual thraldom. 
Even President Harding benignly contributed an en- 
comium. 

Hence it is timely to reassert that the following 
facts or rejoinders are based on Luther's own or on 
Protestant authority: 

1. As a FRIAR he was scrupulous, moody, 
fractious, proud and singular; ever heading toward 
apostasy. 

2. As a PRIEST, of his own first Mass he 
declared : "I was almost dead, for I was without 
faith." 

3. As he a STUDENT: he specialized in 
Scripture, otherwise he was not exceptionally 
learned nor brilliant. In handling philosophical and 
theological problems he was without depth; all his 
force sprang from passion and invective. 

4. Concerning Christian ORTHODOXY, he 
denied free-will to man and the efficacy of good 
works. Thus alone he eliminates responsibility, 
duty, guilt and repentance and undermines the 
sublime system of morality established by Him Who 
says: "Before man is life and death, good and evil; 
that which he shall choose shall be given to him." 

5. In his treatment of the BIBLE : He had no 
fixed theory of inspiration, and in framing his 
arbitrary canon declared he would brook no opposi- 
tion from a thousand popes, from St. Paul, nor from 
the angels of heaven. Where Scripture failed to 
support his theories he expunged ruthlessly or dis- 
torted even with levity and blasphemy. Lutherans 
themselves have restored the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, the Epistle of St. James and the Apo- 
calypse. 

6. His Scriptural STARTING-POINT: the 
distortion of St. Paul, "the just man liveth by faith." 
Spurred by the cravings of a libertine he interpreted 
"faith" to be the assurance of salvation and claimed 
that justification was imputed not imparted. From 
this followed logically his theory about the harm- 
lessness of sin and such advice that the best way 
to confound the devil is to sin the more. 



7. The DELIVERER of the BIBLE to the 
people: In Germany prior to the publication of 
Luther's Bible there was no fewer than thirty 
editions of the entire Scriptures and parts of the 
Bible appeared in the German vernacular. Long 
before the Reformation every Catholic nation had 
versions of the Bible in the vernacular. 

8. The DISPELLER of IGNORANCE: 
Germany had 40,000 elementary schools before 
Luther was born and the figures of attendance at 
the universities set us to wondering how many were 
left in the material pursuits of life. 

9. The LIBERATOR of the people: He 
handed over ecclesiastical power and favors to the 
princes and bound up Church with State : cuius 
regio, eius religio. Against the peasants he wrote 
some of his most violent invectives and even ad- 
vocated their slaughter. 

10. The REFORMER: All agree upon what 
should be the qualifications of a reformer. Luther 
made sport of Moses and the ten commandments. 
He condoned impurity, claiming that none could at- 
tain to continence. His own colleagues had to plead 
with him to curb his passions. He was addicted to 
intoxication, licentious talk and actions. The first 
effects of the preaching of the "pure Gospel" was 
an unparalleled orgy of viciousness among all ranks. 
Fortunately his followers as well as those of his 
contemporary Henry VIII, have rejected both as 
examples of morality. 

Yet when we contemplate these two large 
Christian bodies in their decency of principle and' 
practice, we must marvel at their courage in remind- 
ing an intelligent world who were their founders 
and in exhibiting these for admiration on their re- 
curring centenaries. 

In conclusion we quote the very apt words of 
Mgr. O'Hare, author of Facts About Luther. "Four 
hundred years have passed since Luther's Reforma- 
tion scheme was given to the world and in spite 
of all the attacks which the Church has had to 
sustain from heresy, she and her Supreme Head 
remain. The overruling arm, which in its wondrous 
movements confounds the schemes of wicked men, 
interfered to preserve the religion of Jesus Christ 
which though so mysterious in its doctrines and so 
opposed to corrupt nature in its morals, remains in 
open daylight in every quarter of the world to en- 
lighten and guide and lift up and heal human nature 
in spite of calumny, in spite of popular out-breaks, 
in spite of cruel torments, the Church on to unfold 
to a wicked world the purity of her morals, the 
sublimity of her mysteries, the truth of her doctrines, 
and the majesty of her worship, and the hope of 
eternal life with which she insDires her members." 



In Our Lady's Praise 

Frederic L. Kemp 

gloriosa virginum, 
Sublimis inter sidera 

A paradise of bliss, 
As sweet as angel's kiss, 
Thy unreproving looks sweet Mother are; 
An aureole of light 
Doth seem to veil from sight 
Thy spotless brow, and uneuphrasied stare; 
While angels, veiled, thy form attend, 
Less by too curious glance their Lord they should offend. 

Thine eyes are lucid seas, 
Whose light the demon flees, 
For in their depths is mirrored his dread Lord; 
Just as a shaded pool 
Whose waters, sparkling cool, 
A glance at heaven to the parched afford; 
And fearful, too, least he should see 
In their bright depths, his own most foul deformity. 

Rich woofs of skeined gold 
Thy peerless form enfold, 
Which brightest seraphim were joyed to spin; 
A silvern girdle winds 
The sacred zone, and binds 
Thy glittering robe with gorgeous wrinkles in; 
And on thy blest and lovely brow 
A changeful veil, now red as flame, now white as snow. 

And all around thee cling 
The perfumes angels bring 
To scatter thro the air — a needless task; 
Thee, God himself hath called 
A paradise enwalled 
In whose delights no mortal was to bask; — 
What's made for God most perfect is; 
And thou art filled with sweets and all those sweets are His. 

Alas, all we can say 
Will still be far away 
From what thou art, we only too well know; 
For if a mortal tongue, 
Thy perfect praise had sung, 
What need for us to thy own home to go, — 
To see thee in thy royal state 
But in song, a paradise on earth it would create. 

Yet human speech in vain 

If mortals still remain 
As weak and sinful as they were before. 

Sweet Mother, then bestow 

On us the grace to grow 
In love for thee and Jesus more and more; 
And when the hour of death draws near 
May we, confiding, thy maternal accents hear. 



Archconfraternit)) of 



CONFRATERNITIES are designed to 
foster certain devotions. In taking up 
a special devotion you pass from the 
hard lines of mere duty into the 
pleasanter sphere of generosity. Where 
duty ends, generosity begins. With a little close 
reflection most of us discover that we never rise out 
of the rut of our strict obligations to God. Often 
the discovery leads to confusion and confusion be- 
gets an impulse and resolution that henceforth we 
shall be accredited with higher motives. That 
impulse, being of the heart, finds its easiest ex- 
pression in devotion. 

The impulse of generosity and devotion will be 
strong in the measure that we apprehend goodness 
and interest exercised in our behalf. This is what 
makes devotion to the Passion of our Lord most 
satisfying and reasonable. The Passion reveals 
Christ suffering and ourselves as the objects of a 
solicitude which His love implies. Hence, our Lord 
defines it with a note of appeal : "Greater love than 
this hath no man, that he laid down his life for 
his friends." Therefore, can anything mean more 
to us than the Passion and Death of the Savior? 

There are few Catholics who never feel the 
impulse of gratitude or the desire to show their ap- 
preciation in some way to Him Who did not count 
the cost of His love for us. Failure to put these 
good impulses and desires into daily effect is often 
due to lack of knowing how. It is the object of the 
Archconfraternity of the Passion to supply an easy 
and attractive plan of practical devotion. Member- 
ship in it, therefore, should appeal to those who 
acknowledge their immense debt of gratitude. 

The Confraternity of the Passion was instituted 
by St. Paul of the Cross, a most ardent lover of 
the Crucified. His zeal was not satisfied with 
having founded an Order of priests and brothers 
to foster and spread devotion to Christ suffering, 
nor yet with establishing an Order of women whose 
prayers and contemplations were directed to the 
same object, but he also formed sodalities of men 
and women living in the world but not of the world, 
the principal purpose of which would be to make 
known and loved the Passion and Death of the 
Redeemer. 

In the year 1861 Pius IX. approved these Con- 
fraternities and gave to the General of the Passion- 
ists residing in Rome the power to erect Confraterni- 
ties of the Passion everywhere and to grant to the 
members all the indulgences and spiritual favors 
which had any time been granted to the Passionists. 
This approbation of the Pope soon gave to the work 
of St. Paul of the Cross great increase and before 
long confraternities were to be found in France, 




tke Sacred P 



assion 



England, Ireland, Spain, and in North and South 
America. 

The principal of these were established at the 
time of the canonization of St. Paul of the Cross, 
1867, in the church of the Scala Sancta at Rome. 
There are preserved, and venerated by almost every 
pilgrim to Rome, the Scala Sancta, the Holy Stairs, 
which our Lord ascended to be judged by Pilate. 

Finally the present Holy Father, Benedict XV., 
on Feb. 26, 1918, having confirmed all the indul- 
gences granted by his predecessors, and granting 
extraordinary new ones, raised the Confraternity 
at the Scala Sancta to the dignity of an Archcon- 
fraternity of honor or of the first class. Thereby 
it was empowered to communicate all its privileges 
to affiliated confraternities throughout the world. 

* J^ >HE RULES of the Archconfraternity of the 
m C~\ Passion are so simple and definite as to 
^ J involve no serious inconvenience in their 
^^ faithful fulfillment. 

1. As the object of the Archconfraternity is 
to promote devotion towards and a grateful remem- 
brance of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus 
Christ and the Sorrows of His holy Mother, the 
members keep this object in view, and pray daily 
that they may know better and that others may 
better know Jesus Crucified. 

2. The members are formally invested with 
the Black Scapular of the Most Holy Cross and 
Passion. They wear this scapular constantly. (The 
scapular medal, blessed by one authorized to do so, 
may be used instead.) 

3. Each member adds to morning and evening 
prayers the Litany of the Passion or some ejacula- 
tion in honor of our Lord's Passion. 

4. Friday, the day especially dedicated to the 
memory of the Sacred Passion, is sanctified by some 
special act of devotion, as the Stations of the Cross 
or reciting the Litany of the Passion. 

5. When the Stations of the Cross are made 
publicly in the church, the members should en- 
deavor to be present. 

6. As the Holy Mass is the "Memorial of the 
Passion," the members should assist at it as often 
as possible, mindful of the words of our Lord. "Do 
this for a commemoration of Me." Luke xxii. 19. 

7. Once a month the members receive Holy 
Communion wearing the insignia of the Passion. 

8. The members will endeavor to be present 
at the monthly meeting on the fourth Sunday of 
the month. 

These rules do not oblige under penalty of sin. 
Their faithful observance is left to the spontaneous 
but steadfast good-will of the members. 



Index to Worth-while Reading 



OO you read for entertainment only of for mental 
and spiritual improvement? What do you 
select to read after scanning the contents of a 
magazine, the titles on a library shelf, the pro- 
digious menu of the daily paper? Do you read 
only to excite your imagination or to satisfy idle curiosity? 

The best that can be said for the sort of reading 
catered to by lending-libraries, is that the librarians might 
be more mischieviously employed. The need of relaxa- 
tion might justify merely ephemerial reading, but this 
only on the supposition that you have been making some 
protracted mental effort. 

Many are deriving neither knowledge nor edification 
from their reading although there is so much to be 
acquired over and above what has been learned through 
compulsion in school-days. They falsely take for granted 
that all instructive and edifying reading is dry and insipid, 
they assume that only one faculty, the imagination, can 
be the medium of entertainment or interest. They create 
the demand for the perennial output of trivial fiction, 
much of which is lurid and withal so prolific as to seem 
the product of imagination run riot. 

Habitual readers of light fiction should learn that in 
serious reading there is an exhaustless source of instruc- 
tive entertainment. Biography, travel, lives of the saints, 
essays secular and religious, and the divers forms of 
secular and religious treatises, all go to make up a rich 
deposit whence you may derive true mental culture. 

Such reading, if approached understandingly, will 
not fail to afford genuine pleasure. It cultivates the 
instinct of inquiry which in turn broadens the intellectual 
outlook so that through a little self-discipline many first 
sense the power attainable through the methodical exer- 
cise of the brain, and come in time to acquire a whole- 
some nausea for their former habit of light and useless 
reading. They learn to appreciate at its full value Bishop 
Spalding's saying : "Formerly there were a thousand 
thoughts in one book, now there is scarcely a single 
thought in a thousand books." 

As an aid to our readers in the choice of their 
reading matter we shall list and review on this page 
every month a number of books which they will find 
profitable. 

THE VISIBLE CHURCH, by REV. JOHN F. SUL- 
LIVAN. Pages 276. Price $1.00; postage 15c. P. J. 
KENEDY & SONS. 

A copy of THE VISIBLE CHURCH ough to be 
found in every Catholic home, it ought particularly, to 
be found among the text-books of every Catholic student. 
Clearness, completeness, conciseness give this handy 
compendium of Catholic teaching a unique place among 
books covering the same ground. Within its 276 pages 
such a wide range of subjects as the following is em- 
braced: The Church's Government, the Religious State, 
the Sacraments, the Sacramentals, the Ecclesiastical 
Year, the Church's Books, Services and Devotions, Art 
and Architecture, with a final chapter on the more im- 
portant points of the Liturgy. The value of the volume 
is enchanced by an ample index and a large number of 
illustrations that illustrate. The price is unusually low. 



TRESSIDER'S 
BENZIGER BROS 

Miss Clarke ha 
long list of enterta 
Tressider's Sister is 
blems of life and 
of the human heart 
literary output. V 
wine of her prose ; 



SISTER, by ISABEL C. CLARKE. 
. Net $2.25. Postage 15c. 

s added yet another to her already 
ining novels. What is significant in 
that the author's grasp on the pro- 
her insight into the devious ways 
are strengthening with her versatile 
olumnes have not deluted the pure 
work has not weakened her vigor; 



nor spoiled the freshness of her style: neither has it 
paled the fire of her orginality ; nor dulled the edge of 
her delicate taste. Tressider's- Sister shows the author 
at her best. They who have come to admire Miss Clarke 
in The Ellstones and Eunice will not be disappointed in 
her latest novel. 

THE ART OF INTERESTING, by F. P. DONNEL- 
LY, S. J. P. J. KENNEDY & SONS. Net $1.75. Post- 
age 15c. 

Father Donnelly has crowned his works in rhetoric. 
The Art of Interesting bridges the gulf between the 
class-room and the platform. This book is addressed to 
all who essay success as public speakers. That it is in 
a special manner addressed to preachers will not militate 
against its general usefulness. The political speaker as 
well as professional lecturers will find this book of para- 
mount helpfulness. The book offers no short-cut to 
'silver tongued' oratory. Rather it surveys a difficult but 
clearly defined road leading to undoubted success. To 
change the metaphor, we might say that it prescribes a 
series of oratorical setting-up exercises which, if per- 
severed in will develop a capable and compelling speaker. 

The reader cannot fail to discover in this book that 
the secret of the interesting speech is the appeal to the' 
imagination : and the convincing speaker is he who 
avoids airy generalities and dull principles, and visualizes 
his message in the concrete. The chapter on St. Paul 
will prove of value to clerical students. Not only is it a 
lesson in directness of delivery, but is likewise a help in 
penetrating the meaning of the Apostle's text. In an- 
other chapter we have the late Father Pardow set forth 
as the 'popular' preacher who through the play of a 
well disciplined imagination and reiterated appeal to the 
experiences of his auditors achieved a success which 
certain physical defects would have naturally precluded. 
The essay on Cardinal Newman hardly fits in the scope 
of this book. A chapter on the great Oratorian setting 
forth such points as we know Father Donnelly would 
have his readers admire and imitate in Newman's style 
would have been preferable and of more practical service. 
The best thing that can be said of this interesting work 
is that the author, as the old-time preacher, allures to 
brighter worlds, and leads the way. 

BECK of BECKFORD, by M. E. FRANCIS. P. J. 
KENNEDY & SONS. Pages 350. Price $2.00. Postage 
15c. 

THE GREENWAY. LESLIE. MOORE. P. T. 
KENNEDY & SONS. Pages 304. Price $2.25. Postage 
15c. 

Very often we hear the complaint from Catholics 
that the only readable fiction is what is popularly known 
as the 'best-seller' stuff. In this judgement they are 
largely influenced by glaring adds and publishers blurbs 
When taxed with the objectionableness of this unwhole- 
some reading they retort that there is nothing else to 
read sufficiently appealing. They identify Catholic fiction 
with the altogether namby-pamby and goodie-goodie. 
In this they are confessing their own crass ignorance. 
Amongst modern Catholic writers there are many who 
could easily command a wide reading circle if they were 
willing to forget religious principle and unfrock them- 
selves of decency. We do not hesitate to number amongst 
these, M. E. Francis, author of "Beck of Beckford," 
who deserves well of Catholic readers for whom she has 
written so much and so well : and Leslie Moore, a new- 
comer into the field of Catholic literature, whose latest 
novel, "The Greenway," bids fair to gain for the author 
a warm, and lasting place in the heart of discerning 
Catholic readers. 




The Eldest Devotion of the Church 



Hubert Cunningham, C. P. 



■^^^^HE mystery of the Passion of Jesus Christ 
d C\ is all-embracing in its scope. It involves 
^k J every grief, pain and sorrow, mental, moral 
^^^ and physical, endured by Christ from the 
first instant of His Incarnation to the last moment 
of His mortal life on the Cross. The cries and tears 
of the frail little Babe, the poverty and want and 
loneliness of the growing Boy, the hard toilings of 
the young Man, the weariness, neglect and calumny 
borne by the divine Missionary during His three 
years of public life — all these, as well as the scourg- 
ings and the lashings, the thorns and the nails, 
which were suffered by the innocent Victim, form 
an integral part of the mystery of the Passion of 
Jesus Christ. The Passion of Christ means the 
sufferings of Christ, and 
since the sufferings of 
Christ run all through His 
life, so the life and 
Passion of our divine 
Lord can be said to be 
coterminous. 

The Passion of Christ, 
however, has received a 
more definite or restricted 
meaning than this: the 
word Passion is applied 
to the last hours of the 
Savior's earthly life, and 
in this narrower sense 
it has been universally 
accepted by the Church. 

But the ill-instructed Catholic is too often dis- 
posed to contract the meaning of the Passion over- 
much by referring it only to Our Savior's Crucifixion 
and Death. This, of course, is erroneous. The specific 
term, Passion of Jesus Christ, comprises the sum- 
total of the intense sorrows and brutal cruelties 
which began in the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy 
Thursday Night and which steadily multiplied upon 



rHIS is the first of a series of articles 
which will appear in future issues of 
The Sign. The thoughtful reading of these 
articles will beget a deeper and more intelli- 
gent devotion to Christ Crucified. The 
Author happily combines historical, scienti- 
fic and devotional aspects of the Sacred 
Passion. — The Editors. 



His divine Person during the eighteen torturing 
hours preceding His expiration upon the Cross. 

This consecrated word — 'Passion' — was first 
given to the sufferings of Jesus by the inspired pen 
of St. Luke in the passage : "to the Apostles Jesus 
showed himself alive after His Passion." Here the 
sole meaning that can be given to the corresponding 
original Greek wording is that which we have last 
described. The word passion in Greek means a 
great misfortune, a personal calamity, or a condition 
of intense suffering; and so the dreadful calamity 
which befell our blessed Savior, St. Luke calls 
"His Passion." This is the way in which St. Jerome 
uses the word when translating the New Testament 
from Greek into Latin. Other ecclesiastical writers 
followed the lead of St. 
Jerome, so that the word 
'Passion' in this very 
determined sense came 
into universal use in the 
Church and was so under- 
stood by the faithful. 
Thus has it been uniform- 
ally rendered in every 
English translation of the 
Scriptures. The 'Passion,' 
in the Christian mind, is 
always associated with 
that accumulation of mis- 
fortunes which suddenly 
broke above the head of 
the Savior and which was 
the immediate cause of His death. 

The Christian world does not forget that Jesus 
Christ suffered, and suffered much; that, prior to 
the Last Supper, He endured mental, moral and 
physical pains which were keen and various; but 
those eighteen hours of concentrated and diversified 
torment have gripped men's minds and wrung men's 
hearts as no other period of His life has done or 



THE + SIGN 



could do. Those final agonies stand alone, as a 
thing apart, even in the life of the "Man of Sorrows," 
and they are called by the Church the "Passion of 
Jesus Christ." 



^^^HE Passion, as here specifically explained, 
1^) won the tender pity of the human race : it 
^^"^ tapped the love-spring from which has issued 
that stream of Christian piety known as devotion 
to the Sacred Passion. Even a superficial study 
of this subject suffices to prove that devotion to the 
Passion of Christ is the most ancient of all Catholic 
devotions. It is the fountain-head wherein all other 
devotions take their rise; it is the embodiment of 
of all primitive Christian devotion and the central 
point towards which all other forms of early Catholic 
piety converge. 

No other devotion is so deeply or so obviously 
founded in Christian principle, no other is so 
intimately knitted into Christian life, no other has 
so radically influenced primitive Christian practice. 
There is no devotion of the Catholic Church today, 
or throughout her history, that is so abundantly 
manifested and solidly authenticated by historical 
evidences, such as Holy Scripture and Tradition, 
ancient liturgies and chronicles, Christian literature 
and art, crumbling monuments and archaeological 
excavations, as early devotion to the Passion of 
Christ. All other devotions without a single excep- 
tion, whether in honor of some mystery of the 
Holy Faith, or of some fact in Christ's life — 
devotion to the Blessed Trinity, to the Holy Ghost, 
to the Incarnation, to the Resurrection, to the Sacred 
Heart, to the Joys or Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin, 
to the Martyrs or other Saints — all these devotions 
are of yesterday when compared with devotion to 
the Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ. 

Devotion to the Passion is more ancient than 
devotion to the holy Mass. The very purpose of 
the Mass is devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ. 
It is the memorial of the Passion. "This do," says 
Christ, "for the commemoration of Me;" and St. 
Paul warns the faithful, "as often as you shall eat 
this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew 
the death of the Lord until He come." The Mass 
is itself an act of devotion to Christ's Passion; it 
is the greatest of all possible acts; it is the original 
act of devotion to the Passion; it was instituted for 
this very end by Jesus Christ Himself, and it stands 
as the most convincing evidence that devotion to 
the Passion of Christ is the earliest of all Catholic 
devotions. 

Read the Gospels for an intrinsic proof of this. 
The four Evangelists treat those eighteen hours 
of our Savior's Passion, not as a mere series of 
circumstances in His Life, nor merely as a separate 
group of experiences; they treat the history of the 
Passion as a phase distinct and separate from all 
other phases of Christ's activity. All, with one 
accord, treat the Passion as the most prominent, 



and the most important work in the life of the 
God-Man. 

To view this matter aright we must remember 
that each of the Gospels is, and is intended to be, 
a summary of the life of Jesus Christ more or less 
detailed from His birth to His death — the narrative 
of the events which made up His earthly career. 
St. Matthew in writing his chronicle of the Master 
devoted about one ninth of his entire work to telling 
the story of those final eighteen hours of suffering. 
St. Mark gives the same relative space in his Gospel 
to an account of the same few hours. St. Luke and 
St. John both stress with great wealth of detail the 
same brief period. 

QLL this is, indeed, remarkable. But more 
remarkable would it grow, were we to con- 
sider the four Gospels as constituting one 
book, and then recall that about one tenth of the 
entire work is devoted entirely to narrating the 
events that transpired within the last eighteen hours 
of the Savior's life. Then, surely, we are compelled 
to conclude that the hearts of the biographers were 
fixed upon the sufferings of that short space, that 
their minds were absorbed in the contemplation of 
them, and this is nothing else than to say that the 
four Evangelists were filled with devotion to the 
Passion of their beloved Redeemer. 

On reflection a further thought occurs in this 
connection. The previous life of Christ was not 
void of incident. Rather, it simply bristled with the 
marvellous. It was a life of wonders — wonders of 
teaching and reformation, wonders of conflict and 
of conquest, wonders of love and of hatred, wonders 
of miracle and of blessing — wonders that have 
animated the pens of thousands since that day; and 
yet, these are passed over, or are noted by the 
merest word, while one tenth of the divine story of 
the thirty three years Christ dwelt with men is given 
to the recording of what happened in just a few 
hours of suffering. 

This fact becomes more impressive still when 
we recall that it is not a pet notion or characteristic 
trait of one only of the inspired narrators. It is a 
mark common to them all, although they wrote in 
different places, in different tongues, and at dif- 
xerent times. One Evangelist, St. Matthew, a tax 
collector, wrote his life of Christ in Syro-Chaldaic 
in the year 39; another, St. Mark, probably a Levite, 
wrote at Rome, and in Latin, about the year 43; 
a third, St. Luke, a physician, with a marked dis- 
position to art, letters, and travel, composed his 
work fourteen years later; while a fourth, St. John, 
a fisherman and octogenarian, wrote his account 
about the year 95, when his fellow Evangelists were 
long since dead; yet, each biographer makes those 
eigheen hours the principal topic of his history 
of the Savior. 



THE +SIGN 



XF now we add to what has gone before the 
crowning fact that these records were written 
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that 
each is the whispering of God's own voice, then we 
have a cumulative argument irresistible in its con- 
vincing force; an argument which teaches us with 
mighty power not only that the Passion of Christ 
was the first and greatest devotion of the Catholic 
Church, but what is more satisfying still, it dem- 
onstrates to us that by God Himself it was intended 
to be so. 

The effects of all this showed immediately in 



the life and conduct of the early Christians. To 
those holy men and women the greatest thing in all 
the world was the Sacred Passion; it was every- 
thing; it lived ever and always in their hearts, so 
that the first Christians were the first 'Passionists,' 
and the first 'Passionists' were the first Christians. 
These are, in fact, convertible terms. With the 
first Christians love alone drew the heart's devotion 
to the Passion of Christ, drew it so strongly that 
those first 'Passionists' lived, suffered and died for 
Jesus Christ Crucified! "And I, if I be lifted up, 
will draw all things to myself!" 



St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin 



'OME of our readers have anxiously in- 
quired whether the life of St. Gabriel will 
appear in the pages of THE SIGN. The 
editors are glad to say that it is their pur- 
pose to give a prominent place to the lives of the 
Saints of the Passion. In particular, they will stress 
the beautiful life of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful 





St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin 

Virgin. They have in preparation a series of articles 
which will further endear the saint to his many 
clients. 

It is natural that this life should appeal to 
present-day Catholics, as he is a saint of our own 



time. Just how close he is to us may be learned 
from the fact that his own brother, Michael Possenti, 
was present at his canonization and is still living. 
Many of the most charming saints lose some- 
thing of their attractiveness for us, because of their 
having lived at times and under conditions so utterly 
estranged from our own. St. Gabriel was a typical 
young man of modern times, with none of that 
austere contempt of the joys of life, such as we are 
accustomed to associate with a saint. Rather, in 
his youth he was strongly inclined to all the gaities 
of life. Only the insistent calling of divine grace 
could enable him to detach his heart from the world, 
so bright to his eyes with the manifold vision of 
pleasure, ambition, achievement which, like a dream 
of Eldorado, beckoned him away from the glorious 
career of sainthood to which he was called. 

There is no remoteness in time or circumstance 
in our thought of him to lessen our love and confi- 
dence. Our nearness to him inspires a feeling of 
kinship, as well as the conviction that he has special 
sympathy for us in the difficulties with which we 
labor in our spiritual warfare. Those bred in the 
lap of luxury find in his sacrifice of great temporal 
blessings, inspiration to the practice of penance 
and to a life of service to God and to the neighbor. 
Youths of the world carried about by every wind of 
pleasure, St. Gabriel's holy example will teach how 
to keep unspotted from this world. Christian 
parents are reminded of the sacredness of their 
calling by remembering what a powerful factor ideal 
Catholic parents were in Gabriel's sanctification. 
Consecrated souls are reminded once more that their 
rule is the norm of Christian perfection, when they 
realize that strict fidelity to rule was the instrument 
of Gabriel's holiness. In fine, in whatever walk of 
life we are placed, St. Gabriel teaches us that the 
essence of sanctity is constant and unswerving 
fidelity to duty. 



Fuller Cri 



nmson 



John Craig 



QO longer can you write a tale of love 
inspired (either the tale or the love) by 
the coming of the crocuses — that is, if you 
wish it to be accepted for publication. If 
this story were prefaced by the lines from Locksley 
Hall: 

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the 

burnished dove, 
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly 

turns to thoughts of love, 

it would be rejected by ninety-and-nine editors with 
polite regrets, etc. But my Lord Alfred Tennyson 
knew a thing or two — about burnished doves and 
the fancy of young men. Lapwings and robins also 
came within his ken : 

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon 

the robin's breast, 
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets 

himself another crest. 

Your circumspect editor, wary of all Spring 
bards, by this time has suspected that he is about 
to read another tale of Spring love. Guilty, 
Honorable! What follows is a tale of Love. It 
concerns the love of Tommy McCarthy and a girl 
named but on with the story! 

Outside, the night gave unmistakable evidence 
of the arrival of Spring. Through the open window 
from where he sat, Tommy McCarthy could hear 
the intermittent drip-drip from the eaves of the 
house-tops — the remnant of a month-old snowstorm 
succumbing to the equinoctial zephyrs. Over the 
backyard every-man's-land floated a heterogeneous 
barrage of the city's noises of the night: the solici- 
tous crooning of a patient young housewife over the 
near-slumbering bundle, her first-born, cradled 
snugly in her arms, as she rocked it to and fro; 
the piquant strains of a violin which pierced the 
hum of minor noises, reflecting the effort of a wilful 
young virtuoso who, with commendable diligence, 
repeated many times a particularly difficult bar; 
as if trying to out-do each other in an attempt to 
obtain the casual listener's attention, John McCor- 
mack's plaintive notes vied, against formidable 
odds, with Enrico Caruso's voluminous aria, which 
carolled the night in all its Victrolean abandon. 

No, there was no doubt of it, Spring was here! 

In his hand Tommy held a picture, and gazed 
at it affectionately — as lovers down the years have 
been wont to do when gazing at the picture of one 
beloved by them. Reminiscence took him back to 
other days of his life — days when, yielding to secret 
urgings, "life" had appeared to him, in its ultimate 
purpose, as the pursuit of "happiness" that meant 
affluence, no matter how achieved, and the attend- 



ant pleasures that money could purchase. As for the 
main business of life, of which he was reminded 
constantly by the adjurations of his mother and 
voices from the pulpit — well, that would be attended 
to probably, he conjectured, though definite ways 
and means were mentally pigeon-holed with other 
things which Tommy vaguely intended to do. The 
goal of the next ten or fifteen years would be to get 
money. Thus the philosophy of Tommy at seven- 
teen. And then something happened. That some- 
thing came by way of a Girl. 

ONE Sunday evening he met her as she was 
going into old St. Mary's. He was wondering 
at the time how he might "kill" the evening. 

" 'Lo, Rosie," he called. 

"Oh, hello Tommy," she returned. 

"Goin' to church?" Inasmuch as she was at 
the moment on the steps of the church he was 
hastily conscious of the banality of his question. 

"No," she replied gaily, her eyes twinkling. 
"I was just about to step into an aeroplane for a 
flying visit to Kamchatka." 

"Gosh!" he cried. "You're funny." Secretly 
he marveled at her knowledge of geography and 
wondered where Kamchatka was. 

In an instant she was contrite. "Forgive me, 
Tommy," she said, a winsome smile dimpling her 
cheeks. Before that smile, the Sphinx of Gizeh 
might have become articulate and shouted: "For- 
given!" 

There's no need of describing Rose McLoughlin. 
In some of her moods you've seen her in the 
Madonnas of Michelangelo and Botticelli; in other 
moods, her facial lineaments, sui generis, adorn the 
respectable magazine covers. For six days out of 
every seven, from 8 :30 to 5 :30, Rose "pounded the 
keys" in the office of B. Hertzheimer & Sons, 
Imported Skins, filling the somewhat exalted posi- 
tion of "secretary" to no less a personage than B. 
himself. Though B.'s relationship with the work-a- 
day business world might be indicated by his 
favorite cliche, "Yours received and contents noted," 
Rose's viewpoint of life involved more of giving 
than of receiving. For her secretarial ministrations 
to the head of the firm she was paid — but what's 
the use of going into sociological statistics? Three- 
fourths of her weekly wages went to the support of 
an infirm mother. With the balance she clothed 
herself, defrayed the other incidental expenses of 
urban life, contributed to charity "drives", the parish 
school and debt association, gave freely every week 
to the church's indigent by way of the poor box, 
assisted struggling missionaries in distant lands by 
her prayers (and generous contributions of money, 
from time to time, to the Society for the Propagation 
of the Faith), and was rarely able to ignore the 



THE 1* SIGN 



piteous appeals of such mendicant beggars as one 
meets in the thoroughfares of New York. What 
was left she spent on frivolous amusements! 

fUCH a girl was Rose. As you have already 
surmised, beneath her shabby shirtwaist there 
throbbed a heart of gold — or whatever sub- 
stance composes the heart of one whose thought 
is constantly of others. But let us not delay her 
on the steps of St. Mary's. Even now her thought 
is of Another. 

"Coming in to Vespers ?" she asked of Tommy. 
"Me? Guess not," he retorted. 
To another person it would have been a chal- 
lenge for a battle of persuasions. Not so to Rose. 
All she said was, "Oh, excuse me!" But volumes 
could not describe the supreme artistry of the in- 
flection of her voice. In it were mobilized and uti- 
zed all the gentle graces that are the prerogatives 
by heritage of the daughters of Eve. Tommy 
escorted her up the aisle of the church — and stayed 
for Vespers. 

That had been three years ago. Sitting now 
by a window that looked down upon a labyrinth 
of clotheslines on this evening of the springtime, 
Tommy involuntarily shuddered at the thought of 
the goal of his earlier 'teens. Gratitude and love 
warmed his heart as he contemplated the gentle 
influence that had set him on the right track of life, 
and his eyes moistened wistfully as he gazed upon 
the picture he held in his hand. 

"It was You," he murmured, affectionately. 
"Only You. I love You." And he pressed it to his 
lips. 

And how he had arrived at the most important 
milestone on the forked highway of his life. For 
tomorrow Tom and Rose, for better, for worse — 

A neighborly phonograph, as if reflecting the 
universal spirit of Youth in the springtime, gave 
forth the noble strains of the Wedding March from 
Lohengrin. 

The following morning an unusually large 
number of parishioners foregathered at St. Mary's, 
for both Tom and Rose were parish favorites. The 
sun shone down its golden benediction for their 
great day. Father O'Toole, the saintly old pastor, 
offered up a Mass especially for them, and at the 
end of it gave each of them his blessing and 
addressed to them an affectionate word of farewell. 
Friends came to the railroad station to see 
them off on their journey. No relatives accom- 
panied Rose — her mother had died a year previous. 
When the train was about to depart, Tom's mother 
enfolded him in his arms. 

"Good-bye, dear," she sobbed; but withal, a 
radiant happiness lined her face. From her 
corsage bouquet she plucked a hothouse rose and 
pinned it on the lapel of his coat. "One of God's 
roses for you, dear," she whispered, "as a remem- 
brance from me." 

There ensued such hustle and bustle as usually 



accompanies the departure of friends upon a journey. 
Two trains left the station simultaneously. From a 
rear platform Tom waved good-bye to his friends 
and threw kisses to his mother. 

Thus the story ends. Youth and springtime 
and love — it's an old story, but none the less beauti- 
ful for its antiquity; love that means wedding bells 
for some; for others — 

ON the same day, as dusk was purpling the sky 
over a Pennsylvania country village, a priest 
and a young man were walking up a hill on 
the crest of which, serene and solemn, stood a 
Foreign-Mission seminary. It might have been 
a twilight borrowed from Heaven. A hidden brook, 
held in bondage for months by an unrelenting 
Winter, now rippled a song of thanksgiving for 
its release to the God of the seasons. Early 
marigold and azalea and meadow saffron combined 
in a conflagration of color and wafted up their 
fragrance as an incense to the same God. A 
lonesome whip-poor-will whistled to his mate to 
join him in a vesper song to the Almighty Lord; 
from his vantage perch on the topmost branch of a 
burgeoning roadside elm, a bobolink trilled an 
ecstatic rhapsody to its Maker; a meadowlark on a 
weather-worn fence-post fluted a joyous Te Deum 
before retiring for the night. 

Few words, after their first affectionate greet- 
ing, had been exchanged between the priest and the 
youth during their walk up the hill from the little 
railroad station at the foot of it. As a turn in the 
winding path gave them an unobstructed view of 
the western skyline they came to a halt simultane- 
ously, and stood as if transfixed. The blazing glory 
of the sunset held them in its spell. Finally the 
youth spoke : 

"It reminds one of Francis Thompson's 'flaming 
monstrance of the West,' doesn't it, Father?" 

"Yes, my boy," answered the priest in an ab- 
stracted sort of manner. And then, as if returning 
to the subject of his thoughts that had been inter- 
rupted by the boy's remark : "Tell me, are you sure 
you are not making a mistake in entering the priest- 
hood?" 

The boy dropped the traveling-bag he was 
carrying. His face reflected his amazement. 

"Why, — why Father! So that's what had made 
you so silent on our way up from the station! Why 
on earth do you ask such a question at such a time?" 
The boy smiled as he said this, and in his voice was 
a tor.e that betokened a long-standing friendship 
with the priest. 

"For two reasons, son. In the first place I 
noticed, a few moments ago when you thought I 
wasn't looking, that you surreptitiously took a 
picture from your pocket and kissed it. And in 
the second place, I've been wondering about the rose 
in the lapel of your coat. I observed secretly that 



THE + SIGN 



you have gazed at it tenderly, as if you were caress- 
ing its giver." 

A youthful laugh rippled over the quiet country- 
side. The boy made an obeisance to the priest. His 
eyes sparkled. 

"The rose, Holy Inquisitor," he replied, "was 
given to me by one I love most dearly. She is my 
mother." 

The priest faced about suddenly. He ap- 
proached the boy and placed his hands on his 
shoulders. 

"Forgive me, Tom," he said. Then his voice 
trembled. "Keep it forever," he said, touching the 
flower. 

The boy's hand dove into his inner coat pocket. 
"Here is the picture, Father," he said, a slight feel- 



ing of embarrassment crimsoning his face. "I plead 
guilty." 

It was a picture of the bleeding Sacred Heart 
of Jesus. 

"I'll keep the rose as long as I live," he said. 
"And my little picture, too. Somehow, I've become 
greatly attached to it. It was given to me three 
years ago, one Sunday evening after Vespers, by a 
girl — oh, such a girl, Father! Without ever saying 
a word of reproach to me, she changed the whole 
course of my thoughts and my distorted philosophy 
of life; and when I got home that night I actually 
wept for having caused those drops of Sacred Blood. 
Rose McLoughlin was her name. Beginning to-day 
it will be Sister Mary Angelica, of the Order of 
St. Dominic. A wonderful girl, Father." 

From the belfry of the seminary on the hill 
came the music of the Angelus bell. 



Behold, I Come!" 

Murtagh Moore 

Upon what dire catastrophe does His anxious Vision fall, 

When in that hushed momentous hour His Father hears His call: 

"Behold I Come ! — none other may — Thy" Will, O God, to do, 

"In form of Man, \\>ith Body 1 joined!" What sorrow meets His v"eiw? 

There are Wanderers in the Vale of Death where dismal shadows fall; 

All wilfully* had they entered mid the beetling barriers' thrall: 
No rift of blue abov*e them that might presage hope to come, 

Mo shepherd there to rally them and lead them gladly home. 

There are prisoners held securely mid dark, impervious walls, 
Where through the narrow casement a single sunbeam falls: 

A lane to glory forfeited: it mocks the drooping eye, 

While a winged songster overheard marks summer passing by. 

There are rebels lying bounded — their old defiance spent, — 
The flaming sword relentless beckons them to banishment: 

Of all the splendid sons of God, moved with pity at their woe; 
None may a fitting ransom bring, or snatch them from the foe. 



But what if He the task had shunn'd in that momentous hour, 
Or with the chalice at His Lips in the shade of olive bower 

Had paused and let the sw"ord descend — had uttered not the plea: 
"Thy" will be done: Behold I come: Mine be the penalty!" 



Retreats and the La}? Apostolate 



Edward W. Joyci 



m 



EN often speculate concerning the probable 
feelings of a being from a distant planet 
if he were suddenly to find himself set 
upon this earth. They delight in picturing 
his surprise at the mechanical marvels of our age, 
at our ingenious means of communication and trans- 
portation. Beyond a doubt he would find himself 
bewildered at the complexity of our vast industrial 
system and would stand aghast at the height of our 
gigantic office buildings. Yet, withal, one who stops 
to survey the present condition of life here may 
pause to think of the disdain with which such a 
visitor might contemplate the world. 

From no matter what part of the universe he 



Built over the palace of the 
saints for whom it is named and 
who were martyred in the fourth 
century. Motherhouse of the Pas- 
sionist Order. Probably the oldest 
retreat house for priests and 
laymen in the world. 



and the purpose of their bestowal, and that God 
counts for but little in his calculations. In other 
words man's efforts have perverted the natural God- 
made order and instead of attaining the bliss of an 
earthly paradise we have fashioned a terrestrial 
limbo. 

For years nations looked with covetous eyes 
upon their neighbors' possessions. With studious 
care they bred hatred in the hearts of their children. 
Carefully they turned every advancement of science 
into means for the destruction of life and property. 
And lo! the world awoke to the clamor of war 
and stood aghast to see its very life blood course 
in torrents from a million wounds. For decades 




.MONASTERY AND 15 At 



JOHN AND PALL, ROME 



might come he must have observed that order is 
the first law of all creation. By the exercise of 
ordinary intelligence he must easily have deduced 
that, as lower forms of inanimate and animate 
nature serve those that are higher, so should the 
things of earth serve man that he might in turn 
better serve his Creator. It is therefore not only 
possible, but most certain, that such a being as we 
here conjure up should look upon our earth as a 
very sorry habitation and man as a creature deserv- 
ing only of pity, if not contempt. 

For, is it not true, that instead of obeying the 
laws of nature we are in open revolt against them; 
that instead of maintaining order we have regressed 
almost to a condition of chaos? Instead of com- 
manding and utilizing the free gifts of nature's 
bounty has it not come to the point where man is 
becoming more and more a slave of his own handi- 
work? And with such developments it is becoming 
more evident that man, blinded with worldly satis- 
factions, is forgetting the source of his blessings 



agitators played upon the passions of avarice and 
injustice that lurk in every heart and we find Capital 
and Labor at each others throats. For generations 
men preached class hatred, the "rights" of the pro- 
letariat, the evils of property. 

And again, we were roused to the horrors of 
Bolshevism in Soviet Russia. For four centuries 
false Christs and false prophets have preached that 
man needs bow to no authority beyond his own will, 
that marriage is not a sacrament, but a mere civil 
contract, that one's own conscience, however per- 
verse, should be his sole guide and we find only 
what we should expect; viz, that the world is over- 
run by the bastard brood of murders, divorce, birth 
control, mob rule, atheistic schools, juvenile delin- 
quency, rampant selfishness and corruption in high 
places and in low. Yet when a nation becomes 
riven and nearly paralyzed by class warfare; when 
regard for the sanctity of human life no longer 
prevents the wholesale destruction of God's master- 
piece, when strong nations oppress weak and stop 



THE + SIGN 



at nothing in their lust for gain, when a world- 
encircling war threatens the very existence of 
human institutions and civilization itself totters, 
men curse God and ask — "What's wrong with the 
world?" 

^tt^HAT'S wrong with the world? I answer, 
V I / nothing. It is only what man has made it. 
^* > ^ Then whence come our troubles? We apply 
the laws of science to matter and the result is always 
the same. But it makes no difference what laws 
we formulate and apply to human relations, they 
always fail. We have painstakingly studied every 
phase of economics, sociology and politics and have 
carefully put their teachings into practice, yet we 




the soul of man is infested with a poisonous virus 
and until the poison is expelled no cure can be 
effected. Virtue cannot be legislated into man as 
medicine is administered. It is of its very nature 
interior and must arise from the well-springs of a 
pure soul. 

^^^HE greatest need of society today is, therefore, 
I) some means of reconstituting man, of exorcis- 
^*"^ ing worldliness and selfishness from his heart, 
of raising his thoughts and purposes to a new and 
higher plane and purifying his soul. Eminent 
leaders in all walks of life admit this fact but there 
they stop. They name the cure but fail to produce 
it in concrete form. Still, a remedy for present 



Retreat Move- 
ment started Febru- 
ary, 1911. Since 
then 247 retreats 
have been given. 
Average attendance 
27. In all over 
10,000 men of all 
ranks of society have 
made retreats.. The 
Laymen s Guild has 
4.000 members. Its 
success is largely 
due to the personal 
co-operation of Card. 
O'Connell. 



ST. GABRIEL'S MONASTERY. ROSTON. MA.' 



are as far as ever from the goal of human happiness. 
Is it not time that we tried a different course? 
Like the wanderer who failed to see the forest 
because of the trees we have been so occupied with 
the problems of men that we have failed to compre- 
hend man! B'or too long have we been engaged 
with the superstructure of life. Is it not meet that 
we should inspect its foundations to make sure that 
every stone is strong and true and in its proper 
place? In short let us start at the beginning and 
consider, not men in the aggregate, but man the 
individual. 

The root of our^troubles lies, not with society 
as a whole but with the men who constitute society. 
It were folly to suppose that society can be any 
better than its component members. And bitter 
experience has proved that man cannot be put into 
a test tube and his actions foretold, as with a com- 
bination of chemicals, because man has a will that 
is free to follow its own choosing. In a word, then, 



conditions must exist. In fact it does exist and has 
always existed. The means of society's salvation 
abides in the lay-men's retreat houses throughout 
the world. 

A retreat, by reforming a man, accomplishes 
the work most essential to social welfare. No other 
means is so effective. No device of idealistic 
reformers can possibly be so certain of success. 
The retreat begins social regeneration at the only 
logical starting-point because, by purifying the soul 
and properly directing the will of man, the social 
unit, it lays deep and strong the foundations of 
human society of which he is a member. It is not 
only impossible for any other agency to achieve 
such a result so easily and quickly, but it is also 
true that no ether cure is so lasting. 

To one who has never made a retreat of three 
or more days in a Passionist Monastery or other 
retreat house the above statements may seem 
exaggerated. Those who have experienced the 



THE 1* SIGN 



sublime transformation that occurs during the time 
of a retreat, however, will certainly agree with my 
conclusions. For there is no experience in the life 
of the average layman to compare with that of 
making a retreat. To attempt to describe the spirit- 
ual change undergone during a retreat is to call upon 
language to do the impossible. 

Can one describe color to a person born blind? 
Or the beauties of Dante to an illiterate? Just so 
is it most difficult to convey an adequate conception 
of the hidden glories of our faith that gush forth 
in radiant splendor upon the vision as the retreat 
director, with meticulous care, like a skilful surgeon, 
lays open to view the innermost recesses of one's 
soul. In periods of meditation what celestial tor- 



upon him with convincing clarity he has never 
before known. At the foot of the cross he reads 
through his tears of remorse the infinite wickedness 
of sin. In contemplation of the glorious Resurrec- 
tion he learns the endless reward of a life well spent. 

iy^ITH sadness for his past misdeeds, yet filled 
Til with joyous gratitude that God has spared 
him to make this retreat, he kneels at the feet 
of Christ's representative in the tribunal of penance. 
From a heart sick with sin, but now resolved as 
never before to spend the remainder of his life in 
the only way worth while — in God's service — he 
pours forth the age-old story of human weaknesses ; 
and arises, free from sin, God's friend once more. 



Headquarters 
of the Lay- 
men's Retreat 
Movement i n 
the . Western 
Province. Thus 
far retreats for 
laymen have 
not been so fre- 
quent in the 
Middle West as 
in the East. It 
is . confidently 
expected that 
in a short time 
the Movement 
will make great 
progress. 




PASSIONIST MONASTERY WITH PROPOSED MONASTIC CHURCH. CI 



rents of grace flood one's innermost being till his 
soul-thirst is appeased and his cups runneth over! 
Yes, and, under skilful guidance, what putrid sores 
of sin reveal themselves in the unfathomed depths 
of one's soul to which he may have long denied the 
sunlight of sanctifying grace which alone can cleanse 
and purify it! 

For three days or more he lives in the cloistered 
quiet of the monastery, inspired by the edifying 
example of the priests and students with whom he 
dwells. During silence-periods, in the solitude of 
his room, he meditates upon the lessons so calmly 
yet effectively developed during conferences in the 
beautiful choir chapel. Away from the turmoil and 
strife of shop and factory and office, he has time 
for reflection upon the true value of life. In the 
scales of calm reason he weighs pleasure against 
virtue, heaven against hell, time against eternity. 
The shortness of life, the folly of worldliness, dawn 



At holy Mass he receives into his bosom the Great 
Physician who pours into his soul the oil of mercy 
and the wine that maketh virgins and binds up his 
spiritual wounds as only God knows how. As the 
retreat ends he receives the Papal Blessing which 
obliterates completely in God's sight all temporal 
punishment due for his past offences. He is once 
more as he was in the days of his spotless infancy : 
and his heart sings within him for he is filled with 
the "peace that surpasseth all understanding." And, 
with pure heart and a will so firmly steeled as to 
make him stronger than a thousand men, he goes 
forth again to meet the temptations of daily life, 
equipped now to battle manfully with "the world, 
the flesh and the devil." 

Yes, he returns to the same world, but a far 
different man. Into his house he brings love, 
patience, forbearance. To his trade or profession 
he carries honesty and justice into all his dealings. 



THE 1* SIGN 



Among his companions he is marked for his clean 
tongue and his devotion to truth. In his parish he 
becomes an indefatigable aid to his pastor in the 
furtherance of all good works. If he be in public 
life, there too does his faith shine forth as a beacon 
light and he proves himself by fidelity to his trust. 
To all with whom he comes in contact he becomes 
a living example that gives the lie to those who 
scoff at religion and scandalize others by the folly 
of their ways. 



350,000 did so in only ten years. The sublime faith 
of the Breton peasant, so beautifully immortalized 
by Pasteur, is due largely to the retreats they have 
regularly made for the past 250 years. Especially 
worthy of note is the case of Buenos Ayres where, 
after five years it is recorded that "the whole 
character of the people had changed." Mark well 
that fact, for it proves the truth of my thesis that 
in the retreat movement lies the perfect solution 
of our social problems. 




GROUP OF RETREANTS AT HOLY CROSS PREPARATORY COLLEGE. DUNKIRK. N. Y. 

Beautifully located on the shore of Lake Erie, this college is an ideal place 
for a few days retirement. Retreats were inaugurated here during the Summer. 
One was given every week with an average attendance of twenty retreatants. 



XS such a work worth while? "By their fruits 
you shall know them." By the results 
achieved is the retreat movement willing to 
be judged. Retreats are not a novelty but, on the 
contrary, they have existed in the Church from the 
earliest days when hermits withdrew into the desert 
for contemplation up to now when popular retreats 
are organized on a large scale. During the life time 
of St. Vincent de Paul 20,000 men made retreats 
at St. Lazzare in France. Later the movement 
spread to every civilized quarter of the globe. In 
the city of Buenos Ayres alone 30,000 people made 
retreats in the space of five years, while in Chili 



Without resorting to base pessimism, it is true 
that no thinking man can look complacently upon 
present-day conditions. Half the world is starving 
or in revolution. Our own beloved country is torn 
with dissention of a dozen hues. Social unrest has 
become almost a peril. An alarming increase in the 
number of divorces, accompanied by a frightful 
diminution in the birth-rate in many quarters, attest 
to the prevalence of human depravity. Sixty mil- 
lions of our people care so little for God and religion 
that they do not so much as trouble themselves to 
declare theii adherence to any church whatsoever. 

And hand in hand with such indifferentism 



THE 1* SIGN 



stalks the grim spectre that history has recorded 
oft before — open hostility to the Church. We see it 
in proposed legislation to close the parochial schools, 
as in Michigan; in the Sterling-Towner bill for 
federal control of schools, in the fanatical statements 
of some who would use the eighteenth amendment 
to prevent the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a 
matter of fact if ever we have a Congress containing 
a sufficient number of men hostile or indifferent to 
our rights as Catholic citizens they may by a single 
ballot so change the prohibition enforcement law as 
to ban the Mass. The growing frequency of race 
riots, murders and lynchings, in the North and East 
as well as in the South and West bear shameful 
witness to the lowered tone of popular morality. 



men of good will, — that is the pressing need." 

The lay apostolate! That should be our watch 
word! We should strive for the creation of a 
large body of men, militant Catholics, firm in their 
faith, unswerving in their adherence to the right and 
prepared at all times to raise their voice in its 
defence.. Give to the world a sufficient number of 
lay apostles, ready and able to meet and overcome 
the monster of injustice and evil whether it be in 
the halls of state, the councils of business, the 
forums of labor or the family circle, and you will 
overcome radicalism, purify the stage, the cinema 
and the press, allay unrest and renew the face of 
the earth. He who participates in this movement 
furthers a two-fold result; his own sanctificatinn and 



Was dedicated last November. 
Especially designed to meet the con- 
veniences of the retreatants. Will 
accomodate 40. Retreats are given 
every month with an average atten- 
dance of 20. Plans are pending for 
organization of Retreat Guild. 




RETREAT HOUSE ATTACHED TO ST. PAUL'S MONASTERY, 



XT is time we took definite organized steps for 
the rescue of our land from the sinister blight 
that overshadows it. The call is for lay 
apostles, not merely educated men, — that title has 
become a dangerous mis-nomer — but retreat- 
trained men! Today we need Knights of the Faith 
tried in the fires of discipline, drilled in the school 
of penance and imbued with the ardor of Crusaders. 
We need men of every age and class, trade and pro- 
fession, able to stand their ground in the defence of 
truth, justice and morality, yea ready to invade 
the temple of Moloch and scatter the sybaritic hosts 
that threaten to undermine the fortress of civilization 
itself. The enemy is within our very gates and 
naught but those clean of heart and strong in faith 
can expel him. 

To quote Rev. Fr. Archambault S. J. "An elite 
alone can save us. To form a nucleus of Christians 
tempered to resist the assaults of the foe, impreg- 
nated with the apostolic spirit, ready to waive their 
personal interests, to penetrate the masses, to 
strengthen the faith that totters, to rally the scattered 



the salvation of society and of our beloved country 
from the slough of decadance into which we are 
fast slipping. 

^^^HE issue is plain! The means are at hand! 
t J Naught remains but the necessary support. 
To us comes the challenge! This work is 
ours; and we laymen must see it through. ..We stand 
at a crucial point in history at a time when a few 
lay apostles like the three hundred Spartans in the 
pass at Thermopylae can, and must, roll back the 
ten thousand who rush to the assult. In the retreat 
movement and retreat-trained men lies the hope of 
America, if not of the world. We must do all in 
our power to strengthen and spread retreats for 
laymen lest it be said that in the hour of peril we 
were recreant to the interests of the Church and 
America. And no man can fortell what a blessed 
reward awaits those by whose interest in this work 
thousands of souls shall be saved to enjoy eternity 
with Him who set the divine example of self- 
sacrifice which is the ideal of the lay-apostle. 



The White Rose of Lucca 

The Stor? of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
2 — Life at School and Home 



^-p-^HEN Signora Galgani died, the children 
■ I ■ were sent to ^ ve > ^ or a while, with their 
\ I / relatives, the Landis. The sojourn away 
v ** > ^ from home did little to assuage Gemma's 
sorrow. The circumstances of her stay with her 
Aunt Helen only accentuated her sense of loss. 
Helen Landi, though a devout woman, was not to 
be compared with Signora Galgani for spiritual 
culture. Now, there was no one to take Gemma to 
daily Mass; or to visit the Blessed Sacrament; no 
one to take her every week to confession, of which 
she felt great need : no one to speak to her of Jesus 
as her mother used to do. 

These privations were a real suffering to the 
holy child. "Then, indeed," she tells us, "I had 
to weep for the time when my mamma let me pray 
so much." Helen Landi did not dream that her 
beloved niece was suffering. She had hoped, and 
even tried, to keep Gemma with her. But this was 
not to be. Gino, the only one at home with his 
father, wanted Gemma back, and so did Signor 
Galgani. Besides, he experienced some anxiety 
about the education of his children, so that Gemma' 
with her brothers and sisters arrived home at Christ- 
mas 1886. 

Soon after, Gemma was sent as a day pupil to 
the Guerra Institute in Lucca. This establishment, 
named for its foundress, Mother Guerra, was con- 
ducted by the Sisters of St. Zita, who were in high 
repute as teachers, in the city. This arrangement 
filled Gemma with joy. She knew that under the 
guidance of teachers consecrated to God she would 
have ample opportunities to indulge her childish 
pieties. 

We know from her own words that she was not 
disappointed. Later in life she affirmed that the 
Sisters' school had been a paradise. The Sisters 
on their part were very favorably impressed by their 
new pupil. They were struck by her seriousness, 
her modesty, and the candor of soul that radiated 
from her person and beamed from her big eyes. 
One of the Sisters said to her: "Gemma, Gemma, 
if I did not read you through your eyes, I should not 
know you." 

She was not long at the convent before she 
asked for something that was very dear to her heart 
— to make her First Communion. She had cherished 
a great love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, 
the effect, no doubt, of her mother's zealous words 
about the sweetness and majesty of the Hidden God, 



and the ardent faith she displayed when receiving 
Holy Communion. But Gemma's request was not 
taken seriously by the good Sisters. She was still 
very young — only nine years of age — and custom 
was against her. 

(TILL she pleaded: "Give me Jesus, and you 
will see how good I shall be. I shall be 
quite changed. Give Him to me. I so long 
for Him, and I cannot live without Him." At last 
the chaplain, the Right Rev. John Volpi, gave in to 
her repeated entreaties. "If we do not want our 
Gemma to die of longing," he told her father, "we 
must allow her to go to Holy Communion." 

Gemma's happiness when this decision was 
made cannot be described. She obtained her 
father's leave to stay at the convent while she pre- 
pared for her First Communion. She arose very 
early the next morning, and, on entering the convent, 
ran at once to the chapel to thank our Lord for His 
latest kindness. 

Then an immense desire welled up in the heart 
of the sweet child, to know all about Jesus. At her 
request, when the other children had retired, her 
mistress would tell her stories from the life of the 
Savior. When the good nun would come to the 
sufferings of Jesus — His agony, scourging, crowning 
with thorns, and crucifixion — Gemma would feel 
such acute pain that she would not be able to leave 
her bed the next day. 

The lessons on the Sacred Passion were dis- 
continued; but Gemma made up for this by listening 
with absorbed attention to the instructions given by 
the chaplain to the first communicants. She was 
particularly struck by these words : "Whoever feeds 
on Jesus, will live of His life." Then she reasoned 
thus with herself: "When Jesus comes to me, 
Jesus will live in me." And her heart became all 
on fire with longing to have our Lord as the guest 
of her soul. 

Although Gemma had always been an angel of 
innocence, the trifling faults she had committed 
awakened in her the desire of purifying herself 
of every stain. Young as she was, she made a 
general confession, and was not satisfied until she 
had returned to her confessor three times. 

She made her First Communion June 17, 1887. 
The sentiments she experienced on that memorable 
day, she herself has left on record. "At last Sunday 
came! I arose early and hastened to the church, 



HE 1* SIGN 



<5 



and there received my Lord for the first time. All 
my longing was satisfied; now I understood the 
promise : 'He that eateth Me, the same shall live 
by Me.' Father, I cannot explain what took place 
between me and Jesus at that moment; but He 
revealed Himself to my wretched soul. I felt that 
the delights of heaven are not like those of earth. 
I was seized with 
the desire of abid- 
ing forever in this 
union with my 
God. I felt my- 
self more than 
ever detached 
from the world 
and recollected in 
God." 

J^HO UGH 
I) only a child 
^*"^ at this time, 
Gemma made use 
of the grace of 
her First Com- 
munion for the 
practical acquisi- 
tion of virtue. 
During her pre- 
paratory retreat, 
she wrote down 
several resolu- 
tions — no doubt, 
at the suggestion 
of the Sisters. In 
a brief numerical 
list, she recorded 
her determination 
to go to confes- 
sion and receive 
Holy Communion 
every time, as if 
it were to be the 
last; to visit often 
the Blessed Sacra- 
ment; to prepare 
for the feasts of 
the Blessed 
Mother by some 
little act of pen- 
ance; and every evening before retiring to ask her 
heavenly Mother's blessing; to keep herself always 
in God's presence; and to repeat an ejaculation 
several times at every stroke of the clock. 

Her list would have been much longer had not 
her mistress come to her while she was writing and 
told her not to add anything more. The Sister must 
have been aware that the child's character was so 
developed and was of such strength that whatever 
she made up her mind to do, she would carry out 
even at the cost of her health. 

The impression which her First Communion 




GEMMA GALGAN] 



made on Gemma was deep and lasting. Listen to 
her words fourteen years later: "Father, where are 
my thoughts taking me? To my beautiful First 
Communion Day. Yesterday, feast of the Sacred 
Heart, I felt again the joy of that happy day. Again 

I tasted paradise Truly the day of my 

First Communion was the day on which I found 
my heart burning 
with the love of 
Jesus." 

After this 
event Gemma 
returned to the 
convent routine 
with her usual 
diligence and 
exactness. Before 
long her winsome 
disposition made 
her a universal 
favorite. There 
was a sweet at- 
tractiveness about 
this lovely child 
that was quite 
irresistable. 
Though the 
youngest in the 
school, she was 
looked up to by 
her companions 
who could not 
help but be 
pressed by 
dignity of 
manner. 

This is 
the more remark- 
able, because 
there was about 
her a certain re- 
serve, emphasized 
by a curtness in 
speech, that to 
some seemed to 
indicate rudeness 
and even pride. 
To one such who 
had upbraided 
her, she answered smilingly and with unaffected 
modesty: "What could pride have to do in the 
matter? I am not thinking of it. I don't answer, 
because I don't know what to say. I don't know 
whether I should answer rightly or wrongly, so I 
remain silent. There is an end to it." 

XT was quite generally recognized, however, 
that Gemma was of a vivacious temperament 
and that she was readily capable of being a 
mad-cap, had she not at all times held her boisterous 
inclinations in check. The reserve, so apparent in 



1m- 
the 
her 

all 



14 

her, was the effect of a fixed determination to 
acquire self-mastery. 

How well she succeeded, we know from her 
teachers who declared she never answered back, 
never pouted or grew ill-tempered. When on occa- 
sion she happened to be scolded for some childish 
fault, she would listen silently, and would after- 
wards say: "Don't be angry; don't let it trouble 
you. You will see I'll be good, and won't do it 
again." 

The charge of dullness never disturbed her. 
It is a matter of fact that she was more than 
ordinarily intelligent. She proved this rather con- 
vincingly on one occasion when a physician, who 
was attending her, brusquely rebuked what he 
thought to be excessive modesty, and undertook to 
lecture her in worldly wisdom and common sense. 
Her retort was so apt and incisive that he was 
utterly abashed. Her spiritual director, in later 
years, the learned Father Germanus, tells us that 
he often purposely put her mental ability to the 
test, and was always amazed at the unfailing quick- 
ness and correctness of her replies. 

e EMMA'S love for the Sacred Passion— all her 
life the predominant trait of her holiness — 
was the vehicle through which her high 
mental gifts became known. Often did she beg her 
teachers to tell her about the sufferings of Christ. 
This coveted favor was granted her only when she 
stood at the head of her class. No effort was too 
great for her to make in order that she might claim 
her reward. This was the reason why she always 
carried off the highest prizes at the graduation 
exercises. 

At the end of one school term she was awarded 
the gold medal in christian doctrine. Only when 
inspired by a religious motive did she display her 
gifts. Consequently it was very difficult to persuade 
her to take part in the annual exhibitions by sub- 
mitting to the view of the public specimens of her 
work in Italian and French. 

The first impression gained of this young school 
girl was a conviction of her unusual piety, a con- 
viction which deepened on continued acquaintance. 
It was a matter of common remark among her 
teachers that she evinced most seriousness during 
the catechism classes. 

It was likewise observed by them that this 
exemplary pupil practiced daily examination of 
conscience, meditation, and spiritual reading; but 
the amount of time she devoted to these several 
pious exercises, especially to meditation, their 
interested curiosity could never discover. 

Our Lord's Passion was the favorite, and almost 
constant, topic of her thoughts. Sister Camilla, a 
religious of tried virtue, was among the first to 
guide her in the knowledge of Christ Crucified. For 
a time it fell to her to give to Gemma her lessons 
on the Passion — the merited reward of her diligence. 
On such occasions her pupil manifested the greatest 



THE t SIGN 



sympathy for the sufferings of Jesus. "How often," 
she tells us, "did we not weep together during these 
informal lessons." 

As a result of these lessons, Gemma was 
inspired to practice severe penance. She even went 
so far as to fashion instruments of penance for her- 
self, but her superiors prudently forbade the use of 
them. To compensate for this privation she began 
a rigid mortification of her senses, which in the end, 
became a veritable crucifixion, and prepared her 
for the grace of being numbered amongst those who 
have most closely resembled the Man of Sorrows. 

Upon the death of Sister Camilla, Sister Julia 
Sestini succeeded the former as Gemma's mistress. 
This good woman instilled her own great love of 
prayer into the heart of her saintly charge. "It was 
owing to her instruction." Gemma once said, "that 
I, too, resolved to devote much time to prayer." 

XT was at this time that she began her practice 
of reciting daily the fifteen decades of the 
rosary, and of rising several times every night 
to reflect on the Passion. Besides these voluntary 
penances, she was subjected to others which are the 
common portion of all saintly souls. These trials 
served only to strengthen her virtue and to urge her 
on to greater efforts. With the consent of her con- 
fessor, she received Holy Communion more fre- 
quently; first, thrice a week, and then, daily. She 
sought, whenever possible, to be alone and at prayer. 
She dressed with the utmost simplicity, and seemed 
to be wholly indifferent to the gaieties which make 
such a strong appeal to those of her age. 

The pronounced opposition of her family to her 
singularity in dress added materially to her suffer- 
ings. They did not see why she did not dress like 
her sisters; and why she should not join in their 
ordinary pastimes. Her studied retirement was not 
due to excessive bashfulness, or to the lack of per- 
sonal charm. Her photograph attests her excep- 
tional beauty; and we know, from the testimony of 
persons still living, that she would have adorned any 
society. 

Gemma was soon to be freed from these painful 
difficulties by the death of her grandfather and of 
her uncle Maurice. After this, her aunts came to 
live with the Galganis; and their coming marked a 
change in the family's attitude towards her. Hence- 
forth she was at liberty to follow her own manner 
of life. It was not long, however, before she was 
burdened with another heavy cross. Her brother 
Gino, to whom she was devotedly attached, was 
wasting away with consumption. This deeply 
affected the sensitive girl. Nevertheless she_ bravely 
took upon herself the whole burden of nursing him, 
reckoning the danger of contagion as nothing. Her 
untiring solicitude was comparable only to the tender 
devotion of a mother. She was inconsolable when 
the end came. 

Sorrow added to a physical weakness, brought 



THE + SIGN 



«5 



on by long watchings in the sick room, undermined 
her health, so that she was confined to her bed for 
three months, and on several occasions was at the 
point of death. On her recovery, it was thought 
necessary that she should leave school. She was 
now in her sixteenth year. 

aFTER leaving school, Gemma devoted herself 
with great earnestness to home affairs. She 
was most exact in everything, and this was a 
source of great edification to all. Her good example 
was often spoken of with admiration not only during 
her life but for many years after her death. One 
Peter Maggi, a servant, particularly enthusiastic in 
his admiration for the young mistress, said that 
Gemma "stood alone and there was no one like her." 

She had great love for the poor, and when 
she became the head of the house had abundant 
opportunities to exercise this love in a practical 
way. She gave them everything she could lay her 
hands on — money, provisions, and even the house 
linens. Being forbidden by her confessor to do 
this, she grieved much that she was unable to help 
those needy ones whom she was sure to meet when 
leaving the house; on returning home she often 
wept. She resolved not to go out any more. 

Her daily routine was always much the same. 
She rose early for morning prayers and then went 



to church for Mass and Communion; she visited 
daily the Blessed Sacrament, and in the evening 
spent some time in meditation, and concluded her 
devotions with the rosary. She arose several times 
during the night for about a quarter of an hour to 
recommend the needs of her soul to Jesus. We 
know from her own words that at this time she began 
to receive direct communications from heaven. But 
while always engrossed with spiritual things, she 
never neglected her household duties. 

It was the will of God to detach more and more 
this saintly girl from earthly things, and Gemma 
always corresponded with the divine will. A gift 
of a gold watch and chain was the occasion on which 
God made a special manifestation of His will. To 
show her appreciation to the aunt who gave her the 
present, Gemma wore the beautiful ornaments as 
she went for a walk. On her return her guardian 
angel appeared and reproved her: "The precious 
ornaments that adorn the spouse of a Crucified King 
cannot be other than the thorns and the cross." At 
once Gemma discarded the watch and chain and 
also a valuable ring which she had been accustomed 
to wear. She made a determined resolution never 
even to speak of anything savoring of vanity. This 
apparition of the angel is the first recorded in her 
life. It was the beginning of a long series of 
supernatural visitations. 

(To be continued) 



The Sign 

Anthony F. Klinkner 

What Mother Mary saw 
In Jesus infant eyes, 

So Wondrous and so fair, — 

Caused sorrow's sword 

To pierce her loving heart, — 

The shadow of the Cross was there ! 



/^\ROOF of one's having attended the Sunday 
K^ services is the ability to repeat the substance, 
or at least the text, of the sermon. Such 
facility, however, is not proof that one has assisted 
at the services with interest, understanding or 
spiritual profit. It will stimulate attention in 
children if parents regularly inquire of them what 
the sermon or instruction was about. On a certain 



occasion an old-fashioned parson preached on the 
text: "An angel came down from heaven and drew 
a live coal from the altar." In the audience was a 
boy who himself became the most sensational 
preacher of his day. The service over, his old- 
fashioned parents asked him to repeat the text. 
Thus did he render it: "An Injun came down from 
New Haven and drew a live colt from the halter!" 



Current Fact and Comment 



WOULD YOU PUT IT IN WRITING? 



OFFICE-SEEKERS are notoriously unscrupu- 
lous in the matter of detraction. They find it 
to their purpose to make out strong cases 
against their competitors. Assistant Postmaster, 
Hubert Work, has a buffer job of listening to appli- 
cants for postmasterships from all over the country. 
He has an effective method. The applicant, having 
concluded his appeal with a conscienceless descrip- 
tion of his rivals' delinquencies, is told: "That is 



fine. It ought to be sufficient ground for action. 
Now, you put in writing all you have said to me, 
that I may have the record straight." Invariably 
the applicant departs, vaguely wondering how he 
becomes the victim of such ingenuousness. 

How many things we say about the absent 
neighbor that we dare not say in his presence, and 
that we would not commit to writing over our plain, 
bold signature! 



"SAVE THE SURFACE AND YOU SAVE ALL' 



^^-/HE above is a caption with which the 
f) ubiquitous signboard has made us all familiar. 
With manufacturers of paint it has long since 
become a highly successful and remunerative com- 
mercial slogan. This motto, however, is not confined 
to the paintshop; it has a far wider territory. It 
expresses very aptly the principle on which is built 
up the moral conduct of many people. Not infre- 
quently we meet persons willing to cast aside a solid, 
substantial oak or mahogany table for a brightly 
polished cheap veneer counterfeit of the same. It 
is the looks that count. So, too, respectability, 



culture, refinement become for many the substitutes 
for solid virtue; they become the shoddy cloaks for 
every manner of rottenness and sin. We Catholics 
must remember that God demands something more 
of us than mere external appearances. In the eyes 
of God there is no such thing as camouflage. He 
requires of us holiness. We do not save all when 
we save the surface. Without holiness, which alone 
makes us pleasing to God, all education, culture and 
refinement are as "the driven snow that covers the 
dunghill." 



AN INJUDICIOUS JUDGMENT 



Y^\ECENTLY, a decision handed down by the 
l^r Chief Justice of Pennsylvania stops state 
■*~^ J aid to all charities conducted under religious 
auspices. Sympathy is widely extended to the 
institutions which are to suffer hardships through 
this withdrawal of financial help. At the same 
time the incident draws attention to the efficiency 
of these institutions and to the fact that they 
lessen substantially the burden of taxation. The 
public is reminded that in their midst are homes, 
refuges, hospitals, affording shelter, comfort, expert 
aid, unselfish service : that it would be con- 



stantly harrowed by the sight of acute distress if 
these refuges were not so prompt to conceal distress 
from public view. 

It is well known that state institutions are 
usually run at extravagant waste of public funds 
without proportionate results. It is also well known 
that in the sphere of charitable endeavor the best 
results are attained by those who give their lives 
and efforts to the service of the Master. Only the 
other day the attention of the public was drawn to 
waste, the inefficiency, the vice rampant in a Federal 
home for disabled soldiers in Tennessee. 



THE AMERICAN— CANADIAN PEACE ARCH 



B PEACE ARCH has been completed over the 
Canadian border, linking the State of Wash- 
ington with the Province of British Columbia. 
It will be dedicated this month. It commemorates 
over a century of peace between two nations whose 
competitive interests often brought about strained 
relations just as grave in their import as the alleged 
causes for precipitating the World War. This Arch 
calls to mind that other pledge of lasting peace and 
friendship which surmounts the loftiest pinnacle of 
the mountainous border between Argentina and 
Chile. It is a colossal statue of our Lord, called 
"The Christ of the Andes." 



To this the Peace Arch ranks second in impres- 
siveness. Impressive, indeed, is the benign figure 
of Christ set up by two Catholic nations. It is a 
witness to their conviction that a lasting peace 
must be founded on something better than an entente 
or a commercial treaty. The Peace Arch gains its 
impressiveness not only because it commemorates 
a peace, but a peace maintained through conciliatory 
methods. Modern victors are learning that you 
cannot lick an opponent into helplessness and then 
expect him to serve you in reparation — are learning 
in how many subtle ways self-interested peace terms 
are hurting the dictator of them. 



THE t SIGN 



THE MATERNITY BILL AND THE CATHOLIC MOTHER 



BS an inducement to married women to bear 
children there has been introduced into Con- 
gress a bill known as the Maternity Bill 
which, if passed, will afford government aid to 
mothers in straightened circumstances in providing 
for their children. If this Bill will help some 
married women to live up to the dictates of their 
consciences, it might possibly accomplish something 
for decency and the State. Catholic women will 
not need any such inducement. 

The old-fashioned Catholic mothers are passing 
but they are not all gone. We remember the calico 
wrapper and the starched white apron which was 
donned when baby was taken for a walk with the 
other three or four little tots, one scarcely bigger 
than the other. In those days Faith shone as with 
a burning light. Every morning and evening its 
warm rays were trained upon the innocent hearts 
of the children as they were told of Jesus and Mary. 
Then, the mother prayed (and the father, too) that 



the day might come, when a son would stand at the 
altar of God. 

The calico dress and the starched apron are 
gone : but we still have Catholic mothers, clothed 
in smarter frocks, whose lives are an inspiration. 
They are blessed before God, a credit to the Church 
and the glory of their sex. They are also a reproach 
and a judgment to the married women who forfeit 
the privilege and happiness of motherhood for the 
sake of sinful self-indulgence. Then, too, these 
mothers give their quota to God even at the cost of 
much pain and sacrifice. Gladly, yea cheerfully, is 
the oldest boy given to minister at the altar; and 
the capable daughter, often the main support of the 
home, is bidden Godspeed when she makes known 
her desire to enter the convent. 

God bless our Catholic mothers. May their 
number increase till the good odor of Jesus Christ 
is diffused throughout the world! 



IRELAND— "THE TEST OF AMERICANISM" 



XN a splendid speech before the Senate — a 
speech as convincing as it was eloquent — 
Senator LaFollette characterized the Irish 
Cause as "the Test of Americanism." 

So much untruth has ben printed about the 
Irish fight for independence; so many facts have 
been deliberately distorted; so much 'news' has been 
adroitly colored, that many Americans, having drunk 
from the poisoned wells, are inoculated with a 
deadly anti-Irish virus. 

Among these are some Catholics with Irish 
blood in their veins. They are so squeemish about 
their 'unadultered patriotism' and so fearful of the 
incriminating 'hyphen', that they lack the courage 
to say before their fellow-men what in their hearts 
they know to be the truth. 

Their 100% Americanism resembles strongly 
that of the dollar-a-year slacker and the loud- 
mouthed war profiteer. 

They are righteously incensed at the supposed 
Polish pogroms against the Jews, and they enthuse 
over the national aspirations of Jugo-Slavia, and 
they bewail the plight of bleeding Armenia; but they 
shudder at what they deem the vulgar insistence of 
the Irish to end their seven-century tragedy! 

George Washington and the Continental Con- 
gress were high-minded patriots when they balked 



at the stolid stupidity of George III. But DeValera 
and the Dail Eireann are deluded extremists — dupes 
of an impetuous fanaticism — when they scorn the 
manikin pleadings of George V! 

General Prescott was an intrepid soldier when 
he thrice repulsed the Red Jackets at Bunker Hill. 
But General Collins is a common assasin when he 
blows up a defenseless British tank! 

Thomas Jefferson was a statesman with vision 
when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. 
But Arthur Griffiths is only a visionary when he lays 
down the platform of Sinn Fein ! 

The Boston Tea Party is fit for song and story. 
But the armed defense of invaded homes is worthy 
of a world's execration! 

The burning of Washington was an act of 
unjustifiable frightfulness. But the burning of Cork 
was a merited reprisal to uphold the dignity of the 
Crown ! 

The imported Hessians were brutal hirelings. 
But the Black and Tans are the duly authorized 
defenders of law and order! 

To the sincere American the Declaration of 
Independence is the exponent of national and indi- 
vidual right. The application of this norm to Ire- 
land is the test of true Americanism. 



RELIGION THE PROP OF MORALITY 



ffl 



[ORALITY depends on religion; religion 
depends on religious education, religious 
schools and teachers, religious books and 
influence. If the child does not receive religious 
training, the man will not have religion. The child 



is father to the man. Horace Mann, the father of 
the public school system, once declared: "If the 
intellect, however gifted, be not goverened by a 
sense of justice, a love of mankind, and a devotion 
to duty, its possessor is only a more splendid, as he 



i8 



THE 1" SIGN 



is a more dangerous, barbarian. For we are fully 
persuaded that the salt of religious truth can alone 
preserve education from abuse." Ruskin said: "Ed- 
ucation does not mean teaching people to know what 
they do not know; it means teaching them to behave 
as they do not behave." Wellington declared: 
"Educate men without religion, and you make them 
but clever devils." 

By banishing God and religion from their 
schools, France, Italy and Russia are raising a 
horde of immoral and criminal infidels, socialists, 
anarchists and bolsheviks, who have become the 
propagators of suicidal revolution, and the menace 
of all social order. By banishing God and religion 
from our own schools, we too are raising another 
horde of godless citizens who threaten the very 
foundations of our American Republic. Take away 
religion, and immediately you destroy the very basis 
of morality, of stability, of social order in our 
national life. 

aNFORTUNATELY, there are some Catholic 
parents who do not seem to know that the 
parochial school stands as a protest against 
the irreligious system that would blot God out of the 



life of the child. They do not appreciate what the 
Catholic school gives the child. They are so dead 
to its worth and efficiency that they blatantly bray 
their ignorance by comparing it unfavorably with 
the public school; whereas, even from a merely 
secular view-point, it is the equal of the public 
school both as to methods and results. In every 
parish are to be found 'climbers' who think that 
because they have a few more dollars than their 
neighbors, their children are of a higher intellectual 
type. These children must not go to the parish 
schools — the Sisters are not capable of teaching 
them! After graduation from the grammar school, 
the girls are packed off to some fashionable institute 
to have their silly little heads filled with frivolous 
fads and fancies: the boys are dispatched to some 
exclusive secular college, because, forsooth!, the 
Christian Brothers or the Jesuits cannot measure up 
to the intellectual requirements of these youthful 
prodigies. 

Our Catholic parents have just reason to be 
proud of the parochial schools. They have a strict 
obligation to support them. Their children should 
be found in them. That is where they belong. 



A TRAGIC WITNESS TO BIGOTRY 



HATELY, our Catholic people were shocked at 
the report of the cold-blooded murder of the 
Very Rev. James E. Coyle, pastor of St. 
Paul's Catholic Church, Birmingham, Ala. The 
murderer is the Rev. Edwin R. Stephenson. 

Shortly before the tragic event Father Coyle 
had married Miss Ruth Stephenson, the murderer's 
daughter, to Mr. Pedro Gussmann. Miss Stephenson 
is a recent convert to the Church. Her testimony 
shows the motive of the murder. 

"When I heard of the tragedy," she said, "I just 
couldn't believe that such a thing had happened. 
Poor dear Father Coyle was such a wonderful and 
noble man. 

"I was baptized in the Catholic Faith by 
Father Kelly at Our Lady of Sorrows on April 10. 
When I was ready to make my First Communion on 
May 15, my father locked me in a room and mis- 
treated me terribly. I was confined there from 
Friday until Monday, when I was permitted to leave 
for work. I never will forget these nights, and I 
still have nightmares about the experiences I had. 

"If I had stayed at home they were going to 
force me to marry another man this fall. This man 
is a Mason and a divorced man. I could not marry 
him under the tenets of my religion. 

"I met Pedro and we went to Bessemer and 
got the license. We hunted for the priest at Bes- 
semer but were unable to find him. We then re- 
turned to Birmingham. Father Coyle was the only 
one who could marry us. 

"I do not want to see my father. He has done 



a terrible thing for which there is no excuse." 

We understand that Mr. Stephenson will be 
defended by four of the ablest lawyers in the State. 
The only defence that they can possibly offer in this 
outrageous case is that the mind of the murderer 
was unhinged by his hatred of the Catholic Church. 
We have no difficulty in believing that a weak- 
minded person preyed upon by the damnable bigotry 
so rampant in some of our Southern States could 
easily become the victim of religious insanity. 

What a pity that the life of one of God's anoint- 
ed priests should have been sacrificed in the new- 
born wave of insensate anti-Catholic bigotry that is 
sweeping the South ! 

This bigotry is largely due to the woful ignor- 
ance of the people of the South concerning Catholic 
belief and practice. For the most part, their know- 
ledge of the Church is derived from irresponsible, 
itinerant preachers — such as the Rev. Stephenson in 
Alabama, or from wiley politicians — such as the 
foul-mouthed Tom Watson in Georgia, or from lying 
fanatics — such as the unspeakable Catts in Florida. 

One of the most potent ways of stilling the 
raging storm of bigotry is the spreading of Catholic 
literature. Bishop Kiely's Laymen's League is 
doing great good in Georgia through its preach-by- 
mail campaign. The Knights of Columbus Lecture 
Bureau is meeting with unexpected success in other 
Southern States. The International Truth Society 
of Brooklyn will gladly send directions to any of 
our readers for re-mailing Catholic literature to 
those places where it is most needed. 



In the Ruins Above Chinon 



Edith Staniforth 



gRE you ready, Anne?" asked Marjory 
Thornton, coming into her cousin's room. 
"The car is at the door." 
"Quite," answered Anne Trelawney. 

She picked up a warm cloak, for though the 
sun was hot it was only May and the evenings were 
apt to be chilly, and throwing it over her arm she 
followed her cousin downstairs. Two young men 
advanced to meet them as they came out of the 
hotel. Devlin, the owner of the car, was a dark, 
handsome Celt with blue eyes and black hair which 
yet had red tints in it. His friend, Charlie Mex- 
borough, was a typical Englishman, tall and fair, 
with a lazy manner which was rather misleading. 
They were staying at Tours at the same hotel as 
the two pretty English girls, who excited their 
curiosity and admiration, but who, they felt, were 
not the kind with whom one could scrape acquain- 
tance. Then one evening they met at a party given 
by a charming American woman at her flat in the 
Boulvart Beranger, the most fashionable part of the 
town, and were formally introduced. There was still 
a considerable American element in Tours, engaged 
in winding up matters after the war. A large 
American contingent had been quartered in 
Touraine, where their command of money excited 
the envy of the population but brought prosperity 
to the country-side. 

Acquaintance soon ripens into friendship under 
such conditions, and Devlin placed his car at the 
disposal of the girls who were visiting the castles 
of Touraine. They could not well refuse him a seat 
in his own car, and together with him and his friend 
they saw all the most interesting spots in a neigh- 
bourhood brimful of history and romance. 

"Where are we going today, Mr. Devlin?" 
Marjory asked. 

It was he who planned the expeditions and 
looked out the roads. 

"To Chinon," he replied, "the oldest of all the 
castles, a ruin but a magnificent one. We will take 
Azay-le-Rideau on the way, it is the gem of the 
Renaissance and you must not miss it. Will that 
suit?" 

"Excellent. Could not be better," Marjory 
answered. 

Devlin was a multi-millionaire who had made 
his money by a mixture of luck and hard work. 
He seized his opportunity when the chance came in 
his way and it led on to fortune. He was a curious 
compound of contradictory elements; a shrewd 
business man, he was yet extraordinarily well read, 
and there was a dreamy strain in his nature which 
brought him in touch with Anne. They were both 
Celts, she from Cornwall and he from Ireland, and 
had the imaginative faculty strongly developed, and 
they were both Catholics which was an additional 



link between them. He turned to her now and his 
voice took a softer key. It was an Irish voice, full 
of modulations. 

"Miss Trelawney," he said, "will you sit by me 
in front?" 

He drove his own car and was an expert and 
skillful driver. 

Anne coloured and looked at her cousin. She 
felt shy of accepting the post of honor, for Marjory 
was the leader and she was her guest. Anne was 
a convert of only a month's standing. Her father, 
a Protestant clergyman in Cornwall, had turned 
her out of the house at the instigation of her step- 
mother, and her mother's brother, a rich ironmaster 
in the north, justly indignant, had taken her in. 

"But now mind, Anne," he warned her, "no 
proselytising. I don't want Marjory to follow your 
example." 

"You needn't trouble, uncle Richard," replied 
Anne. "If God wants to convert Marjory He can do 
so without my help. I suppose if she wanted to 
become a Catholic you would not prevent her?"' 

"No, I shouldn't, I think people have a right to 
choose for themselves in such matters, but I don't 
want her influenced." 

Anne promised and the two girls set out for 
France together, Anne's first trip abroad and 
Marjory's first since the war. They had always been 
friends and Marjory had hotly espoused her cousin's 
cause. She laughed now and shook her head. 

"I would rather sit behind, it is not so windy." 

EROM the first Devlin had singled out Anne 
for his attentions. At first sight many people 
were disposed to give the palm for beauty 
to Marjory, with her brilliant colouring and smart 
appearance, which was natural to her and did not 
depend on her clothes, but there was a haunting 
charm in Anne's deep gray eyes which lingered in 
the memory when her cousin's more showy charms 
were forgotten. Marjory watched the growing 
intimacy between Anne and Devlin with glee and 
without a spark of envy: there were plenty of other 
chances for the rich man's daughter. What a slap 
in the face it would be to Anne's stepmother if 
through her machinations and persecution the girl 
made a brilliant marriage! 

Anne had been that morning to the house of the 
Holy Man, whose life she had just been reading. 
He appealed to her strongly, a saint of her own 
time who under the appearance of an ordinary good 
citizen had veiled heights of heroic sanctity. She 
had knelt in the chapel, which had formerly been 
his sitting-room, and slipt a letter in the box in his 
bedroom upstairs, begging him to reconcile her with 
the father she so dearly loved in spite of all his 
unkindness. She knew that he loved her still 



THE t SIGN 



though evil councils had set him against her and 
that he too, suffered from their estrangement. The 
shadow of her prayer still lingered in her eyes 
when she took her seat in the car. 

They stopped at Azay-le-Rideau, embosomed 
in woods and gardens and almost encircled by the 
river which formed the moat, but with few historic 
associations since, unlike the other castles, it was 
not a king's palace but the home of a private 
individual. 

"Much nicer," Marjory opined. "I wouldn't 
mind staying here. I am sure the other places are 
full of ghosts. Fancy Catherine de Medici straying 
into your room in the middle of the night!" 

Then they made a detour by Balzac's house 
where he wrote the "Lys de la Vallee," and onto the 
Forest of Chinon where they halted and lunched 
under the spreading trees in one of the glades. 
Devlin had provided a basket of good things from 
Potin, the chief confectioner in the town, and a 
couple of bottles of Vouvray, the sparkling wine of 
the country, like champagne but not so heady. 

"This is delightful," exclaimed Marjory. "Will 
somebody tell us a story?" 

For nobody felt inclined to move, it was so 
pleasant in the forest, green and cool and peaceful. 
Devlin had stretched himself on the grass at Anne's 
feet and now and then his ardent gaze encountered 
hers and caused her to colour a little and turn aside. 
Yet she could not find fault with his homage, it 
was perfectly respectful. 

"Tell them about your experience with the 
American hotel-keeper, Charlie," he said to his 
friend. "It is worth hearing." 

yy\EXBOROUGH complied. Though he was 
\\M poor and Devlin was rich there was perfect 
' ^ equality between them, no subservience on 
the one side or patronage on the other. 

"I had gone out to Nebraska to look for a job. 
I had always been accustomed to plenty of money 
and when the crash came it was difficult to realize 
that there was no more forthcoming. I stayed 
at the best hotel as I had always done and waited 
for something to turn up. It was all right as long 
as the money lasted, but when it came to an end I 
still stayed on and the hotel-keeper got impatient. 
At last he told me point-blank that I must either 
pay up or go. 

'But where am I to go to? I asked. 

T don't know. You can't stay here.' 

'What am I to do ?' 

'Do? Work like other people, I guess.' 

'But I can't hear of a job.' 

'Nonsense. You haven't tried. You've just 
waited for the plum to drop into your mouth.' 

Then — for he was quite a good fellow, only he 
wanted his money, for which I could not blame him 
— he began to cross-examine me on my capabilities. 
My answers were so unsatisfactory that he got dis- 
couraged. 



Say, son, there must be something you can 
do. Isn't there some one thing you can do better 
than other people?' 

I thought and thought. 

T am very strong,' I said at last. T carried 
a donkey round the quadrangle at college for a bet.' 

' No!' he exclaimed, quite struck. 'You can't 
do that.' 

'Yes, I can.' 

'There's a donkey in the backyard. Come out 
and try.' 

I went : I carried the donkey. Then he put me 
through two or three more trials of strength. At 
the end he slapped me on the back. 

'Why, boy,' he cried, 'our fortune's made. 
Don't you worry, leave it all to me. I'll see to 
everything. We'll get up a show and you shall be 
the Strong Man. There are dollars in it, I can tell 
you.' 

So we did. I had no trouble, he did everything. 
He disposed of his hotel and we travelled from 
place to place, dividing the profits. He played quite 
fair, I lived on the fat of the land and was beginning 
to put money by, a thing I had never done in my 
life before, when I got a wire from Jim telling me 
he had made his pile and asking me to come and join 
him. So I threw up my job and came : the tempta- 
tion to get back to the old country was too strong 
to resist. My man nearly wept when I said goodbye 
to him. 

T shall have to go back to hotel-keeping, I 
guess,' he said. 'But I can't complain, I've done 
well by you. Only if you get sick of Europe 
remember there's a place for you over here.' 



® 



;EXBOROUGH had told his story with a 
modest simplicity that yet left a great deal 
to the imagination. 

"Are you really as strong as that, Mr. Mex- 
borough?" asked Marjory. 

For there was nothing in Mexborough's appear- 
ance to denote unusual physical strength. He 
might have muscles of iron and nerves of steel, 
but as far as looks went a casual observer would 
have given the preference to Devlin, who was taller 
and much more powerfully built. 

"Sure. I'll show you the first chance we get." 

He little guessed how soon that chance was to 
come. Devlin looked at his watch. 

"We must get on. It takes some time to see 
Chinon and we have got to climb the hill." 

They got back into the car and sped along the 
valley. 

"I am sure Mr. Mexborough felt his position 
keenly," said Anne to her companion, "although 
he spoke of it so lightly." 

"He did that," answered Devlin emphatically. 
"He was rolling in riches when I knew him first, 
and I a poor lad over from Ireland with neither 
money nor friends. He put my foot on the first 
rung of the ladder which led to success and when 



THE + SIGN 



his father failed I made up my mind that if luck 
came my way he should share it." 

The speaker's face glowed with generous 
enthusiasm and Anne felt her heart go out to him. 
Not all successful men have such a good memory 
for past kindness. 

"It is the wheel of fortune," Devlin continued. 
"It goes round and round, first one man's turn, then 
another's; and I suppose there is justice in it. But 
Charlie is not the money-making kind, though he 
would make a good use of it if he had it — none 
better. I have put him on to two or three things 
which will bring him a decent income and make 
him independent. Every creditor was satisfied when 
his father died, he insisted on that, and gave up 
the small fortune he in- 
herited from his mother. 
He only reserved enough 
to take him out to the 
States and keep him 
there till he found a job. 
A queer one it was too, 
but an honest one at any 
rate, which is more than 
you can say for a good 
many deals in business." 

They entered the 
little town nestling under 
the shadow of its mighty 
neighbour which in 
former times had been 
by turns its terror and 
its protection, and leav- 
ing the car at the hotel 
they threaded their way 
through the narrow 
streets with their quaint 
old-world charm till they 
reached the foot of the 
hill on which the castle 
was built. It stretched 
along the crest with a 
magnificent view of the 
valley and the river 
winding like a blue rib- " " ~ 

bon through the pastures. 

It was a steep climb and the sun was hot, and they 
were glad to pause halfway and admire the scene. 

Then they pushed on to the top and passed 
through the archway. It was a wonderful ruin of 
vast extent and no attempt had been made to restore 
it, but the hand of time had touched it lovingly 
and flowers grew out of the crevices, softening 
the rough edges of the stone. Here Richard the 
Lionhearted breathed his last, hit by a chance 
arrow at the siege of Chaluz and brought hither 
to die. Here Joan of Arc came to plead with the 
king and picked him out amongst his courtiers in 
the disguise of a simple gentleman. They wandered 
through the rooms, most of them unroofed and open 
to the air, and came at last to a little stone causeway 



To The Sacred Heart 

James W. Gibbons 

Dear Sacred Heart I come to Tkee, 

And Lo! I dare to pray, 
A little place be held for me 

That I may know some day 
The glory of eternal lo^e, 

A union ne'er to part, 
A home with Thee in realms abo-Oe, 

Losing Sacred Heart! 

Dear Sacred Heart so kind and true, 

Be merciful to me; 
And grant that when this life is through 

1 dwell in peace with Thee. 
For me the Precious Blood was shed, 

Thy side was torn apart, 

That I may live though I be dead, 

O tender Sacred Heart! 



spanning the precipice and connecting two parts 
of the building. 

"Will you cross it, Miss Thornton?" asked 
Devlin, but Marjory drew back shuddering. 

"I couldn't. My head would go round. I shall 
fall." 

"We will wait for them here," said Mex- 
borough re-assuringly. Children and timid people 
always turned to him with confidence. Anne, more 
daring, followed Devlin's lead: she had climbed the 
cliffs at home by the Cornish sea and had a sure 
foot and a steady head. Together they explored 
the place, descended to the dungeons and mounted 
to giddy heights with a coolness which would have 
done credit to an Alpine climber. Devlin's hand 
was ready to assist her 
if she needed it, but she 
very seldom availed her- 
self of help. And all 
the time words were 
trembling on his lips 
which it only needed the 
slightest encouragement 
on her part to utter, but 
something in her manner 
held him back. Anne 
did not wish him to 
speak just yet and break 
the delightful conscious- 
ness they shared between 
them. She was not sure 
of herself, she had 
known him so short a 
time, and her soul was 
still sorely shaken by the 
consequences involved 
in her conversion, the 
loss of her home and 
her father's love. She 
needed time to recover, 
to re-adjust her life to its 
new conditions. This 
new hope which was 
dawning upon her was 
still a stranger, it was 
too soon to admit it into 
her heart. Once she stumbled and he caught her in 
his arms, but she disengaged herself quickly and 
he was baffled but not discouraged. After all, he 
told himself, there was the long drive home before 
him. She should not elude him, he would speak 
before the day was done. 

gT last they returned to the others and Anne 
sat down to rest beside her cousin while 
Devlin and Mexborough went off to inspect 
other parts of the ruins. 

"What a heavenly day!" exclaimed Anne. 
"And what a glorious view!" 

She got up in order to see better. They were 
on a little platform protected by a low wall from 



THE f SIGN 



the sheer edge of the abyss, and Anne went and 
leant against it. 

"Anne," cried Marjory, "come away from that 
wall. I am sure it is not safe. There are cracks 
in it already." 

As she spoke Anne to her horror felt the wall 
giving way and a great mass of masonry detached 
itself from the rest and fell crashing into the abyss. 
She could not save herself, she had not time to step 
back, but dropped — to be caught by a stone jutting 
out like a buttress from the building. Her dresb 
was a strong one and held, and she clung with both 
hands to the stone, not daring to look down for she 
knew that her head would not stand it. All sorts 
of thoughts flashed through her mind as she hung 
in mid-air: of her father in the Cornish parsonage 
and of what his feelings would be when he heard 
of the death of his only child, unreconciled and 
unforgiven; of Devlin — she wished now she had let 
him speak — of Marjory, poor soul! and the shock 
it would be to her. Thank God she was a Catholic 
at least and had no fear of the next world! It was 
only the violent death that she shrank from. She 
wondered how long her grasp would hold and 
whether she would feel the dull thud on the stones 
below. Perhaps she would be only maimed, not 
killed. She shuddered at the thought. Better, far 
better to be killed outright than to creep through 
life on a broken wing. Still God knew best and she 
resigned herself to death or life as it pleased Him. 

Marjory was screaming loudly for help and 
the two men came rushing back. Anne heard a 
shout from above. 

"Hold on, Miss Trelawney. Don't be 
frightened. I'll have you up in no time." 

It was Mexborough's voice, cheering and com- 
forting, and the hope of rescue brought new strength 
to her grasp. He laid himself on the ground, face 
downwards, and instructed Devlin to sit on his legs. 

"Put your hands into mine," he told her. "First 
one, then the other." 

It required a great effort of faith to loose her 
hold, but it was her only chance and she obeyed. 
She felt his hands close over hers — such strong 
hands, though gentle, as strength so often is — and 
the next moment she was drawn up, swung round 
and landed, breathless, giddy but safe on the solid 
ground. Devlin, deadly pale, was leaning against 
the castle wall and Marjory was crying in a corner. 

EOR the first time in her life Anne Trelawney 
knew what fear meant. Never again would 
she accord that kindly tolerance to others 
which had hitherto been her attitude towards fearful 
and timid souls. Her lips were white and her limbs 
trembled under her as she held out her hand to 
Mexborough and thanked him in broken words 
for having saved her. Devlin made a step forward, 
then drew back. It was Mexborough, not he, who 
guided her down the steep path and praised her 
courage. 



"It is alright, Miss Trelawney," he said en- 
couragingly. "You feel the reaction now, and no 
wonder. It was a nasty experience, but people 
run these risks every day for a movie." 

"I will go and fetch the car," said Devlin and 
started ahead. 

He returned with it presently and they got in, 
the two girls inside and the men in front. Anne 
leant back and closed her eyes; her wrists ached 
with the severe strain, her whole body felt bruised 
and broken, but there was more than this behind. 
Devlin had not spoken to her, had not even con- 
gratulated her on her escape. What did it mean? 
Had she made a mistake in thinking that he cared 
for her? It seemed impossible when she remem- 
bered his looks and words that afternoon and yet 
what else could she believe? Common politeness 
demanded that he should say something; he was 
her host and responsible in some measure for her 
safety since he had brought her to the place where 
she had so nearly lost her life. Was it jealousy? 
Was he vexed because she owed her safety to 
Mexborough and not to him? Surely not; he knew 
very well that she had no feeling for his friend 
beyond esteem and liking. Marjory's hand stole 
into hers and she returned the tender pressure, but 
she did not speak. Her cousin respected her silence 
which seemed to her only natural; she herself was 
shaken and unnerved, for her fright had been very 
great. What a mercy Mexborough had been there! 

^^[HEY reached the hotel and Anne got out 
L^J without seeming to see Devlin's hand out- 
^"^ stretched to help her. 

"Marjory," she said, "I want to go round to the 
Holy Man's house. I shall not be long." 

"But are you fit to, Anne?" asked Marjory 
anxiously. "Shall I come with you?" 

"No, dear, uncle Richard would not like it." 

"May I, Miss Trelawney?" asked Devlin. 

She looked at him. What did this mean? 
Then she remembered that he was a Catholic, which 
she had forgotten for the moment. 

"Thank you," she said, and they set out in 
silence. 

"You are going to give thanks for your escape," 
he said at last. 

"Yes," she answered. 

"In that I at least I may join you, for if ever a 
man had cause for thankfulness too deep for words 
it is I. Do you know what I felt today when you 
hung over the abyss and I could not reach you? 
When Charlie saved your life before my eyes and 
I stood by? I almost hated him; I would have 
given all my money for his strength. I would have 
risked my life a thousand times to save you, but I 
was helpless. And you, what did you think of me? 
A poor weakling who stood on one side and let 
another man save the woman he loved!" 

"Oh, no! no! no!" cried Anne, overborne 
by the passion with which he spoke, and bursting 



THE 1* SIGN 



into tears. "How could you think such a thing!" 

"You turned away from me. You would not 
speak to me." 

"It was you, I thought, who would not speak to 
me," she faltered. 

"Because I did not dare. Anne — what a perfect 
little name it is! It is like yourself , there is nothing 
to add to it and nothing to take away. Again and 
again today I tried to speak to you but you would not 



let me. I would have spoken though in spite of you 
except for this. Love does not count by days and 
months but by the striking hours, the hours which 
decide our lives, and this is one. Anne, do you love 
me?" 

They had reached the Holy Man's house : she 
turned to him, her eyes shining through her tears. 

"Shall we go in and ask a blessing?" she 
whispered, and, baring his head, he followed her. 



Deepest Depth 

Placidus M. Endler 

'Then snail He say: I know you not." 
Than this there is no sadder lot, 

To be by Lov"e Itself forgot! 



Weariness and Constancy 



^T^EARINESS is accountable for much of our 
\^£y inefficiency. The manner in which a man 
resists weariness, whatever the cause of it, 
and carries on, marks him as a man of character 
before the world, and as a man of virtue before God. 
Worldlings are wiser and more energetic in striving 
for temporal gain and advantages than are professed 
Christians in their spiritual endeavors. 

Many instances are known of stupendous labors 
wrought in spite of chronic infirmities and well-nigh 
insurmountable obstacles. Real heroism is revealed 
in a letter written by Robert Louis Stevenson a year 
before his death : 

"For fourteen years I have not had a day's 
real health. I have awakened sick and gone to bed 
weary; and I have done my work unflinchingly. I 
have written in bed and out of it, written in hem- 
orrhages, written in sickness, written torn by cough- 



ing, written when my head swam from weakness; 
and for so long, it seems to me I have won my 
wager and recovered my glove. I am better now — 
have been rightly speaking — since first I came to 
the Pacific; and still, few are the days when I am 
not in some physical distress. And the battle goes 
on, — ill or well is a trifle — so it goes. I was made 
for a contest, and the Powers have so willed that 
my battlefield should be this dingy, inglorious one 
of the bed and the physic bottle. At least I have 
not failed, but I would have preferred a place of 
trumpetings and the open air over my head." 

The cure for weariness is not to be found in 
any quack medicine, or in any physical culture 
regime, or in any New Thought vagary. It is to be 
found in keeping constantly before us a high ideal 
of life. The world would regard as a fanatic one 
who would do for his soul half as much as Stevenson 
did to gain a literary crown. 



Standardization in the Moral World 



Mark Moeslein, C. P- 




STANDARDIZATION is the obsession of 
the twentieth century. Over the South 
is a far-reaching movement to standardize 
the staple of cotton. Elsewhere the same 
is being done for other products of the soil. Labor 
is being standardized, and so is business. So much 
is being written and spoken about standardization 
that even children grasp more or less definitely 
what the big word means ; that it denotes something 
better than has been hitherto attained. 

Standardization is not a new vision of life and 
its opportunities. It is as old as the human family; 
for the great tempter used it to the wretched harm 
of the race: "Ye shall be as gods." Thus he pro- 
voked Eve to long for what appealed to her as 
better than what she had. The abject submission to 
the exactions of fashion is an ever-present mani- 
festation of the imperious lure for conforming to 
what has been set as a standard. Fashion enforces 
conditions of slavery from which few men and fewer 
women have the courage to break away. Hence, 
standardization may be either for the ruin or for 
the uplift of mankind. The accepted standard 
determines whether or not the vision is for woe or 
weal. 

Standardization is a natural impulse. From 
the wild boy whose aim is to make his gang the 
toughest in town to the model citizen or saint, every 
one strives to standardize himself, his conduct and 
his accomplishments. Though we glory in liberty, 
every one of us is a slave to a master of his own 
choosing. This master is the elected standard or 
purpose of life. No master's rule is so despotic as 
our subconscious impulse to live according to stand- 
ards. One may have a variety of aims; but among 
them will be one which dominates all others. This 
is the actual standard. The others are only means 
to its attainment. "No man can serve two masters." 
What is written of life generally, is in an 
especial manner true of its moral, spiritual and 
religious phases. Men will be moral or immoral, 
spiritual or animal, religious or materialistic, as is 
their dominating standard. One's needs and modes 
of life are so changeable that one may be dominated 
successively by divers standards in a comparatively 
short time. Such is the sad experience of many. 
Few are uniformly moral, spiritual and religious 
for long periods. The majority walk the easy road 
of repeated moral lapses. 

y^^HE chief standards are two : one spiritual and 
I) the other carnal; one heavenly and the other 
^*^ earthly; one divine and the other materi- 
alistic. God inspires the first term of each of these 
couplets; but the second, is the work of Satan. 
One lifts men up to God, making them akin to the 
angels; the other lowers men, making them akin 



to the beasts. The Bible differentiates the followers 
of these two standards as "the sons of God," and 
the offspring "of the daughters of men." The Savior 
classifies them as the servants of God, and the 
servants of Mammon. 

The very soul of the divine standard is the 
acceptance and carrying out of God's plans for the 
betterment of mankind. The nature of Satan's 
standard is self-gratification. 

Hence, the divine standard of living is one 
for all men; yet by reason of its sublimity, it is 
suitable for the endless variety of abilities and 
conditions of men in all walks of society and in all 
ages. The march of those who follow it, is always 
heavenward, to higher levels of moral, spiritual and 
religious excellence, even unto God Himself, trans- 
forming them into the children of God. 

Not so with the Tempter's standards. They 
are as manifold as the classes of men. Every one 
fashions standards to suit his fancy. All of which 
lead away from God and debase the individual and 
the race. Our age, so remarkable for standard 
making for the uplift of mankind, is palpable 
evidence thereof. In national life, we have the 
unrest which drives people into the indescribable 
horrors of Sovietism. In the field of labor and 
business, the selfishness and greed of industrialism, 
commercialism and capitalism grind mankind be- 
tween the upper and lower mill-stones of the materi- 
alistic interpretation of life. In individual life, the 
lust for sensuous ease and pleasure carries men 
and women and children along with the irresistable 
force of mountain torrents. At every stage of the 
progress of the followers of earthly standards, may 
be repeated the words of the Prophet Osee, speaking 
of the carnal-minded Israelites: they "become 
abominable, as those things were which they loved." 

Since there is no escaping the impulse to live 
by standards it is of vital interest to us to study 
the divine standardization which is for our weal, 
lest we be engulfed in the woe to which earthly 
standards inevitably lead. 

eOD in His mercy gave us a Standard-Bearer 
Who is a visible, tangible model of the divine 
standard of life in action; pointing to Jesus 
of Nazareth, He calls on us to live as the lowly 
Nazarene, every one according to his ability and the 
conditions of his life. 

In Jesus Christ we have the union of the human 
and the divine; for He is both God and Man. In 
all things, only sin and human personality excepted, 
a man such as we are. It was most fitting that He 
should unite in Himself the human and the divine 
and thus be the living link uniting God and the 
human race. A mere man could hardly hold us 
any more than other great and good men do. God 



THE 1* SIGN 



alone is so far above us that it is difficult for us to 
keep in close touch with Him. But the Son of God, 
incarnate in our nature, brings God close to us. 

That we might see Him and, as it were, 'handle' 
Him, it is marvellous how Jesus took to Himself 
the lowliness of our lot. From Bethlehem to Cal- 
vary, He submitted to the galling hardships of our 
life, not even temptation excepted. Frequently 
flashes of His divinity revealed that He is immense- 
ly more than man; but the normal course of His life 
is that of poverty, hardships and persecution 
unto death. It was a 
most fitting arrangement. 
Whilst faith goads us on 
to yearn and strive for 
the spiritual grandeur of 
character which associa- 
tion with God produces, 
hardships of all kinds 
make it most difficult to 
reach Him Who alone 
can make us truly great. 
Our Standard - Bearer 
showed forth in Himself, 
the pattern which we 
must copy; but He did 
it in the midst of the 
most human trials. 

Hence, it is not at 
all startling to witness 
how much the remem- 
brance and veneration of 
the lowliness of Jesus 
are interwoven into the 
religious life of Catho- 
lics. Wherever one turns 
in our churches there are 
reminders of His humili- 
ty. The Stations on the 
walls tell the sad story 
of His painful journey 
to Calvary. The Crucifix 
on the altars is a constant memorial of His death. 
His real Presence in the Eucharist is a permanent 
exhibition of His abasement. All these bring home 
to devout believers that His debasement elevates 
us, His wounds heal us, His death is our entrance 
into life. 

[0 too is the worship of Catholics most intim- 
ately associated with the remembrance of 
the self-sacrificing life of Jesus. There 
are weeks of preparation for honoring the recur- 
rence of His birthday. The Christmas festivities 
are celebrated about a miniature stable with its 
manger-cradle. The weeks that follow are spent 
with Him in the obscurity of His hidden life at 
Nazareth. Then His forty days of fast and tempta- 
tion in the wilderness are brought home to earnest 
souls by the devotional and penitential exercises 
of Lent. The mournful services of Holy Week 



Salve Regina 

Bernard D. Ward 

Thou art my Queen ! 

I dare to call Thee so, 

Lo\>e conquers my* timidity, 

I'd have Thee knov?, 

OK Mother Mar>), Virgin blest. 

My soul can find no peace, no rest, 

Unless it be that Thou shalt deign 

To make my heart Thy throne and reig 

For then I know that come xtfhat may\ 

Naught can harm me on my way 

Thro' Life, until, its mission done, 

Thou vCilt lead me to Thy* Son, 

The King of Kings, and then I \\>een, 

Truly Thou wilt be my Queen. 



recall the details of His Passion. During the forty 
days following the Resurrection, there is an air of 
surpressed triumphant joy. The Summer and 
Autumn months, between Pentecost and Advent, 
are rich in remembrance of His wanderings, His 
association with the poor, the ignorant, the afflicted 
— benefitting all, teaching all the sublime doctrines 
and ennobling precepts of the new life of the 
children of God. 

The same remembrance and veneration of the 
lowliness of Jesus are in evidence in the homes 
of Catholics and in the 
personal life of even 
careless members of the 
Church. Pictures of 
Him adorn the walls. 
The crucifix is promin- 
ently placed. Many men, 
women and children 
carry about with them 
pocket crucifixes. From 
childhood until death, 
they never tire of making 
the Sign of the Cross. 

But throughout His 
life, frequent lightning 
flashes reveal His 
divinity. At Bethlehem, 
angel choirs proclaim the 
glad tidings of His birth. 
The mysterious star 
guides the Magi. As a 
mere boy of twelve, He 
astounds the wise and 
learned by the astuteness 
of His questions and 
answers. On the banks 
of the Jordan, the Holy 
Spirit rests on Him in 
visible form and the 
Eternal God proclaims 
Him to be His well- 
beloved Son. In the desert, angels minister to Him. 
At Cana, a word changes water into wine. A mere 
touch gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, 
health to the sick, and life to the dead. On Thabor, 
the splendors of His transfiguration bespeak His 
Godhead. At His death, the sun is darkened, the 
earth quakes, the dead arise. Then, His Resur- 
rection. Forty days later, He fulfills His prophecy 
and ascends into heaven. 

XT was most fitting that the lowliness of His 
humanity should be thus relieved by the 
majesty of His divinity. It is also most 
fitting that in our remembrance and worship of Him, 
Jesus should stand forth as one who truly bore our 
infirmities, but bearing them as one sustained by 
the power of the indwelling divinity. It was most 
fitting that the divinely-appointed model of the new 
life, should come down to the level of our life; 



26 



THE + SIGN 



and that His life should be intensely more lowly, 
more difficult, more self-sacrificing and more 
permeated by hardships of all kinds than ours; for 
example is inexpressibly more forceful than 
preaching. But His humbling Himself under the 
mighty hand of God must also bear the stamp of 
the divinity, so that His stooping to our level might 
have in it the power to lift us to the level of the 
God-Man. 

This wonderful and inspiring combination of 
human lowliness with the majesty of the divinity 
in Jesus Christ, is the only standard of living which 
truly ennobles men. The range of His humility 
was and is so vast that every one can truly say: "He 
bore my infirmities; He left me an example how 
to bear my burdens and how to conquer; He 
strengthens me to strive for the realization of the 
greatest Christian ambition to which the Apostle of 
the Gentiles gave expression when he wrote : "With 
Christ I am nailed to the cross. And I live, now 
not I; but Christ liveth in me." 

This is Christ's standardization of the life of 
God's adopted children. Meeting all the conditions 
of life in His fashion is the pledge which binds 
every sincere believer. Fidelity to this pledge 
explains why the life of Catholics is different from 
that of other men. The imitation of the meekness 
of Jesus accounts for the vast armies of saintly 
Catholic men, women and children. Their remem- 
brance and worship of the divinity of Jesus in the 
midst of abjection convinces them that they are 
following in His footsteps. 

iir^HERE life is thus standardized, the emissaries 
Tl 1 of Bolshevism rant in vain, because the fol- 
v *^ lowers of Jesus are swayed by other ideals. 
Their longing is to be like unto the God-Man and 
most unlike animal men whose heaven is altogether 
in the good things of earth. The appeals of indus- 
trialists, commercialists and capitalists are no more 
effective, because the imitators of Jesus remember 
His word and example: "Seek ye therefore first the 
kingdom of God and His justice, and all these 
things shall be added unto you." When wordly 
wisdom urges retaliation for insult, calumny, in- 
justice and persecution, remembrance of how He 
fared and what He enjoined, nerves them not only 
to forgive but even to pray for the offenders: 
"Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and 
persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, 
untruly, for My sake : be glad and rejoice, for your 
reward is very great in heaven 

Life thus standardized accounts for the multi- 
tudes of Catholic Sisters who left all in order to 
devote themselves to the service of the poor and 
aged, of the sick and diseased, of the orphan and 
the abandoned, yes, and of social outcasts. The 
example of the God-Man inspires them. In the 
midst of the upheavals of the ancient civilization 
of paganism, the much despised monks retired to 
dense wildernesses and took possession of swamp 
lands, to transform them into fertile fields and 



establish new centres of a higher and better civili- 
zation to be places of refuge for the poor and 
oppressed. What allured them was the example 
of Jesus. Everywhere throughout the world, civilized 
and uncivilized, we are confronted by the spectacle 
of the most cultured class of men, the Catholic 
priesthood, consecrated to the service of those 
most in need of moral and spiritual aid. They 
forego the advantages their scholarship places 
within their reach, to labor among all classes, but 
more' so among the lowly. The word and example 
of the Master: "The gospel is preached to the poor," 
are a compelling call to go and do likewise. 

^tt^HAT is thus briefly stated of the three more 
r J J conspicuous classes of Catholics who strive 
^*^ to standardize their life according to the 
heavenly standard is no less true of that more vast 
army of Catholic saints, both hidden and known. 
They can be met by the thousands and ten thous- 
ands the world over, when they assemble to worship 
the glorified Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. In the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass He continues in an 
unbloody manner the offering of His body and 
blood for the good of mankind. In Holy Communion 
He debases Himself to the condition of food — 
spiritual food, it is true, but food all the same — to 
nourish those who receive Him and strengthen them 
to live of His life. Their modes of life show the 
results of spiritual contact with Jesus. Whilst they 
shun the "better than thou" air, they are different 
from other men. Their ideals are different, their 
life is standardized along different lines. Parents 
glory in the number of their children, at great cost 
providing for their little ones a Catholic education 
which is vastly more than mere schooling. They 
remember Jesus' word and blessing for children. 
Employers and business managers gladly accept 
the services of practical Catholic men and women, 
because they realize that the standard of Catholic 
honest and faithful service is higher. Among Catho- 
lic working classes there is none of the riotous world 
unrest, so much in evidence elsewhere; for they 
worship as the God-Man the Carpenter's Son and 
Himself a carpenter. 

In the study of Catholic life, evidences accumu- 
late that it is standardized along lines distinctively 
its own. They worship both in theory and daily 
practice the majesty of God in the lowliness of 
Jesus. Their remembrance and veneration of both 
gives tone to their mentality and motive. Hence, 
they are in a normal position to use the varied 
forms of individual life as so many stepping stones 
in their closer and closer approach unto God, striving 
ever more for their transformation from sons of the 
daughters of men into sons of God: "You are gods 
and all of you sons of the Most High." It is of the 
very sap of Catholic mentality, to realize that only 
close contact with Jesus can save men individually 
and collectively: "For there is no other name under 
heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." 



Maria Desolata 

(The Broken-Hearted Mother) 
Grace V. Christmas 



^^^^HE wailing melody of the Miserere, sung 
m C\ at Tenebrae in the great Basilicas in Rome, 
■L ) has died away into silence, and the sun has 
^^^ set in a blaze of scarlet and gold. So far 
as the tourists and the majority of the residents are 
concerned, the functions of Good Friday are at an 



Cross. And it is only in Italy that her children do 
her reverence with a special devotion on Good 
Friday. 

Holy Church seems to realize that all the 
devotions of Holy Week should be centered directly 
on Jesus Crucified, and hence to make up, as it were, 




AT THK FOOT OF THE CROSS 



end, but, here and there, in a few isolated churches 
and convent chapels, there is being held a short 
service in honor of Maria Desolata. This is the 
sweet names given by the Italians to the Blessed 
(Virgin standing broken-hearted at the foot of the 



for any apparent neglect of His Sorrowful Mother 
she sets aside the third Sunday of September as the 
feast of the Seven Sorrows. It is this feast that 
brings before us the Blessed Virgin's desolation. 
Let us think of that desolation. Let us try for a 



THE 1* SIGN 



moment to see with Mary's eyes, to feel with her 
heart, to realize, even faintly, what the evening of 
Good Friday must have been like to her. She, who 
was fashioned by God for one particular purpose, 
must surely have been endowed with a nature keenly 
attuned to joy and grief; and as her purity exceeded 
that of any other human being, it is certain that her 
capacity for intense suffering out-measured that of 
others. There are thousands of desolate mothers 
throughout the world at the present time, but not 
one of them has ever fathomed, as Mary has, the 
very depths of human suffering. 

After the strain of those awful hours on Mt. 
Calvary there fell on the soul of that stricken Mother 
an aching sense of desolation, and in her heart there 
rang the echo of her dying Son's utter dereliction: 
"My God, why hast Thou forsaken me." To lose 
one we love by death, or by the still more cruel 
separation of misunderstanding, seems to us the 
acme of human woe ; but our feelings in this respect 
are but as a breeze rippling upon the waters of a 
shallow stream compared with the storm of grief 
which overwhelmed our Mother when her tortured 
Son died before her very eyes. 

QND yet, when all was over, we may be sure 
that in the midst of her anguish it was she 
who consoled and comforted the less intense 
grief of the disciples and holy women who had 
witnessed the great tragedy. St. John, he who of 
all the twelve most closely resembled His Divine 
Master, has summed up the attitude of Mary during 



the Sacred Passion in one significant word : "There 
stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother." Not with 
the prone abandonment of St. Mary Magdalen, but 
with the calm and dignity that befitted the Mother 
of the King. 

Mary stood beside the Cross, an example and 
object lesson to all generations, teaching them how 
to endure. That is how she would have us take our 
trials — standing. We are to battle with the ever 
encroaching waves as they rise to engulf us; we are 
to struggle unceasingly to carry our cross in resigna- 
tion and in a spirit worthy of reward. 

There are many different ways of bearing 
sorrow. Sometimes it hardens and embitters the 
entire nature, so much so that with some resentful 
idea of "hitting back," we rebel against Him Who 
has imposed the cross upon our shoulders, and deli- 
berately neglect the service of Him Who has 
afflicted us. Sometimes we may lie down beneath 
cross and render life a burden to ourselves and 
others either by constant complaints or the morose- 
ness of our silence. Again, we may, if we wish, 
follow, as far as our sinful limitations will permit, 
in Mary's footsteps. We thus submit to our trials 
because it is the will of God that we should patiently 
bear them. We refuse to be beaten by them. We 
strain our eyes for that gleam of silver that lines 
the darkest cloud. We are thus purified and 
strengthened through sufferings. We thus stand 
with the Broken-hearted Mother at the foot of the 
Cross. 



A Quaint Sermon 



HOR many non-Catholics there is a remarkable 
attraction in stories from the lives of St. 
Francis of Assisi and his lovable companions. 
Under the title "A Quaint Sermon" The Youth's 
Coaipanion tells its large Puritan audience that in 
one of the great Italian cathedrals a noted Friar of 
the Order of Franciscans, then newly founded, was 
preaching. A great concourse of people filled the 
building, and twilight deepened the heavy shadows 
of the dimly lit and heavily arched chancel and 
nave. The friar preached almost in darkness. 

His theme was God's Love to Men and Their 
Response. With the passionate eloquence of the 
period, he pictured God's mighty act of creation, 
the wonder of His gift of life to men and the beauty 
of the earth. But more especially he dwelt upon 
the gift of the Only-Begotten Son — the matchless 
beauty of Christ's life among men — the glorious 
redemption offered in Him to all who would repent 
and believe. The friar's earnestness deeply im- 
pressed the people, and a solemn stillness hung 



over the vast assembly. The darkness by this time 
had deepened still further, and the congregation 
could only just perceive the outline of the friar's 
dark-robed figure. 

"Now," he continued, "let us consider how man- 
kind has responded to the divine goodness and 
mercy." 

With those words he left the pulpit and passed 
slowly to the altar. From among its many candles 
he chose one and lighted it. The one gleam of pure 
light shone upon a great crucifix hung above the 
altar. Slowly and solemnly and without a word, in 
the breathless stillness of that vast throng, the 
friar raised the candle until it lit up first one wound, 
then another, in the feet, the hands, the side, and 
finally the sacred head of the Crucified. 

There the light lingered a moment, and the hush 
deepened upon the awe-struck congregation. Then 
he blew out the light and sat down. The sermon 
was over. The stillness was broken only by audible 
sobs. 




Archconfraternit)) of 



CONDITIONS for membership in the Arch- 
confraternity of the Passion are as simple 
as they are few. Everyone can do some- 
thing in the apostleship of the Cross, and 
by uniting their efforts to this society may receive 
the many rich blessings, which the Church has grant- 
ed to its members. How often a beautiful flower 
escapes attention, but when placed with others in a 
bouquet or to form a design, it seems to attract the 
notice at once and to win some praise from all 
beholders. 

Thus it is in the Archconfraternity, where "two 
or three are gathered together in the name of Jesus 
Crucified," their prayers and works are more pleas- 
ing to God and greater favors are obtained for souls. 
This society grows in numbers day by day. Its 
members are convinced it is worth while, and 
acknowledge that the conditions for membership are 
neither numerous nor difficult. 

Are not some preliminary steps necessary and 
advantageous ? Every society has a definite purpose 
and a determined means of accomplishing it. A 
particular service then is expected from the mem- 
I bers, who must first qualify, or prove they are able 
to render it. Hence, some conditions are placed 
by every society before anyone can be admitted to 
membership. 

Again, the success of an organization depends 
on its members. Their interest obliges them to 
uphold its standard, to accept its rules, to set forth 
its excellence and advantages, to profit by its privi- 
leges and benefits, that working together they may 
easily and successfully attain the end of the society. 
Certain requirements therefore are demanded of 
those seeking admission, in order to protect the 
organization from unsuitable or unworthy members; 
and as much as such conditions for membership are 
insisted upon and observed, the society will stand 
in high esteem and will succeed in the fulfillment of 
its purpose. 

The Archconfraternity of the Passion admits 
only practical Catholics. They may claim all the 
rights and blessings of membership on the following 
conditions: 1, if their names are recorded on the 
register of the Archconfraternity; 2, if they have 
been approved and accepted by the Director; 3, if 
they have been invested in the Black Scapular of the 
Passion. 

/^fNROLLMENT then is the first and an essential 
\^j[ condition for membership in the Archcon- 
: ^-^ fraternity of the Passion. To join this society, 
one should give or send one's name to the Director, 



the Sacred P 



assion 



emberskip 

at the same time expressing the desire to belong to 
the Archconfraternity. The Director may know 
some very good people, and would like to extend to 
them the advantages of the Archconfraternity, but 
he is obliged to wait until they have given their 
names for admission to membership. Some also 
may have received the Black Scapular of the 
Passion, but they do not enjoy the privileges of the 
Archconfraternity until their names are recorded on 
its register. So this first condition of enrollment is 
really the most important. 

This condition however places the Archcon- 
fraternity within the reach of many, who could not 
otherwise share in it. The people, who are doing 
so much for God's honor and glory and the salvation 
of souls by their fervent prayers and patient suffer- 
ing, who have to labor all the day long and at the 
same time perhaps bear some heavy cross of sorrow, 
the poor, the afflicted, the invalid, the aged, those 
unable to leave their homes or who live at some 
distance, all should welcome this opportunity of 
honoring Jesus Crucified and spreading devotion to 
His Sufferings by sending their names to the Direc- 
tor of the Archconfraternity to be accepted and 
enrolled as members. 

There are many also, who practice some 
devotion to the Passion every day or frequently. 
They should hasten to add their names to the Arch- 
confraternity, that the devout remembrance of Our 
Lord's Passion may not only bring life and grace 
to themselves, but may also be an effective means 
of saving and sanctifying many souls. All who can 
therefore should be enrolled in the Archconfraternity 
of the Passion. For what consolation, happiness, 
reward, must await the departing soul, who during 
life has been numbered among the missionaries of 
Christ Crucified! 

Application for membership in the Archcon- 
fraternity means in the first place to give one's name 
to the Director to be registered. The second con- 
dition implies the approval and acceptance of the 
member by the Director. In the past years this 
approbation was granted only after a month, or a 
year, or some period of time had elapsed, but now 
it is usually given as soon as the name is received. 

^^^HE well being and success of the Archconfra- 
\) ternity depends on the Director. While it is 
^^^ his duty to secure as many good members as 
possible, he may be obliged at times to refuse 
membership to the unworthy, or those unable to 
partake of the benefits of the society. He must 
exclude Catholics who are negligent in attending 



3° 



THE + SIGN 



Mass on Sundays and very seldom approach the 
Holy Sacraments, or give scandal by evil example. 
Non-Catholics, of course, are not eligible for mem- 
bership. But the Director will gladly accept the 
names of all, who desire the knowledge ancMove of 
Jesus Christ Crucified and hope to obtain eternal 
life through the merits of His Passion and Death. 

When the Director records a name on the 
register of the Archconfraternity, a certificate of 
membership is issued as a token of his approval 
and acceptance. In some places, a manual contain- 
ing information about the Archconfraternity and 
devotions in honor of the Passion of Our Lord is 
given to new members. If any member should 
unfortunately prove undeserving of the honors and 
graces of the Archconfraternity, the Director may 
erase his name from the register, thus depriving 
that person of membership. This happens very 
rarely, if at all, because the thought of Christ's 
sufferings keeps one safely in the right way and 
more frequently than any other motive inspires 
generous self sacrifice and every virtue. For mem- 
bers of the Archconfraternity especially, the Passion 
of Our Lord is their guide, their protection, their 
strength, and their daily reward. 

Now as nearly all societies have a formal 
initiation of new members, so the Archconfraternity 
of the Passion regards the reception of the scapular 
as the final step to full membership in the society. 
This scapular is a small piece of black cloth, with 
the badge fastened to it, as seen in the religious 
habit of the Passionists. It denotes affiliation to 
the missionary Order founded by St. Paul of the 
Cross to preach Christ Crucified and promote devo- 
tion to the Passion. Many blessings and indulgences 
have been granted by the Church for wearing this 
scapular. St. Paul of the Cross calls it "the sign of 
salvation;" and in truth it brings salvation to those 
who strive to be worthy of it. 

QEW members usually receive the Black Scapu- 
lar of the Passion at a regular meeting of the 
Archconfraternity. Kneeling before the 
Director, or the priest who is blessing the Scapular, 
the solemn prayer is read, which recalls the principal 
sufferings of our Divine Savior. The Scapulars are 
blessed, and then as the priest places it on the 
shoulder of each one, he says: "May the Lord 
clothe thee with the New Man, that through this 
mournful and sacred sign of penance, thou mayest 
always look upon Jesus, Whom the hands of impious 
men have crucified, and mourn for Him, as one 
mourneth for an only son. Amen." 

When all the new members have been invested 
with the Scapular, the priest adds : "And I, by the 
faculty granted to me, receive you to a participation 
of all the spiritual advantages, which by virtue of 
Apostolic privilege, are enjoyed by the Congregation 
of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ. In the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." The ceremony 



is finished with the words: "May the Passion of 
Our Lord Jesus Christ be always in our hearts. 
Amen." 

Such are the few conditions required for admis- 
sion to the Archconfraternity of the Passion : enroll- 
ment on the register, acceptance by the Director, and 
reception of the Black Scapular. No admission fees 
have to be paid; no promises have to be made; no 
rules are imposed, which if omitted, imply any 
penalty or loss of any privileges. There are no 
degrees among the members, except what they 
themselves establish by their fidelity in practicing 
some devotion in honor of the Passion and their zeal 
in persuading others by word and example to remem- 
ber the Sufferings and Death of Christ. 

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV. endowed 
the Archconfraternity of the Passion with extra- 
ordinary graces and indulgences, and expressed the 
wish that it would bring home the lessons of Calvary 
to the whole world. To bring the whole world home, 
therefore, to the foot of the Cross, the advantages 
of the Archconfraternity have been made exception- 
ally great, while the conditions for membership are 
simple and few and within the power of all, who 
yearn to know and love Him, Who gave His life for 
them. 



y^E^HOSE who wish to join the Archconfraternity 
L^J of the Passion may apply in person or by 
^*"^ letter to the Father Rector of any Passionist 
Monastery where the Archconfraternity is canoni- 
cally established. Apply to the monastery nearest 
your residence. 

St. Michael's Monastery 

West Hoboken, New Jersey 

St. Joseph's Monastery 

3800 Frederick Ave. 

Baltimore, Maryland 

St. Gab-riel's Monastery 

159 Washington St. 

Brighton, Mass. 

St. Ann's Monastery 

Scranton, Pa. 

St. Paul's Monastery 

Carson Station 

Pittsburgh, Pa. 

St. Mary's Monastery 

Dunkirk, N. Y. 

Sacred Heart Retreat 

Newburg Road 

Louisville, Ky. 

Passionist Preparatory College 

Normandy, Mo. 




••■:iisyi^L^I>«ii}syt)«/.':-r 



In Hoc Signo! 

J. Corson Miller 

Men say we're dust of dreams, — no more, no less, 
Have kinship \tfith the rose, — the blade of grass; 
And, like the sunset-breeze, we rise and pass 
Into the dark; that -tie do onward press, 
Blindly, against the goal to — Nothingness: 
Each man a bit of that atomic mass 
That Science calls the Cosmos, — flame and gas — 
Which is our chemic prototype and dress. 

But I have felt the whirr of love's warm wings, 
And heard a child's wnite prayer at twilight's hou 
I've known the song the shriven spirit sings, 
Newly released from sin's debasing power. 
Pi.-tia.-yl with men's despair and sickening dross ! 
I see Christ's face upon His cruel cross. 



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Giosue Borsi: Poet, Soldier, Convert 



Pasquale Maltese 

HE World War was the occasion of reveal- 
ing many and varied extraordinary types 



CO 

^^^V of character who already have had their 
day and vogue. Few of those who loomed 
large in the public eye during the long period of 
strife are destined to survive the immediate after- 
math of the war. Among the small minority who will 
outlive the memory of this tempestuous generation 
is to be numbered, I think, 
the youthful Italian Lieu- 
tenant, Giosue Borsi. 

Though distinguished 
among his contemporaries 
for his valor, his lasting 
appeal will rest, not upon 
his record as a soldier, but 
upon his attainments in 
letters which made him a 
conspicuous figure in pres- 
ent day Italian intellectual 
and social circles, and 
upon his rare qualities of 
soul expressed in his 
mystic writings which so 
wonderfully portray the 
intimate communings of a 
man with his Maker, and 
which have already taken 
a unique place in the 
devotional literature of 
the Church. 

I shall always regard 
it as an exceptional privi- 
lege to have been instru- 
mental in placing within 
the reach of the English-reading public some of 
these writings. If I may be permitted to confess 
a thing so personal, I once said to my dear friend, 
the lamented Henrico Caruso, that I had thought his 
voice the most beautiful in all the world, but that I 
had discovered another voice wider in range and 
sweeter in melody — the voice of Giosue Borsi. 

At the request of the Editors of The Sign I 
gladly give an outline of the life of this brilliant 
youth which will be helpful, I trust, in making him 
better known and enhance his writings for those who 
are already familiar with their charm. 



6 1 




a'TFNAXT G 



IOSUE BORSI was born in Leghorn, Italy, 
June 10, 1888. His parents were Averardo 
Borsi and Verdiana Fabbri. He was one of 
three children. His sister Laura was two years 
older and his brother Gino some years younger. 

From his earliest years he manifested remarka- 
ble literary ability. At the age of 13 he wrote a 
poem to his mother which the distinguished Pro- 
fessor Romagnolo does 
not hesitate to term a 
classic. At 15 he wrote 
and published a volume of 
poems entitled Primus 
Fons; and at 17 another 
volume, Scruta Obsoleta. 
At 20 he was recognized 
as a foremost commenta- 
tor on Dante. I have be- 
fore me a much-prized 
gold medal, given me by 
Giosue's mother, which 
was presented to him by 
the Dantean Society of 
Italy on the occasion of 
his delivering a masterly 
oration on the greatest of 
Christian poets. He suc- 
ceeded his father as editor 
of // Nuovo Giornale of 
Florence at the age of 22. 
Unfortunately, Giosue 
was raised in an irreligi- 
ous atmosphere. His 
osue borsj father was the owner and 

general editor of a chain 
of strongly anti-clerical newspapers. He was not 
an atheist, as some have said. Probably he would 
call himself a Catholic, and he was one after a 
fashion. It was owing largely to his writings that 
the crucifix was retained in the Italian courtrooms 
when its removal was urgently insisted upon by his 
anti-clerical associates. Madame Borsi could hardly 
be called a practical Catholic. Whatever religion 
there was in the family she had. If to-day she is 
an exemplary Catholic her conversion is due to her 
son. 

Giosue received his first Holy Communion in 



THE +SIGN 



his fourteenth year. The ceremony took place 
privately in a village church and probably without 
the consent or knowledge of his father. This is the 
only external act of religion recorded in his life 
until his conversion some twelve years later. 

He made his higher studies in the University 
of Leghorn where he received his degree in lav/. 
He had no particular liking for the bar, and on 
quitting the university he 
adopted journalism as a 
profession. His first work 
was on // Nuovo Giomale, 
owned and edited by his 
father. 

The elder Borsi died 
Dec. 10, 1910. His death 
was due chiefly to grief 
over a family tragedy 
which involved the honor 
of his daughter. Not 
quite two years later 
Laura herself died, July 
18, 1912. Both died with- 
out the sacra- 
ments and were 
denied Chris- 
ian burial. 
They were 
buried together 
in the cemetery 
of Porte Sante 
in the section 
reserved for 
non - Catholics. 
Their tomb is 
simply inscrib- 
ed — Averardo 
Borsi 1858- 
1910. Laura 
Borsi 1886- 
1912. 

Giosue's sensitive nature was deeply touched by 
the early and unhappy demise of his father and 
sister. In company with his mother he frequently 
visited the cemetery, seeking solace in nearness to 
the remains of those whom he had so passionately 
loved. In the course of these visits he became ac- 
quainted with some of the local Franciscan Fathers. 
Between him and Father Biagio Cinaldino, O. F. M. 
there grew up a warm friendship. The good friar 
could not fail to be impressed by the many beautiful 









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■ ^^^^ 




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traits of the young Borsi and strove to impress him 
with the sheer vanity of earthly ambitions and 
accomplishments. At his suggestion Giosue com- 
menced the serious reading of the Bible, the Little 
Flowers of St. Francis and the Confessions of St. 
Augustine. 

Up to this time he had lived and written as a 
cultured pagan. If he had any definite plan in life 
it was to be, after the 
manner of St. Augustine 
"a peddler of rhetoric;" 
and, like Augustine again, 
he was carried away, with 
all the torrential exuber- 
ance of his warm southern 
temperament, into a very 
vortex of dissipation. His 
immorality was none the 
less gross for all his polish 
and refinement. 

There is one striking 
witness to an innate spirit- 
uality in him which was 
never quite 
e x t i nguished. 
This was his 
pure love for 
a sweet Catho- 
lic girl. He has 
idealized her in 
a series of 
love letters 
published un- 
der the title 
Letters to Julia. 
He had such an 
exalted regard 
for her charac- 
ter that he 
could not ex- 
press orally his 
intense affection and admiration. He wrote these 
letters to her but never had the courage to send 
them. 

It seems that the first definite step towards 
his conversion was taken in connection with his 
editorial work. In the interests of his newspaper 
he had frequently consulted with Father Guido 
Alfani, P. M., Director of the Florentine Observatory 
and famous as a seismologist. He was largely 
responsible for discrediting Guilio Ulivi, the man 



THE + SIGN 



who had all the European military authorities 
actively interested in his manipulation of ultra-red 
rays whereby, he claimed, bombs might be exploded 
at a distance without the use of wires or other 
contact apparatus. Giosue was an enthusiastic 
admirer of Ulivi and energetically championed his 
claims in the columns of his newspaper. 

Though keenly disappointed with Father 
Alfani's unmasking of Ulivi's pretensions, Giosue 
continued to visit the priest who proved himself as 
thorough a guide of souls as he was a scientist. It 
was he who satisfied Giosue's religious difficulties 
and received him 
back into the 
Church. To him 
the new convert 
could justly say: 
"I owe you more 
than my life." 

ON July 18, 
1914, the 
second an- 
niversary of his 
s i s t e r's death, 
during the Mass 
offered for the re- 
pose of her soul, 
young Borsi re- 
ceived Holy Com- 
munion for the 
second time in his 
life. On this oc- 
casion he received 
not with the per- 

functoriness of a careless school-boy but with the 
solid fervor of a convinced Catholic. He had pre- 
pared himself by repeated confessions and long 
hours of prayer and meditation. After Communion 
he exclaimed: "Now begins the new life." 

What that new life was may be best judged 
from his Spiritual Soliloquies. He began the writing 
on them May 4, 1915, and finished October 16, 1915. 
There are fifty-four in number, and are replete with 
salient points and suggestions on all phases of the 
spiritual life. They seem to have been written under 
the influence of a marvellous infusion of the Holy 
Spirit. By some they are regarded as a twentieth- 
century version of the Confessions of St. Augustine. 
Cardinal Maffi, who confirmed Giosue, has expressed 
the opinion that they will stand with the Confessions 




BORSI'S BLOOD-STAINED COPY OF DA? 



as amongst the greatest ascetical literature produced 
by the Church. 

^y^HEN Italy entered the European war Borsi 
\\y enlisted at once. From the very first he had 
a presentiment that he was to die in battle. 
That feeling became very real to him and colored 
everything he did. He proved himself to those 
under his command to be the kind of soldier he 
desired to be: "I truly hope that the Lord God has 
given me the grace of a fairly brave heart that 
nothing can shake. I hope that if I shall fall I 
shall fall like a 
good strong 
soldier, with calm, 
serene and fear- 
less courage; I 
hope that I shall 
show myself in- 
trepid before my 
soldiers; I hope 
that the death so 
many times de- 
sired and invoked 
will not succeed 
in overcoming me 
with cowardly, 
childish fright, 
but that I shall 
welcome it smil- 
ing, like a good 
friend, and accept 
it with honor." 
His men have 
testified how vali- 
antly he led them in action, and what an inspiration 
to courage and steadfastness his own example gave 
them. 

One of the few loves his conversion did not 
compel him to sacrifice was his love for Dante. He 
always carried a copy of the beloved author in his 
coat pocket. His new life had given a fresh in- 
terpretation to the words of the great poet. 

On November 10, 1915, Giosue Borsi fell 
mortally wounded while gallantly leading his pla- 
toon to the attack on the Isonzo front. When his 
comrades reached him they saw him press to his 
heart his copy of Dante which was stained with his 
blood. Before he died he handed them the book 
and said: "Give that to my mother. May my sacri- 
fice and her sacrifice be acceptable to God." 



THE 1 

'HORTLY after his death his last letter was 
found. It had been written on October 21. 
It was addressed to his mother and was to 
be delivered to her only in the event of his death. 
It is a singularly human document glorified with 
the beautiful Christian spirit of filial piety. Trans- 
lated into many languages it has made the rounds 
of the world. Thus the deep love for his mother 
which impelled him to write his first poem in her 
honor was with him in the moment of death and is 
witnessed to after his passing. 

The whole-hearted conversion of Giosue Borsi 
came as a shock to the anti-clericals who had hoped 
that this talented young man would prove an able 
successor to his father in the ranks of anti-Catholic 
journalists. He has become instead a very apostle 
of Catholicism. His writings are an inspiration for 
many to seek the higher things, and a proof that 
the Church, through her teachings and sacraments, 
can still take our human clay, however weak and 
tainted, and build it up into a breathing saint. 

Borsi is the patron saint of the intellectuals. 
He in the twentieth century, as Dante in the thir- 
teenth, illustrates the age-old truth that the human 



SIGN 

soul is by nature Christian, and that the highest 
gifts of genius have their fullest play in the expres- 
sion of those dogmatic, eternal truths which the 
Church formulates in clearest terms and voices in the 
unhesitating accents of divine authority. 

^^^HE influence of Borsi in Italy, practicularly, 
% /J is a palpable force. The anti-clericals claim 
him as their own, and regard his conversion 
to Catholicism as the weakness of a great mind 
under the stress of intense sorrow and morbid 
brooding. 

That the Catholic view of Borsi is the correct 
one is proved beyond doubt by his spiritual writings 
which abundantly show that it is only a deep love 
for God that can beget expansive and genuine 
sympathy for men. 

The Catholic view is further established by the 
large number of young men, mostly university 
students, upon whom Borsi's example is exercising 
a most healthful influence. His cult grows daily. I 
may sum up the results of his active influence in 
words which some time since I wrote his mother: 
"You have lost one son. God has given you a 
thousand." 



X 



The Holy Rosary 



'N his encyclical letter on the centenary of 
St. Dominic the Holy Father takes occa- 
sion to encourage the devotion of the 
Rosary. The Rosary is the dearest devo- 
tion to the Mother of God. Ever Catholic knows that 
intimacy with Mary preserves him from indifference 
and tepidity and that the Rosary is the simplest 
means of maintaining that intimacy. Thus, too, 
it becomes a daily source of grace and spiritual 
stimulation and very nearly a guarantee of final 
perseverance. 

Recommendations 

1. Esteem the Rosary for its antiquity and the 
prodigies wrought through it for peoples and indi- 
viduals in desperate need. Esteem it for its origin : 
the prayers composing it and their peculiar sequence 
were composed and approved in heaven. No more 
precious words and sentiments could we repeat. 



Direct approval of this repetition of prayers we have 
from our Lord : "Knock, and it shall be opened unto 
you," and by His own example : "Jesus prayed the 
third time saying the self same word." 

2. Recite the Rosary once a day : preferably 
early in the day if you find that at bed time you are 
generally too weary for mental effort. Carry your 
beads about with you so that on busy days you may 
seize any opportunity which offers to say your 
Rosary even while abroad. 

3. Recite your Rosary always slowly and 
fervently. Said thus it will take up only ten minutes. 
Said with distraction and feverish haste it will in- 
variably seem an onerous and tedious exercise. 
Time never drags wearily when we bring close at- 
tention and interest to what we are doing. 

4. See that all the proper indulgences are 
applied to your beads, especially that you may share 
these indulgences with the departed. 



Whereon The}) Crucified Him 



Hubert Cunningham, C. P. 



XN the article published in the preceding 
issue of The Sign I attempted to show that 
devotion to the holy Passion of Our Lord 
reaches back to the beginnings of Chris- 
tianity; that all other devotions, compared with it 
are recent — that love for Christ Crucified is the 
fountain source and the motive of every other 
Christian devotion. 

This is thought — provoking. It is solidly true 
that the more we study it the more convincing it 
becomes and the more attractive. For that reason 
I feel induced to follow it up. 

The preceding paper treated the subject only 
in a general way but it would be an unfortunate 
mistake to suppose that devotion to Christ Crucified 
in the lives of His children was ever, even in the 
earliest days of the Church, a vague generality, a 
sporadic whim or an elusive sentiment. No; it was 
a ruling factor in the lives and conduct of the people 
and showed itself in substantial realities, as all 
solid devotion must, by vigorous, definite, particular 
and public facts and in many and bold and beautiful 
ways. One of these ways was the devotion of Chris- 
tians to the holy Cross of Christ. We can trace this 
all the way back to Calvary as an uninterrupted 
practice. 

Devotion to the holy Cross of Christ is a subject 
that is full of edification but it is vast — so far stretch- 
ing that I cannot attempt to cover it. This article 
will contain just a few matters of instructive and 
edifying interest on early devotion to the holy Cross 
just to show our Catholic people in some better way 
how fundamentally set in the history and texture 
of the holy faith is this beautiful devotion and so to 
supply their minds with more solid food for fervor. 

Devotion to the Cross of Christ goes right back 
to the very infancy of the Church. It is gratifying 
to recall that there have been painted in these later 
years and that in spite of the vulgar and commercial 
trend of art, many very excellent Calvary pictures. 
One of these occurs to me just now as appropriate 
to my thought. The subject is an aftermath of the 
Great Tragedy and is painted by P. R. Morris and 
he entitles the work "Whereon They Crucified Him." 
The artist shows a bare cross staked upright; a 
rope left dangling over the two sides of the cross- 



beam, reaches to the ground and hanging awry from 
one of the arms of the cross is the title which had 
been placed over the Savior's head. Standing there 
in front of the cross, gazing intently, sadly, is a 
sandal-shod mother eagerly lifting up her babe that 
he might the better see the solemn sight. With the 
inerrancy of Christian instinct the artist has caught 
the truth and in this simple and direct way he tells 
the story of early Christian devotion to the Cross 
of Christ. It would stamp that Cross upon the 
heart from very babyhood! That picture defines 
my thought. 



^^^HE bitter Passion of our Blessed Savior ended 
^^ with the crucifixion and His sacred death 
upon that Cross. This we know was horrible 
in the extreme. That is the reason why it was a 
punishment fit for and inflicted upon only the most 
brutal and degraded class of criminals. It is what 
Tacitus calls supplicium servile, the slave's punish- 
ment. For that reason in Rome itself it was 
forbidden by law to condemn to this form of death 
any but the slave. The unfortunate so condemned 
was striped naked and nailed to two cross tree 
trunks or stout branches and lifted up for mockery 
to the view of the public. The nails which paled 
him to those two beams were the only support of 
the wretched man's weight. There he hung fixed, 
conscious, suffering, watching himself die, and there 
he hung for hours, some times for days of this 
excruciating agony while people passed him by or 
heartlessly gazed or, worse still, jeered at his 
miserable condition — at his pains, his tears, his 
groans and his cries. It was a death of human 
cruelty and lingering misery, it was long-drawn-out 
and salted with open and public disgrace. 

This unspeakable punishment was the acme of 
all those sufferings which poor Jesus Christ had 
been now bearing for the previous fifteen hours and 
the mystified, discredited and heart-broken lovers 
of our Blessed Savior felt the bitterness of it to the 
quick. Yes, they knew the acid meaning of utter 
defeat and its complete anguish. 

But when the climax of that horrible tragedy 
came with sudden mid-day darkness and cracking 



THE 1* SIGN 



rocks and the spectral forms of dead men flitting 
through the gloom, and when scared and skulking 
crowds groped their stumbling way down that hill- 
side moaning that they had murdered the Living 
God, the vision of the holy Cross as the majestic 
center of all the universal 
forces wrecked, drawn and 
swirling about it as helpless 
as chaff in the cyclonic 
winds shot down into their 
bosoms with a vividness 
never to be forgotten and 
into their hearts as the 
embodiment of the Sacred 
Passion of Christ and the 
symbol of His unconquera- 
ble power. From that day 
and in these impressive 
surroundings when Jesus 
consecrated its precious 
wood by His wounds, by 
His sufferings, by His 
blood and by His death, 
and when by its weakness 
and its shame He overcame 
the powers of the world, 
the holy Cross became an 
object of Christian love and 
veneration. Christian de- 
votion to the Cross began 
on Mount Calvary. 

In the thought thus 
expressed there is sublime 
Christian inspiration. It 
surely makes a man feel 
proud of his faith and of 
his fathers. But the state- 
ment is not the product of 
fertile imagination or of 
perfervid pietism; no, it is 
the fruit of calm and accu- 
rate research. Following 

the lines of ordinary in- whereon they 

vestigation we can trace Christian devotion to the 
holy Cross back and back further through the 
mists and the mazes of all the past centuries with a 
clearness that is unmistakable and by arguments 
of every kind, from friend and from enemy. 
Wherever we search in every age and every country 
the children of the Church have left the Cross 
traceable upon everything with which their lives 
came in contact. 




nERE is a very simple illustration of it. A 
young man named Orestis and a splendid 
type of the all-round athlete, was entered as 
an attraction for the games. At throwing the 
discus he was a star, and while executing this feat 
his cross fell out of his 
clothing on to the field. 
Such an accident as this 
is touching; to us Catholics 
it is living and very human. 
The like of it might happen 
and is happening today. 
Wherever our Catholic 
young men gather they 
carry with them the eviden- 
ces of their faith and de- 
votion — on to track and dia- 
mond, as we saw them 
carry their crucifix with 
courage and confidence into 
the camps and on to the 
battlefields of Europe. But 
this incident did not happen 
here or among the athletes 
of to-day; it happened 
away off in Cappadocia 
and away back in the fourth 
century. That fallen cross 
there on the field showed 
that this star discus-thrower 
was a Christian. The 
pagans murdered him for 
that and so we have St. 
Orestis, the Martyr, giving 
us an example of devotion 
to the holy Cross as it was 
practised fifteen hundred 
years ago. 

This is interesting and 
convincing. Can we find 
such evidences as this any 
further back than this? — 
for the further back we 
go the more interesting this matter becomes. Yes, 
we can go back, a hundred, even two hundred years 
further and find the same evidences of this beautiful 
practice. In my search of his subject I have not 
been satisfied to accept at face value the quotations 
and citations which I have met. Wherever it has 
been possible I have gone to the source myself and 
with the result, namely: that I have seen the holy 
Cross appearing in the writings of the third and the 



CRUCIFIED 



THE 1* SIGN 



second century as variously, spontaneously and in 
as matter-of-course a way as it might appear in the 
works of any Catholic writer of our own times. It 
comes up in all phases and on all occasions. 

aT this point I am naturally impelled to give 
some passages from these ancient writers 
but my quotations would have to be few 
and short and so the argument which they would 
form would be weak and misleading. It would not 
even suggest the immense weight behind it for the 
evidence is indeed a veritable mass. As well might 
I expect to convince a blind man of the vastness of 
an ocean scene by allowing a drop of water to fall 
upon his eager, outstretched hand as by a few 
sentences from these writers to demonstrate the 
sweeping testimony which they give to the universal 
presence of the holy Cross in the religious lives of 
their contemporaries. 

Here I would ask the reader to stop for a while 
and think and allow the full force of these state- 
ments to sink into the mind for it is all very wonder- 
ful. We must particularly remember that we are 



not here talking about the decayed remnants of 
some past glory, of the hazy lines of a great historic 
feat nor the discovered evidences of quaint, fantastic 
and faded national customs; there is no question of 
a valuable but dead relic of the vanished ages such 
as a moss-covered ruin, an ancient mummy or a 
crumpled papyrus. This article is not talking of 
anything dead but of a living thing of the present 
day, of something that is a real fact and a mighty 
factor among the men and women of our own time — 
an actual constituent of our own lives. We are 
studying Catholic devotion to the holy Cross of 
Jesus Christ, that same which we know so well as a 
part of the daily and hourly religious life of our own 
Catholic people, in our churches and in our homes 
and in our own conduct ; we are looking at this same 
as it appears in history and we are able to trace 
it — clear, distinct, vigorous — in spite of all the 
wreckage and the rubbish of devastating time back 
and back for nigh to eighteen hundred years. Could 
it possibly, by any authentic evidences, be brought 
nearer than this to its source ? This we shall see in 
our next paper. 



The Greater Love 



OUR Lord's Passion, like a wonderful melody, 
never grows old. As often as it is heard, 
the human heart is stirred with unwonted 
emotion and glows more ardently with an 
answering love. Love always exercises a powerful 
influence over the human heart, and the greater the 
love the more absolute its sway. The Sacred 
Passion is the story of love, infinite and eternal — 
hence, the everlasting vigor of its reign. 

Of Cyrus, King of Persia, it is told that, having 
conquered Arabia, he brought with him as captive 
on his triumphal return a queen noted for her dignity 
and beauty. Her husband at once made his way 
to Persia to liberate her. When he appeared before 
Cyrus, he was asked what he would give for her 
ransom. He answered: "I will give myself, my 
very life." Cyrus was so deeply impressed by this 
manifestation of true and unselfish devotion, that 
he not only gave her back to her husband but on 
their departure, enriched them with most precious 



gifts. This is an example of a love that knows no 
limit : such love sacrifices itself, its very existence, 
for the one beloved. 

How insignificant does not even the deepest 
human love appear when compared with God's love 
for man! That love must be great enough to 
disarm the infinite wrath of the Eternal Father 
bent upon the destruction of sinful men. Behold the 
Son of the Most High, the King of Kings, steps 
between the uplifted avenging hand of God the 
Father and rebellious man. The Eternal Father 
demands justice, the Eternal Son pleads for mercy, 
offering Himself, His very life, as the price of 
Eternal Justice. The Eternal Father accepts the offer. 
When in the fulness of time the Son of God dies 
on the gibbet of the Cross we have a proof of a 
love that is stronger than death. "Greater love 
than this no man hath, than that a man lay down 
his life for his friend." 



What Will the Sterling -Towner Bill do for Education? 



John McGuinness 



V^HAT will the Sterling-Towner Bill do for 
j ■ J education? What effect will Federaliza- 
\M/ tion have on the schools? These and 
similar questions we hear asked in many 
quarters. 

The Sterling-Towner Bill will not improve our 
educational system. Federalization will destroy it. 
We can picture Sterling-Townerites throwing up 
their hands in horror at these words. But let me 
repeat them so that every reader may get their full 
import. The Sterling-Towner Bill will not improve 
our educational system. Federalization will destroy 
it. 

It has been pointed 
out by eminent students 
of government, that one of 
the defects in our form of 
government is that the 
frequent changes in poli- 
tics give rise to the spoils 
system. Patronage is the 
compensatory rewarder of 
the party workers. So we 
always find the "outs" 
fighting to overthrow the 
"ins" that they may capt- 
ure the spoils. Right here 

lies the great danger to the schools — politics. Those 
who have been connected with Boards of Education 
know how detrimental politics are to education and 
that there is nothing which disrupts a school system 
so quickly. Every community has to contend with 
politics, and few, if any, are ever entirely successful 
in keeping them out of the schools. 

The Sterling-Towner Bill opens wide the 
avenue for politics to enter the school system on a 
scale never dreamt of by the States or towns. With 
every change in national politics, which can happen 
every four years, a new Secretary of Education and 
sub-ordinates will be appointed from the party 
coming into power. President Harding, immediately 
upon assuming office, appointed a new Commissioner 
of Education. 

A Federal Department of Education, because 
of the very nature of its work and effect upon the 
people, will be a far bigger issue in the national 
election than the other Federal Departments have 



/CONGRESS must be made to feel that 
v_> the country does not want what the 
Sterling-Towner bill provides. Here 
are set down in succinct form some objec- 
tions to the bill based on the interests you 
have in common with all Americans. As to 
your children's interests — you are left to 
infer how far-reaching the pernicious in- 
fluence of such an enactment may be upon 
Christian education. — The Editors. 



been heretofore. One party will stand to increase the 
appropriation for education and to extend the acti- 
vities of the Department. This would tax the people 
heavily. High taxation always meets with opposi- 
tion and invariably defeats the party responsible 
for it. Of course, the party seeking to get in power 
would stand for the opposite, a reduced appropria- 
tion, curtailment of the Department's activities and 
a corresponding reduction in taxes. As first one and 
then the other of the two large parties will be 
entrusted with power, it is obvious that the baro- 
meter of education is sure to go up and down. 

Congressional elections come every two years. 
It is not unusual for the 
party which carried the 
national election to lose 
control of at least one 
branch of the Congress 
in the Congressional elec- 
tion following. In fact, 
this very frequently hap- 
pens. Politics then come 
into play. If the victori- 
ous party found it to their 
political advantage to cut 
an educational appropria- 
tion bill to the bone or 
kill it entirely, this would be done. 

aNDER a Federal system of education there 
can be no assurance beyond two years as to 
plans and scope of education. The advocates 
of the Sterling-Towner Bill are notoriously silent on 
this. They well know that a Federal Department 
of Education, because of political changes, can not 
function differently from any other Federal Depart- 
ment. Bear in mind this fact, and never for a 
moment lose sight of it, that what one Congress does 
another Congress can undo. 

If future Congresses should prove as impotent 
as the last few, any small group of organized 
fanatics could shape the educational standards of 
the country. And the great danger is that the strong- 
hold of these fanatics lies in the non-industrial parts 
of the country. Working together they can control 
Congress and fix the educational standard and mould 
the minds of the youth of the nation. 



THE 1* SIGN 



Subject education to the bickerings and tradings 
and manipulations of Congress, and you open wide 
the way whereby not only the high educational 
standard of the individual nothern States can be 
lowered, but that of the whole country. 

The Sterling-Towner Bill will politicalize the 
schools. Appointments and regulations made by the 
Secretary of Education, himself a political ap- 
pointee, will be with an eye to political expediency 
rather than as a benefit to education. It is a great 
many moons since a scheme has been proposed 
which opens such a rich harvest for the politician, 
grafter and theorist. As a beginning, $100,000,000 
is appropriated, 80% of which will go for adminis- 
tration and salaries. Every state, county and muni- 
cipality will have its Federal Supervisors, appointed 
by the politicians through the political head of the 
Department, to see that the Federal rules are 
complied with. 

The States, not to be outdone by the Federal 
authorities, will, of course, have their horde of 
supervisors chosen from among the faithful sup- 
porters of the party in power. In a few years we 
might even have more supervisors than teachers. 
Indeed there may be times when, through lack of 
appropriations, we would have supervisors, but no 
teachers. 

EEDERALIZED education will destroy all 
civic and local pride, local self-interest we 
will call it, something which every community 
more or less displays in its schools. The Sterling- 
Towner Bill destroyes all initiative on the part of 
the people to correct or improve the school system 
because it takes the control of the government of 
the schools out of their hands and gives it over to a 
bureaucratic autocrat in Washington, who is neither 
responsible to the sovereignty of the States nor to 
the will of the parents therein. The further govern- 
ment is removed from the people the less it responds 
to their views and the opportunity for small organized 
minorities to control it becomes greater. 

Remember this, what the Federal Government 
subsidizes the Federal Government controls. Make 
no mistake about that. Education under Federal 
control will cause dissatisfaction among the people 
just as the other undertakings of the government 
do. What one section of the country will approve 
another will disapprove, but the States will be ab- 
solutely powerless to enforce their views as the 
Federal power will be supreme. The effects of 



contentions and bickerings in educational matters 
often experienced by States and municipalities, 
under the Sterlirg-Towner Bill will be extended to 
the whole country with disastrous results to educa- 
tion. 

OUR Fathers in framing the Constitution, 
indeed, planned well when they left the 
control of education with the States and the 
parents. In their wisdom the Fathers were far- 
seeing, very much more so than the Sterling- 
Townerites of today. Well versed in history and 
the system of governments, the framers of the Con- 
stitution knew the great danger of centralization 
of power and paternalism in government. They 
studied its result in Rome and Athens. They had 
seen the effects of too much governmental control 
in many parts of modern Europe. An oligarchical 
power, controlling the educational system of the 
country and shaping the opinion of its youth, was 
abhorent to the Fathers. They wished to see 
maintained in educational matters the same spirit 
of independence and self-dependency, — the right 
to shape their own destinies — which the States had 
so successfully contended for in the Constitutional 
Convention. 

That they did not err is evidenced by the 
splendid type of men produced by the system of 
education maintained in the States prior to the early 
forties when they then began to depart from the old 
system known to the Fathers, a system which gave 
a moral training; a system which developed 
character; a system which created the spirit of self- 
sacrifice and service, a system which cultivated 
culture and produced leadership. 

COMPETENT critics of our educational system 
deplore the commercial spirit which it creates. 
The "blight of commercialism" permeates 
the classroom. The spirit of self-sacrifice and 
service is not fostered. The distaste for hard work 
and the effort to get something for nothing are 
prevalent everywhere. The Sterling-Towner Bill 
instead of correcting this spirit fosters it. 

Far-seeing statesmen are sounding a warning 
against the spirit of commercialism and paternalism 
now pervading the body politic. Vice President 
Coolidge in a recent address uttered these words 
of wisdom : 

"Unless Americans shall continue to live 
in something more than the present, to 



10 



THE 1* SIGl 



be moved by something more than material 
gains, they will not be able to respond to 
the requirements of great sacrifices, and 
they will go down as other people have 
gone down before some nation possessed 
of a greater moral force." 

No! It is not Federal appropriations we want 
for education, nor an increase in the now too 
numerous supervisory officials and research workers 
which will come with the Sterling-Towner Bill, but 
a return to old fashioned principles, to old fashioned 
American ideals and simplicity which fashioned 
strong-minded men. 

Away then with this centralization of power 
and paternalism which would care for our moral 
and mental requirements by placing a policeman 
and a school teacher in the home. Away with this 
oligarch whom the Sterling-Townerites would place 
over education and who would Prussianize the minds 
of our youth. Away, I say, with these faddists and 
theorists whose innovations have wrought such 
havoc with our school system. 



If America is to endure as a free country it 
will not be through the theories advanced by the 
Sterling-Townerites or their large appropriations 
for education. If America is to remain the America 
the Fathers founded she must soon return to the old 
fashioned curriculum which fostered the spirit of 
self-dependency, of self-sacrifice, of service — a 
system which paid attention to both the moral and 
mental development of the child; a system which 
developed a capacity for leadership; a system which 
developed men of sterling character and indepen- 
dence; men who did not shirk responsibility; men 
whose yard-stick was not money; men who did not 
run to the Federal Government for legislation to 
correct every ill that affected society. 

Such were the qualities that the builders of the 
nation possessed, such are the qualities that our 
schools must produce in future Americans, else, as 
Vice President Coolidge says: "We will go down 
as other people have gone down before some nation 
possessed of a greater moral force." 



Little Pitchers Have Big Ears 



^^^•>HE Church presumes that at the age of 
■ Cj seven the child distinguishes between good 
^^^^^ and evil — its conscience begins to function. 
Accordingly provision is made at that age 
for training the child in the exercise of free-will. 
At that age also it is bound by all the regulations 
of the Church. 

All who have opportunity of observing the child 
at close range will agree that the Church has accu- 
rately timed the development of the child mind. 
Many a humorous incident proves this. 

Tommy — "Ma, you said that I shouldn't eat 
that piece of cake in the pantry, that it would make 
me sick." 

Mother — "Yes, Tommy." 

Tommy — "But, Ma, it didn't make me sick." 

Philip who had gone on an outing trip with 
the choir boys in a brand new suit, returned with 
the entire seat of his trousers gone. His mother 
greeted him: "Oh, Philip, you didn't walk up from 
the rectory with your trousers like that!" The lad 
answers: "It's alright, Ma, no one saw me; I 
walked backwards." 

As soon as children begin to indicate that their 
reason is in operation parents should concern them- 



selves with the motives and principles upon which 
they would have their children act. Not only this, 
but parents should keep a sharp eye on their own 
behavior in the presence of their children. 

^^\ARENTS have no keener critics nor sharper 
i^/ judges than these very children. To children 
everything is real, and their minds are in- 
tensely curious, and they are quick to draw con- 
clusions. They have implicit confidence in their 
parents and instinctively look to them for informa- 
tion and example. New words are picked up by 
minds ever on the alert and turned over and over in 
the attempt to get at their true meaning. Not only 
do these children sit in judgment upon their parents 
when the parents give way to violent outbursts but 
also upon the private chats of their elders, and they 
boldly act upon what they have overheard. Great 
reverence is due children, as the pagan proverb 
says. Parents, take no chances with your children: 
never forget their listening ears and guileless souls. 
Do not shock the tender conscience of one in whom 
God has implanted a natural esteem for you. 
"And all the better life that I would lead, 
Writ small in this, one childish face, I read." 



Oder the Hills by Auto Stage 



Mary Hai 



& 



EADSBORO, Vermont?" 

"You can go by train if you want to, 
but the best way is to go by the auto- 
stage. The scenery is wonderful all along 
the line." 

So of course we go by the stage. 

Whether the one thing or the other should be 
done, we are in the same necessity of arising before 
the daylight and driving down to the town three 
miles away at the foot of the mountain, to make 
connections for the next lap of the journey. This, 
too, however is a part of the joys of the road. 
There is something eerie and mysterious about 
stealing from a dusky room to look out upon a 
world that is not yet fully awake and which seems 
to be still dreaming its own dreams. 

You come softly down the old wooden stairs, 
into the shadowy kitchen, and already the house 
mother is busy there in the twilight. Unconsciously 
you think back upon the line of the poet describing 
the woman of long ago who "rekindles in the gray 
dawn the fires which she had covered overnight." 
You take a look from the window, and outside the 
stable barn the son too is silently active "hitching 
up" to go to town, but the hush and the stillness 
are as holy things not to be broken lightly. 

Then we go out ourselves and see how the 
opalescent day is beginning. The great ampitheatre 
of the hills is against a sky of flushing rose ; the dew 
lies thick upon the grass; all around about is one 
immense symphony of widening hope, and promise 
and joy. As we drive down the steep, winding 
road, only the sharp hoof-rhythm of the pony 
punctuates the earth's solemn matins of praise. 

The auto-stage leaves from the hotel door at 
7 A. M. But at six forty the hotel lobby is still 
deserted: a drowsy page, a window washer, the 
night clerk alone represents its activities. Two 
exceedingly upright ladies, of the New England 
spinster type, wait in stiff expectancy upon the 
hall settee for the arrival of the stage. They, as 
yet, are our only fellow travellers; but as the 
moments flit, other travellers, men chiefly, gather 
upon the sidewalk outside the entrance, farmers, 
commercial agents, and two, evidently on pleasure 
bent, with fishing rods and baskets. 

Punctually at seven, the stage appears; a for- 



midable vehicle, roofed over and painted grey like 
an inland battleship. On each of the four cross- 
seats it will accommodate four — sixteen in all; not 
to mention two seats beside the driver which seem 
to us the most desirable. With extreme politeness 
we enquire if these have been retained, and, as 
they have not, we immediately proceed to swing up 
our suit-cases and take possession of them ourselves. 
This brings us into personal relation with Robbie. 
Robbie is the stage driver, and no sooner do you 
come in contact with him than you recognize a 
personality. 

Perhaps it would be hard to define just what a 
personality is, especially in the case of a rather quiet 
person, like Robbie, but he is known thoughout the 
length and breath of his section of the country. 
To look at him, you would say he was a college 
student, a slender youth, slightly stoop-shouldered, 
with a smooth face and large eye-glasses. But he 
pleads guilty to twenty-six years of age and nine 
years of driving. What is notable about his expres- 
sion is the glance of his clear light-green eyes, he 
is always looking for something to do for the 
passer gers, besides merely driving them to their 
destination; he is interested, he wishes to render 
service. And this air of attention is modified by his 
smile: a wide smile, and shrewd at the same time. 
He gets a lot of amusement out of the people to 
whom he is always generously doing good turns. 

While the passengers are embarking, Robbie 
supervises the operation and renders assistance. — 
"Are you all right, sir?... Your satchel, I think. 
There's more room in front, ma'am, if you don't 
mind changing. Come on up here, little girl; now 
that's better". . . and so forth until they are all 
settled. Then he mounts his box and away we go. 
It is only a morning's ride from a point in Mas- 
sachusetts to another given point in Vermont, but 
the road winds by hill and dale, through the most 
superb country, with scenery that holds you spell- 
bound, mile after mile, and you receive as many 
and as varied impressions of travel as if you were 
under way for a week. 

*■ — |"UST before we leave the town, toward the 

ff Y- outskirts, the car comes to a halt and Robbie 

drops lightly from his perch. Very quickly 



THE 1* SIGN 



he lifts a large sack, dripping water and saw-dust 
and throws it into the back of the stage; then on 
again at high speed. Our curiosity is aroused. 
Robbie's slow smile makes answer. "It's for some 
of them folks summering at Locust Farms. They 
don't get no ice out there, so I carry it for them 
three times a week." Imagine the value in a com- 
munity of a stage driver who will render such 
services as this! On the mountain it had been 
impossible, even in extreme cases, to get ice for 
either love or money. 

We have been running smoothly for a couple 
of miles when we come to a little house, buried in 
its own luxuriant garden, at the gate of which a lady 
stands, evidently waiting, and making a signal-flag 
out of her parasol. The stage stops exactly in front 
of her. — "Mornin 'Mis' Lowther" . . . but this time 
the driver sticks to his wheel, only observing over 
his shoulder until the new passenger is settled. She 
immediately finds an acquaintance, to whom she 
conveys, (as well as to the gallery at large), that 
she is going "Up to Grandma Williams to visit." 
A necessary explanation, perhaps, in a farming 
country, where a silk dress and bronze slippers at 
seven thirty A. M. might excite suspicion! 



© 



EFORE us now the road lies open and inviting, 
between green fields and acres of cultivated 
land, with the hills bounding the horizon on 
one side, and on the other neat farm-buildings or 
country houses painted white, with green shutters, 
standing in the midst of old-fashioned gardens. 
Robbie evidently feels that the time is propitious for 
an increase of speed, for he sits gathered up over his 
steering-gear and the car flies, there is no other word 
for it, so that the very landscape is blurred before 
our eyes. 

In the body of the vehicle is a pleasant murmur 
of conversation, somewhat drowned by the whirr of 
the machine, but many of the passengers are known 
to one another, and all meet and exchange remarks 
in a happy, easy spirit, bred no doubt by the com- 
mon interest in travel and the joy of the cool, lovely 
morning. By scraps we gather that famous story, 
repeated once more by the wag of the occasion, of 
that house which is half in Massachusetts and half 
in Vermont, so that the children born in it are never 
quite sure which is their native state. — "And every 
time it comes to voting at elections, there's a shindy 
in the house!" It was pointed out to us, a long 
building of red brick, with modern additions that are 



stuccoed, as though the residents had decided to 
whitewash the portion that is Vermont! 

A little after eight o'clock, we come to the first 
village, clusters of dwellings shaded by fine elm- 
trees and boasting one store where jam-pots, whips, 
and canned vegetables meet amicably in the window, 
and a sign proclaims that this is the Post Office 
of Willamote. A man in shirt sleeves, pipe in 
mouth, is waiting upon the steps. — "Say, Robbie, 
was you going to take a parcel for me over to my 
sister's in Jerryville?" Robbie's good-natured grin 
responds: "Sure I was." "I could send it by mail 
but it would take five days and it's something she 
needs right away." — "That's all right, Mr. Pomfret." 
A voice in the back of the stage sings out. "And 
him the postmaster of Willamote!" 

But this cannot shake Mr. Pomfret's be-slip- 
pered, coatless, pipe-in-mouth dignity. He goes back 
into the store for the parcel and as Robbie bends to 
start the machine again, lifts a detaining hand — 
"Hold on now, boy, hold on! There's a man inside 
getting ready to go with you!" — "Tell him to hurry, 
please; I'm late now." The car keeps chug-chugging 
impatiently, the passengers are getting restless, 
and still no traveller apears. "Ho, Mr. Pomfret," 
calls one, "bring out your man, we can't wait here 
all day." "Some of us is going fishing," this 
brings laughter. "Ay, and the missus needs the 
catch before the Friday of next week." 

A travelling salesman, bag in hand dashes 
forth at last, and jumps upon the running board. 
"All right, Cap, let her go". . . but as we start a 
woman comes running from the house. "Mr. Joe, 
Mr. Joe, your umbrella" ... It is too late. Robbie 
does not hear and we are tearing along the high 
road in the effort to retrieve lost time. It is as if 
the car were lifted by some unseen power and not 
touching the ground in the swift and powerful 
momentum of its advance. Speed laws must be 
suffering, but the sensation of being almost on the 
wing is delightful. 



Q 



'ND now, gradually, there is a change in the 
scenery. The highway grows more narrow, 
plunging between banks, or skirting groves 
of evergreens; the whole country looks broken and 
hilly, only patches of ground here and there are 
planted, and magnificent trees, the sentinels of 
mountain areas: fir, pine, spruce and hemlock, 
tower singly or in groups. As we pass, the incense- 
like sweetness of balsam-firs is wafted to us. The 



THE 1* SIGN 



character of the places of habitation changes too; 
no more trim farms, no more white country houses, 
but shanties of unpainted wood, and pathetic, 
weather-stained shacks, drooping forlornly to the 
side upon which they settle. Yet there is something 
wild and inspiring about the view that stirs and 
charms you. 

From just such a rude cabin as these Lincoln 
once stepped, and what great peace and silence 
must be in them, beneath the pines! From their 
high places — they always seem to be set high — 
what vast horizons they must command! For us, 
guessing at the stories they represent, we fly past 
them and are nothing to them. The breeze of 
incipient autumn is in our faces, and the gold of the 
perfect day shines upon 
scenes that are so fair 
already. 

Presently we come 
once more to an oasis of 
culture, stock-breading 
and summer visitors. 
"Locust Farms," is an- 
swered to our enquiries, 
and Robbie hops lightly 
down, digs out his sack 
of ice and drops it upon 
the grass below the 
porch, then quickly re- 
sumes his seat. The 
shutters are still closed, 
and bottles of milk stand 
full beside the entrance. 
T n the silence of the 
pause, an elderly fem- 
inine voice is lifted 
dolorously behind us. 
"Well, now, did you 
ever! Half past eight 
and sleeping! Some 
folks is so lazy that if". . 
in the long groan of the starting engine. 
Bang! And we are off. 

For a little while we are in the farming region 
again, the road smooth and the land undulous with- 
out sharp accidents. Quiet, laborious forms of men 
and women are bending over their several tasks in 
the fields. We flash past a group of young men 
working upon the telegraph wires, and note how the 
stalwart, sun-bronzed figures still wear army 
breeches and leggins, and one strongly-moulded 



face, superb as sculpture under the army hat, turns 
to gaze as we pass. Shouts of greeting are exchang- 
ed, and one of us at least thanks heaven that these 
lads should be back at their peaceful occupations 
in the good New England back-country, far from 
the devastations of war. 



o 



The Rainbow 


Placidus M. 


Endler 


The summer wind through Nazareth — 


O it was sip! — 




Paused for a moment 


as it passed 


A Baby- by"; 




And from the ruddy 1 


ruby* bow — 


It did espy — 




Of Babe's lips where 


sorted sweets 


In rows did lie, 




Most stealthily it stole 


a kiss. 


Then up on higl 


t 


It hung this candy -colored kiss, 


Still wet, to dry 4 . 





the rest of it is drowned 
Whirr! 



perceive an aged man standing in the road 
and holding up his hand. Robbie seems 
accustomed to signs and watches for them. We 
draw up, and two young ladies, evidently summer 
boarders, are taking leave of a kindly white haired 
woman of many years. "Good-bye, good-bye, we 
have had a lovely time and will surely come again." 
Innumerable boxes, bags, 
flowers and apples are 
stowed all over the car, 
more farewells spoken 
and we drive on, leaving 
those two ancient people 
standing in the sun. 
They seem, somehow 
struck and desolate, with 
their old, old heads, their 
withered hands, their 
stooping forms. And 
the old man, under his 
thick white hair is mak- 
ing a brave attempt to 
smile, with some pain, as 
of a sorrow of long ago, 
piercing the cheerful- 
ness. Have they no 
children of their own? 
Where are their chil- 
dren? The girls are 
talking of railroad tickets 
and trains to town, the 
stage leaps forward on 
its way to Vermont, but those two pitiful figures 
at the gate, in the sunshine, so old, so feeble, hurt 
the memory like remorse. 

We stop in the centre of the village, before 
the rustic hotel, and here a good number of passen- 
gers alight. It is a local nucleus of some importance. 
While his passengers collect their baggage, Robbie 
from the box superintends their operations and does 
not observe a small barefoot boy who comes and 
stands at the curb waving a letter silently above 
his head. At last the wag takes notice. "Hey, 



THE + SIGN 



Robbie, somebody's sendin' you a love-letter!" — 
"Ah, shaw, it's only an order for the grocer." — "He 
wants a pound of maccaroni for his girl." The 
boy continues imperturably to wave his missive as 
high above his tousled head as his little brown hand 
will let him reach. A woman's imperious voice 
recalls the long-suffering chauffeur to his duty. 
"Robbie, Robbie! Will you turn round! Here's 
a child trying five minutes to deliver a letter to you." 
Robbie turns with philosophical calmness. "Hello, 
George! Does mother want me to take that for 
her?" The head nods a little, but the lips are closed. 
The soiled envelope passes into Robbie's deep 
pocket, and away we go again. 

Now, there seems to be a change of temperature, 
falling to cooler. Perhaps it is only imaginary, or 
perhaps in reality as we are almost continually 
running through the deep shade of thickets, the 
atmosphere registers the change. To our left, 
between gaps in the branches we detect a white 
flashing and gleaming of foam; at one point, break- 
ing through foliage and underbrush, are two lads 
with clean eager, roseate faces, lifted smilingly 
as the stage passes; their outing shirts and long 
rubber wading boots show clearly in what sport they 
are engaged. 

Almost immediately after this, we come to the 
most spectacular portion of the trip. The road, of 
an earthy tan color, becomes quite narrow and begins 
to take short, irregular turns which wind in serpen- 
tine fashion. The stage is obliged to lower speed, 
and fast — faster than we go — the trout-stream which 
has become a torrent, tears along beside us at the 
edge of the road. It is a magnificent sight: here 
it dashes impetuously forward picking its way 
between massy rocks, there the rocks stand strewn 
in opposition, and the headlong waters hurl onward 
over them, in waves, in snowy fringes, in eddies, 
and on again with unimpeded rush. In recesses, the 
deep green pools that the current does not seem to 
touch, are formed; and everywhere the long ferns 
leaning over, the jewel-weed and nameless, beauti- 
ful, frail sprays of foliage, are sprinkled and hang 
trembling over the brawling, roaring thunder of the 
water-course. Now a bit of forest cuts us off from 
the stream, and we are again in deep shadow, with 
high earth banks on either side of us, dark, cool 
places full of the scent of loam and of moss and 
fungi, as in the sequestered, rich spots that human 
foot scarce ever treads. 

The company has grown silent, and the fact is 



certainly psychological. We are in no danger, but 
nature here is primeval, untouched, almost awesome 
in its splendor. We emerge once more into the sun- 
light, and the stream now acts like a sportive child : 
it runs deliberately across our track, forms a deep 
loop, and on again, racing as before, but this time 
at our right hand. The stage slowly makes the 
awkward turn, crosses the short bridge where for a 
moment we are above the battling, pelting, boulder- 
strewn water on both sides of us, and runs on again, 
smoothly, by a better road. There had been 
moments when we prayed that no other vehicle 
should be coming from the opposite direction. 

^#^\OBBIE looks at his watch, for he prides him- 
l^f self upon punctuality, whatever may be the 
delays and accidental stops of the way. 
Toward ten o'clock we enter on the main village 
street with its clean little houses, and flowers in the 
window boxes; happy women look out from neat, 
old-fashioned doorways, and rosy children come 
running to greet friends among the travellers. We 
catch a glimpse in passing of the unusual pictures- 
queness of the situation. Hills are all about us, 
and the white cottages climb and lodge themselves 
in all the nooks, so that every green space is studded 
with them. 

The town is parted by the broad, stony bed of 
a river, with water that only threads it in summer, 
but a long, oscillating iron bridge unites the two 
sections. Just below the bridge, the torrent — which 
has followed us — hurls itself impetuously into the 
shallow, slow course of the river and together they 
pour away through the lower portion of the village, 
past gardens and mills, and especially past the little 
church on the slope with its slender spire and the 
gold Cross uplifted to the West. 

Robbie comes to a halt before the principal 
store of the town; and now he alights briskly and 
his wide, good-natured smile rejoices with the tra- 
vellers that he has been able to bring them safely 
to their destination. He renders assistance generous- 
ly with suitcases, bags and baskets. More than one 
passenger pauses to shake hands with him, showing 
the peculiarly ^personal relationship that has been 
established between them and calls as they part. 
"I'm going back with you, Robbie, when I go!" 
This is our own word to the lad. And he answers 
back pleasantly: "Glad to have you! Just let me 
know anytime. Mondays, Wednesdays and Satur- 
days, until the snow shuts us off." 



Wkat Do You Know About: 

Tke Church's Attitude Towards Divorce? 



XT can hardly be denied that the closest of all 
unions is to be found in the holy bond of 
matrimony. For the sake of entering into 
such a union, men and women will break every other 
tie, no matter how close or how sacred, even the 
tie that binds the child to the parent. The union of 
husband and wife is the closest and most unifying 
that it is possible to conceive, for they become two 
in one flesh. Nay, more; as our Blessed Lord said, 
they are "no longer two but one flesh." 

The inclination to enter such a union is deeply 
seated in human nature since it was placed there in 
the beginning by the Creator, and in spite of the 
difficulties and hardships attendant on married 
life, the impulse to enter that state persists. Divorce 
is, then, by its nature opposed to the well-being of 
the individual and of society, it did not enter into 
the designs of God, it was condemned by Our Lord 
and has found no place among the nations that have 
the true Christian Faith. 

When holy matrimony was blessed by God 
in the earthly paradise of Eden He stamped upon it 
the character of indissolubility and willed it to be a 
life-long union between one man and one woman. 

When our Divine Savior restored marriage to 
its original purity, He gave it a new creation of 
grace, by elevating it to the dignity of a Sacrament 
of the Catholic Church and stamped upon it the 
character of indissolubility making Christian marri- 
age a sign and symbol of the union which exists 
between Himself and His spotless Spouse, the 
Church. 

1. We should distinguish two kinds of sepa- 
ration between husband and wife. 

A. Absolute divorce which implies the dis- 
solution of the marriage Bond carrying with it the 
right to contract a new marriage. 

B. A mere separation of the parties, implying 
a permission to live apart from each other, but 
leaving the marriage bond intact, and giving no 
permission to contract a new marriage. 

2. Absolute divorce is forbidden by the law 
of God in the case of a Christian marriage, at least 
after its consummation. Such a marriage can not 
be dissolved by any power on earth. Neither 
Church nor State has the power to break the 
marriage Bond. 



3. This is the law of God. Our Lord said: 
"Therefore now they are not two but one flesh. 
What GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER LET 
NO MAN PUT ASUNDER." Math. 19, 6. "Who- 
soever shall put away his wife and marry another, 
committeth adultery against her. And if the wife 
shall put away her husband, and be married to 
another, she committeth adultery." Luke 16/18. 
"Everyone that putteth away his wife and marrieth 
another, committeth adultery and he that marrieth 
her that is put away committeth adultery." Mark 
X. 11, 12. 

4. This is the teaching of the Apostles. St. 
Paul said — "A woman is bound by the law as long 
as her husband liveth; but if her husband die she is 
at liberty; let her marry whom she will." 1 Cor. VII. 
"For the woman that hath a husband, whilst her 
husband liveth is bound to the law. But if her 
husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of 
her husband. Therefore whilst her husband liveth, 
she shall be called an adulteress, if she be with 
another man; but if her husband be dead, she is 
delivered from the law of her husband, so that she 
is not an adulteress if she be with another man." 
Rom. VII. 2, 3. 

5. This was the law of the whole Christian 
world for fifteen centuries, and it is still in force 
throughout the Catholic Church and is sanctioned 
by nations and states of the old and the new world. 

6. Christ abrogated the Jewish law of divorce, 
and thereby prohibited its use among Christians. 
The Pharisees asked our Lord "Why then did Moses 
command to give a bill of divorce and to put away? 
He saith to them; Moses, because of the hardness 
of your hearts, permitted you to put away your 
wives BUT FROM THE BEGINNING IT WAS 
NOT SO. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put 
away his wife except it be for fornication, and 
shall marry another, committeth adultery, and he 
that shall marry her that is put away, committeth 
adultery." Matthew 19. 

7. The principal causes for permitting a 
"separation from bed and board" are (a) Adultery 
(b) Danger to one's salvation (c) Cruelty (d) Lapse 
of one party into infidelity. From this it is seen that 
the Church is not tyrannical, for while she can not 



THE t SIGN 



break the bond of marriage, she does allow married 
persons to live apart for grave reasons. 

8. They sin grievously who have recourse to 
the civil courts to obtain an absolute divorce when 
their marriage is valid. But Catholics may apply 
to the secular courts for a merely civil divorce, not 
as though they recognized any power on the part of 
the State to dissolve a marriage validly contracted by 
them but merely for the purpose of protecting them- 
selves against unjust vexations and legal penalties. 

9. Any Catholic attempting to marry again 
after having obtained a civil divorce falls under the 
censure of the Church. 

10. Divorce is contrary not only to the law 
of Christ but also to the law of Nature. This is 
easily seen in the terrible effects that flow from 
divorce, which Leo XIII summaries; "Truly it is 
hardly possible to describe how great are the evils 
that flow from divorce. Matrimonial contracts are 
by it made variable, mutual kindness is weakened, 
deplorable inducements to unfaithfulness are sup- 
plied, harm is done to the education and training of 
children, occasion is afforded for the breaking up of 
homes; the seeds of dissension are sown among 
families, the dignity of woman is lessened and 
brought low, and women run the risk of being 
deserted after having ministered to the pleasures of 
men. Since, then, nothing has such power to lay 
waste families and destroy the mainstay of kingdoms 
as the corruption of morals, it is easily seen that 
divorces are in the highest degree hostile to the pros- 
perity of families and States, springing as they do 
from the depraved morals of the people, and as 
experience shows us, opening out a way to every 
kind of evil-doing in public and private life. . . So 
soon as the road to divorce began to be made smooth 
by law, at once quarrels, jealousies, and judicial 
separations largely increased and such shameless- 
ness of life followed that men who had previously 
been in favor of these divorces repented of what 
they had done, and feared that, if they did not seek a 
remedy by repealing the law, the State itself might 
come to ruin." 

11. All this has been verified in the history 
of the world since the time of the Protestant revolt 
against the authority of the Vicar of Christ. Divorce 
led Henry VIII, King of England, to adultery, 
sacrilege, the plunder of his realm and the brutal 
murder of his wives. Divorce has brought upon our 
own generation the curse of race-suicide, thereby 
robbing the State of future useful citizens, depriv- 



ing the Church of many saints and apostolic souls, 
and preventing the birth of countless creatures who 
should have been born "to know, love and serve God 
in this life and be happy with Him in the never- 
ending ages of eternity." It is the strict duty of 
Catholics who are united in the holy bonds of 
marriage, and who are face to face with difficulties 
in the home, to flee from all thought of separation 
or of a divorce even as they would "flee from the 
face of a serpeant." 

12. Not divorce but the grace of God and a 
lively faith in the promises of the Gospel are the 
means to bear the difficulties of domestic life. The 
home may, indeed, be for some a veritable Garden 
of Agony, with a Bleeding Heart and a Thorn 
crowned head, but if suffered in union with the 
Man of Sorrows and the Queen of Martyrs, it will 
infallibly lead to the beatific vision of God. The 
Cross may be found in the home but it leads to the 
Crown; divorce is but the highroad to HELL. 



aNDER date of September 8, the Topeka 
Capital says : That divorce courts are fill- 
ing the state reformatories to overflowing 
with boys whose tendency to commit crime 
is directly traceable to the separation of their 
parents, is shown conclusively by the record of boys 
applying for paroles at the next session of the 
parole board to be held Tuesday, at Hutchinson. 

Seventy-six boys have applied for paroles. 
Records following the case of each boy from child- 
hood to young manhood have been placed before 
the board. 

Thirty-three of the fifty boys whose records 
are analyzed have no home in which their own 
father and mother together can help the boy to 
better manhood. In thirty-three cases, the parents 
have separated. In twenty-one of the thirty-three 
cases, the separation occurred in the formative 
period of the boy's development and the parents 
subsequently married again. 

In eighteen of the twenty-one cases in which 
parents separated and remarried, one or both parents 
later divorced and married again and again: in two 
cases as many as four times. 

In twelve of the thirty-three cases where 
parents separated they did not both remarry ; in five 
neither of the parents later married, but in these 
cases the boys were shuffled back and forth from the 
custody of one parent to the other until they were 
bereft of any home influences and of the proper 
guidance of either parent. 



Current Fact and Comment 



WHERE BIGOTRY SPAWNS 



^T^E can all take comfort in the fact that in the 
\l/ Catholic body we have no counterpart of the 
infamous Tom Watson, fanatic, hedger and 
liar. How often do you hear of Protestants being 
forced to organize and protest against gross mis- 
representation and open persecution by Catholics? 



Never! Truth, to which Tom and his brood are 
strangers, begets a sence of security and contentment, 
and a consequent willingness to let the other fellow 
go his way. The bigot with a bad temper can never 
see straight. If he did he would see that hatred is 
a poor weapon always defeating its own purpose. 



THE TWENTIETH AMENDMENT 



^^^HE twentieth amendment to the Constitution 
L J is on the way and should meet with general 
approval. It empowers the President to veto 
separate items in an appropriation bill. Measures 
that never should or could have been approved on 
their own merits have shared, as riders, the approval 



of commendable and necessary measures. We can 
all breathe more freely when we are assured that no 
legislation prejudicial to our lawful interests will 
have a chance merely because it puts the President 
in the embarassing position of approving all items 
or none. 



CAUSE OF THE 

*" — |"UST as soon as bonding and surety companies 
ff Y. assumed risks against losses from criminal 
causes we began to be supplied with accurate 
data regarding the cause of crime. The president 
of the largest of the largest of these companies gives 
eleven reasons for the present crime wave. Of these 
he ranks disrespect for law as the greatest. Thous- 
ands who formerly unquestionally obeyed the law 



CRIME WAVE 

with instinctive loyalty and reverence now utterly 
contemn all law. This charge has been largely 
brought about through disgust for the open trickery 
which has been used to put over and enforce the 
un-American Volstead Act. Common-sense men 
know that the mutiplication of laws is dangerous 
and the making of odious and unnecessary laws is 
certain to engender contempt for all law. 



'SPIRIT OF HEALTH OR GOBLIN DAMN'D!' 



^^<"WO of our biggest metropolitan dailies have 
L J been featuring an expose of the devious ways 
and stupid antics of The Invisible Empire, 
popularly known as the Ku Klux Klan. This expose 
has been devoured by a ravenous public with more 
interest and amusement than the Comic Supplement. 
On reading it we are lead to make some observa- 
tions. 

First: The Ku Klux Klan (Imperial Palace and 
Home Office, Atlanta, Georgia) is nothing if not 
American. It rests solidly on the great American 
principle of a square deal and equal rights for all. 
Wherefore, it very locically and conscientiously pro- 
ceeds to persecute every Catholic, Jew, Black, and 
Foreigner in these United States. 

Second: With this noble purpose it has rapidly 
developed from a handful of charter members to an 
organization verging on the million. Verily "the 
number of fools is infinite." 

Third: Its financial success has been propor- 
tionate to its membership. For the small sum of 



$16.80 the members are allowed to buy the required 
outfit, to wit, one hooded night-gown of purest 
"Georgette" cotton. "The fool and his money are 
soon parted." 

Fourth: Implicit faith have these super- 
Americans in the common brotherhood of man. 
No crested head must appear above the dead line 
of social equality. Hence we have the nicely grad- 
uated scale of Imperial Wizard, Supreme Kleagle, 
Grand Goblin, and lesser Goblins. 

Fifth: Wizard, Kleagle, Goblins stand by 
"Open covenants openly arrived at." Therefore 
they lure their awe-struck dupes into the blackness 
of the night and then with hideous rites initate them 
into the innermost secrets of — bigotry and fanatic- 
ism. 

Pity the poor Catholic Church! She has 
weathered the persecutions of nineteen centuries, 
but, alas, her day has come! The Invisible Empire 
with one fell swoop will efface the Kingdom of God ! 
The Gates of Hell are now to triumph! 



THE + SIGN 



CATHOLIC WOMEN AND THE VOTE 



\^-/HE question of women suffrage is no longer 
K J'J a debatable issue. The right of the American 
woman to vote has been written into the Con- 
stitution and is now the Nineteenth Amendment. 
Whatever may have been the attitude of our Catho- 
lic women on this point prior to their enfranchise- 
ment, there can be no doubt as to their duty to-day 
at the ballot box. The first part of this duty is to 
inform themselves about measures to be voted upon, 
the next part is to go to the ballot box, and the 
third part is to vote for the right measure. 

Many of our Catholic men have been derelict 



in their civic obligation either by not voting at all 
or by not voting conscientiously. If our Catholic 
women are to follow the example of these, their right 
to vote will be a blow to the interests of both 
Church and State. We can be assured that, as a 
rule, the women who will be most ready to insist 
upon their right to vote will be the very ones who 
are least worthy to vote. We need the consistent 
vote of good women to off-set the strength of the 
others. Our Catholic women should remember that 
their vote is not intended to drag religion into 
politics but to keep irreligion out. 



THE NATION'S 
(TARTLING figures are presented in the effort 
to reconcile the soldiers to the withholding 
of the bonus. The Government asks that it 
be allowed to attend first to the rehabilitation of 
the disabled. There was testimony that 400 ex- 
service men had committed suicide in New York 
State, and that 1725 had applied for mental treat- 
ment in New York City alone. Admittedly the 
Government has failed to provide for many who 
are entitled to relief on the strongest titles of justice 



DEBT OF HONOR 

and gratitude. Simultaneously hospitals in Pennsyl- 
vania are beginning to announce that charitable 
service must be curtailed in the face of deficits due 
to the withdrawal of State aid. Surely those who 
on a sectarian plea clamored for that withdrawal, 
never came in contact with the damage done by war 
to the minds and bodies of men. How shameless 
and heartless the bigotry that could so inopportunely 
insist upon what must notably reduce the soldiers' 
chances for relief and healing! 



IRELAND'S SOVEREIGNITY PREPOSTEROUS? 



y^^HERE is immortal literature in the represen- 
V /J tations and replies of President De Valera 
to the British Premier. Of all the statesmen 
who have had to plea for a people's dearest interest 
none has employed greater courage, candor, force 
and logic. There is no suspicion of subtlety or 
evasion as Ireland's President pleads for her especi- 
ally as a free and sovereign race and nation. 

It must be admitted that a great many fair- 
minded people look upon the Irish claim for inde- 
pendence as preposterous. They congratulated 
other races when these were relieved of the rule 
and oppression of the Central and Eastern powers. 
America fought for an ideal and here it was realized. 
Little was known of the complicated political ref- 
lations or of the economic and historic grounds of 
the claims for freedom, there was only applause 
when the Supreme Council severed the political ties 
and set those peoples back within their historic 
confines. But the "fair-minded people" were more 
conversant with Anglo-Hibernian relations — at least 
so familiar with them as to be convinced that what 



might be called ancient prescription should not be 
disturbed. 

Those other races have had two years experi- 
ence of independence. In few cases has their vision 
of material happiness and prosperity been realized. 
They are finding it exceedingly difficult to adjust 
themselves to strictly state conditions. There is 
little promise of relief. Either they are an agricult- 
ural people without the resources of industry or an 
industrial people without the necessary resources of 
agriculture. It is a hard choice: national pride 
with freedom as against national unity with ease and 
comfort. 

All this brings into sharp relief the distinctive 
reasonableness of Ireland's claim for independence 
both as a race and a nation. And a little patient 
reflection will help the "fair-minded people" to ap- 
preciate the disappointment of Irishmen over what 
they hold to be the utter delinquency of the Supreme 
Council. 

Ireland is ready with every material resource 
to live her own life and to prosper. 



THE + SIGN 



DANTE— A WITNESS TO LIGHT 



ON September 14, 1321, there died in the city of 
Ravenna, Italy, Dante Alighieri. He is the 
greatest amongst the religious poets and one 
of the three transcendent poets of all time. He is 
pre-eminently a Catholic poet. The work upon 
which his reputation chiefly rests — a work which is, 
perhaps, the noblest single accomplishment of 
Christian Europe, and the one most likely destined 
to outlive all others — is concerned with an elaborate, 
detailed treatment of the three great unchanging 
truths, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. 

The out-standing feature of the sixth centenary 
of his death is the absolute unanimity with which 
the educated world, Catholic, Protestant and Un- 
believing, unite in acknowledging the sublime genius 
of this immortal embodiment of the culture, the 
aspiration and the faith of the Middle Ages. 

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV himself 
has honored the work and memory of Dante in a 



manner unparalleled by publishing an encyclical 
letter to the Christian world in which he pays tribute 
to the living influence of this remarkable exponent 
of Catholicism. The Pope insists that Dante is our 
own, that he has received his inspiration from the 
dogmas of the Church, and is the conclusive proof 
that submission to the teachings of the Church does 
not clip the wings of genius. 

There has been deliberately foisted on the 
Protestant public the unfounded persuasion that the 
historical period known as the Middle Ages was a 
period devoid of anything like intellectual develop- 
ment, culture and refinement. Thinking persons 
should know that the century which produced a 
Dante could not be called 'dark', and Shakespeare 
no more attests the intellectual glories of his day 
than Dante, three hundred years earlier, proclaims 
the high civilization of the Thirteenth Century — 
the heyday of the Ages of Faith. 



SUCCESS AT A COST 



OCCASIONALLY, Catholics are shocked by 
disclosures involving the honor of Catholic 
professional men. In notorious cases recently 
before the courts of Massachusetts, certain Catholic 
lawyers laid themselves open to just criticism for 
having consented to accept what were obviously 
seamy cases. Success was dependent, not upon 
legal ability, but upon agility in manipulating the 
subtilties of the law. It seems also that these 
lawyers extorted large sums of money from clients 
whom they intimidated with the thinly veiled threat 
of exposure. 

These occurrences furnish another proof that a 
truer standard of morality and higher ideals are 
needed among some Catholic professional men. 
Catholics, in certain cities, have little reason to be 
proud of their representatives in public life. Gifted 
with versatile talents, many have proven sad disap- 
pointments; given a trust, they have betrayed it. 
Strange it is, but true, that the public looks for purer 
service from the Catholic than from the non-Catholic 
man of affairs. 

Catholic men and women in the professions 
brush shoulders with adherents of many creeds. 
Thrown into such surroundings, they more than ever 
need the sustaining influence of their Catholic faith, 
for the literature in vogue and the views expressed 
are generally hostile to the Church. The desire to 



appear broad-minded prompts many such Catholics 
to sacrifice truth to falsehood. To curry favor with 
unscruplous associates, they spinelessly consent 
to things that become barbs in conscience, and that 
bring both themselves and their religion into ill- 
repute. 

Even such as have been educated in Catholic 
schools and colleges do not blush to throw over- 
board the principles of morality therein learned, 
and to accept a more convenient standard of pro- 
fessional practice. If asked for the reason why 
they have thus discarded their first ideals, they will 
tell you that they found them impractical. Success 
did not come to them at once, and money did not 
find its way to them. So, perforce, they adopted 
new ways of thinking and of living. Once they 
served Christ; now they serve Caesar. The front 
door has been thrown wide open to Mammon, but, 
alas, peace has fled the house. 

When will these men and women come :c 
realize the imperative need of standing by the solid 
principles they have been taught? — the interests of 
God, first, last and always. The life of the late 
Chief Justice White is a rebuke to the cowardly 
and a potent witness to the fact that even for 
advancement and universal recognition in a profes- 
sion no Catholic need compromise the teachings of 
his Church. 



By the Hill of Slane 



ElLl£HN 1 

H1GHT! Light! Light!" 
The woman rose rather wearily from 
her bed and flung an armful of wood on 
the smouldering fire which blazed up again 
showing the interior of a bare room. The covering 
of the bed on which the child who had called lay 
was soft and warm, as was also the long dark cloak 
his mother wore fastened at the neck with a gold 
brooch. 

The child, apparently satisfied by her action, 
turned on his side and in a moment was slumbering 
peacefully. 

Clothra however did not return to her bed at 
once, but going to the door flung it open and looked 
out into the night. It was early Spring, and, though 
within all became dark as the fire died down, out- 
of-doors there was still light enough for her to see 
the dim shapes of the trees near at hand, and a little 
way off the sloping outline of the Hill of Slane 
almost at the foot of which her home lay. Her 
attitude showed that she was expecting someone, 
but whoever it was did not appear, and presently 
she went in again and sat down beside the child. 
She was drowsy but she did not lie down at once 
for she did not want to go to sleep until she was 
quite sure that the child's slumber was sound. 

As she watched beside him her dark gray eyes 
over which the heavy lids drooped filled with tears, 
and she muttered: "Surely it is as though he were 
bewitched." 

It seemed indeed as if there was some truth in 
her words so great was the change in the child who 
but a short season back had been strong and brave 
and handsome, and so healthy that he slept from 
sunset to sunrise without waking. 

Earc had gone one day with his father to seek 
for some strayed cattle in the tombs of the Kings 
at New Grange which were at no great distance 
from Slane. He was curious to see this place and 
finding an opening he ventured inside, but when, 
startled by the eerie darkness, he turned almost at 
once to come out again, he found the opening closed 
behind him. His father had in his service a man 
whom on one occasion he had punished with over- 
severity for some offence, and this man either by 



way of a rough joke or in revenge for his punishment 
had followed the boy and shut him in. 

Earc was traced and rescued, but not until 
some hours had elapsed. It was only after some 
days had passed that it was discovered that though 
he had sustained no bodily injury he was yet sorely 
altered. He was become strangely timorous, and 
especially a dread of darkness had come upon him 
so that if he awoke in the night, as he often did now, 
he would cry out with terror; also his bodily health 
waned by degrees until at last he grew so weak that 
he lay all day on his bed almost without moving. 

GLOTHRA was a heavy sleeper, and the dawn 
had already broken when she once more 
came to the door of the hut and looked 
southwards. When a tall figure wrapped in a cloak 
which reached nearly to his tight-fitting trews 
stepped out from the shadow of the ash wood she 
drew a long sigh of relief; this was partly due to the 
fact that it was Nial, not Cormac, who was striding 
towards her. Yet she loved Cormac, her husband, 
in much the same fervid manner as she loved her 
child, while she cared but little for her step-son 
Nial. 

Both Cormac and Nial had been absent at Tara, 
where was being held a Convention of the Druids 
and Princes of Leinster; but whereas Cormac had 
gone thither because he was a man of some import- 
ance in his sept, Nial's errand had been a private 
one of his own suggestion. He had gone to try to 
persuade a certain Druid who was connected with 
their sept, to use his magic power to take the spell 
off the sick child. 

Nial was not beautiful like Earc, and would 
indeed have been downright ugly were it not for 
the colour of his eyes which were dark blue and 
had moreover at all times an intelligent and kindly 
look in them. Now as he came forward, though 
his face was haggard and weary, they shone with a 
light that made Clothra augur the best. 

"T'is well!" she exclaimed, "surely the wise 
man has removed the spell." But as Nial shook his 
head, her face fell. 



THE t SIGN 



"But at least he will aid us to vengeance!" 
she cried. 

"No," said Nial, "but what matter is that?" 

"Not to you, mayhap!" was the angry retort, 
for Clothra never forgot, though Nial often did, 
that he was only Earc's half-brother. 

" Tis you that have not done your errand at 
all." 

"Ah but I have, Clothra. Between this and 
Tara I met with a man wiser than all the Druids, 
and he bade me tell you to have no fear of spells, 
which are but a delusion of evil." 

"And the High Druid, has he not forbid him to 
speak?" 

"He would not obey; I tell you the holy 
Patrick — as men begin to call him — fears neither 
the many gods of this land, nor the Druids, nor 
spells, for he serves One to Whom all these are 
nothing." 

Clothra's dark eyes grew round; she had no 
great love for the Druids, only a fear that amounted 
to dread, and as for the gods she had no great faith 
in them seeing that she tried a different one every 
day. It might be this stranger could lift the spell 
off her boy, so she questioned Nial eagerly. 

"Is he of our race?" 

"Ay, but not of our country. He was brought as 
a slave to Erin and suffered much, but he escaped 
at last, and — " 

But Clothra would hear no more, and wrung 
her hands in bitter disappointment. A slave ! What 
could such a one do to help? It was no use for 
Nial to try to tell her how Patrick was no slave but 
noble by birth, and how he had come to bring glad 
tidings of the one true God and the Saviour of the 
world. Still less use would it have been to attempt 
to tell her of the wonderful light that had dawned 
on his own soul. 

" 'Tis myself I blame!" wailed Clothra, "to be 
trusting a good-for-naught." She despised Nial 
both for his plainness, and for the humbleness of 
mind that made him slow to take offence when 
unjustly reproached. 

Nail turned away now and went to Earc's bed- 
side, the child greeting him with a cry of delight, for 
a deep affection existed between the two. But now 
as Nial looked at the sick child's wasted form and 
fevered eyes and heard him, who had once been 
so brave and high-spirited, scream with terror be- 
cause a spider dropped upon his hand, it took all his 
faith in the holy Patrick and his teaching to believe 



that the child was not under the influence of some 
spell too strong to conquer. 



e 



"VERY moment he had to spare Nial spent by 
the sick child's side. At night he was always 
on the watch to replenish the fire so that it 
was but rarely such a cry as had roused Clothra 
was heard, for by his care he was able to save 
Earc from the darkness he dreaded. But he had 
tasks to perform out-of-doors since his father 
exacted much service from him. One day on his 
return home he found an evil-looking old woman 
crouching by Earc's bed. There was no one else 
about for his mother was helping a servant to grind 
corn in the big quorn at the other end of the 
enclosure. 

Nial recognized the old woman at once as a 
reputed witch and when he saw the terror on Earc's 
face he was so angry that without a word he took 
her by the shoulder and almost flung her out of the 
room. She dared not resist but outside she paused 
and cursed horribly, calling down the vengeance of 
all the gods she knew and of the Druids on his head. 

"I fear none of them!" he cried. "Begone!" 

Then as she crawled away she turned and 
screamed loud enough for the sick child to hear: 
"I tell you all your care of yonder weakling is of 
no avail, for on the night that all the lights must 
go out, he will go out too." 

Nial went back into the house seeking as best 
he might to comfort the terrified child. But his 
heart was sick within him. The dread of that one 
night of the year on which according to Druid law 
every light but theirs must be extinguished was on 
himself as well as Earc, even though Patrick had 
told him to have no fear for the terror of that night 
was about to pass for ever. 

As the dreaded night drew near Nial made up 
his mind that at all risks — and these were not light 
since disobedience meant death if discovered — he 
would kindle a fire as usual on it. There was every 
chance, however, that he might do so without dis- 
covery for the house was divided into two chambers 
by a thick oaken door, on the other side of which 
was the sleeping-place of Cormac and Clothra. 
Cheaply as the latter held him, she knew there was 
no need for her to trouble to wake when Nial was 
at hand. The only window in the room where Nial 
was wont to watch by Earc was so tiny that he could 
easily darken it by means of a board and a piece of 
cloth. 



THE 1* SIGN 



Yet as Nial sat by his brother's side and the 
hour for extinguishing all lights drew near he could 
not shake off a sense of dread. The old woman's 
threat kept ringing in his ears and though as yet 
the child slept quietly it seemed to him that the 
hand grew colder and clammier in his grasp as the 
shadows deepened round them. The daylight 
lingered yet outside but within the dusk gathered 
thickly. The room was almost dark when, rising 
with a yawn, Cormac kicked out the last remnants 
of the fire and followed by Clothra went to bed. 

XT was not until a sound resembling distant 
thunder told Nial that Cormac was asleep 
that he ventured to move and close every 
chink of the window, and as soon as that was done, 
by feeling rather than seeing, he set to work to re- 
kindle the fire as noiselessly as he could. The ashes 
were fortunately still warm and a faint red glow 
illumined the room as he bent down to pile on three 
dry birch logs. 

As he did so the outer door was burst violently 
open and a man rushing in struck him a violent 
blow on the head, while another hastily scattered 
the fire Nial had kindled. A mocking laugh out- 
side told Nial who it was had guessed that he might 
disobey the Druids. He struggled to rise that he 
might at least reach Earc's side but as he did so 
another blow stretched him senseless. 

The men satisfied with their work, and fearing 
that Cormac who had ceased snoring might avenge 
his son, fled hastily, leaving the door wide open 
behind them. 

Then someone moved in the darkness and there 



was a pitiful cry of "My brother! oh my brother!" 
Earc's great love for his brother had over-powered 
even his terror of the darkness and forgetful of all 
else he bent over him now and tried to raise his 
head. Then he remembered that an earthenware 
jar stood in a far corner of the room and he 
tried to feel his way to it. But now the darkness 
seemed to wrap him around and blind and stiffle 
him and he could not reach it. In spite of him- 
self the old cry of "Light! Light!" rose to his 
lips though Nial could not rise to give it to 
him. 

Yet did it seem as though his cry was answered 
for suddenly a brilliant light illumined the place 
and showed him, to his great joy, Nial leaning on 
his elbow and looking at him, while Cormac and 
Clothra stood in the doorway of the inner room 
with scared faces. It seemed as though the Hill 
of Slane was on fire, so glorious was the bonfire 
that blazed to heaven on it. 

"What is it?" they asked. But Nial, whose 
senses had now returned, rose to his feet and catch- 
ing Earc in his arms carried him out to see the 
wonderful sight. He knew that there was but one 
man in Ireland who would dare to light a fire this 
night on the hill of Slane, the highest hill in 
Meath. 

Earc laughed and clapped his hands as the 
flames leaped up; and cried "I shall never be afraid 
any more, Nial." Whilst his brother with a 
strangely uplifted look upon his face murmured, 
"He told me all would be well on Easter Eve; I did 
not understand then, but now I know. The darkness 
is past and the day dawns." 



An E%)er9-Da;y Prayer 



Today, })es every day, I ask 

Of Thee, dear Lord, but one request; 
I do not long for pomp or power, 

Or With great Wealth, would I be blessed 
I ask not of y*ou glory", gold 

Or friends, to count them by the score; 
I simply ask, Thy 1 blessing Lord, 

And grace to love Thee more and more. 



James W. Gibbons 

Tke days ro 



into weeks and months, 

And time rolls on in endless years, 
And yet I knoW tke time must come 

When I must leave this vale of tears. 
In that last hour, I only ask 

Thy mercy, Lord, extend to me, 
Forgiveness, a happy death, 

And then eternal rest With Thee. 






The White Rose of Lucca 

Tke Stor$ of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
3 — The Coming of St. Gabriel 



© 



Y the time that Gemma reached her 
eighteenth year, she had scaled the heights 
of spiritual perfection. All the virtues had 
taken deep root in her soul. She was com- 
pletely detached from the world: her soul being, 
no doubt, in the eyes of God, as white as Alpine 
snows and all aglow with the fire of Divine Love. 
She had been the recipient of sublime spiritual 
gifts without prejudice to lowliness of heart; and 
while she was most charitable, most prayerful, 
full of faith, and completely possessed by spiritual 
aspirations, still she seemed convinced that she was 
far, far away from her high spiritual goal. 

She knew how to draw inspiration from every- 
thing for renewed fervor in the service of God. 
Thus in the changes of the seasons, in the beauties 
of nature, which seemed to her the reflection of the 
loving smiles of heaven, in the solemnities of the 
Church, even in her little successes and triumphs, 
she felt the close presence of a Kind Providence 
directing her sanctification. Thus she continued 
always to spur herself on in the divine service. To 
draw nearer to the Divine Lover of her soul, to be 
more closely united with Him was her one pre- 
occupation, her all-absorbing desire. And so at the 
approach of the New Year, 1897, she wrote in her 
book of memoranda the following note : 

"In this New Year I purpose to begin 
a new life. I know not what is going to 
happen to me during this year. I abandon 
myself to Thee, O my God! All my hopes 
and my affections shall be for Thee. I feel 
my weakness, O Jesus! but I rely on Thy 
assistance, and I resolve to live differently, 
that is, nearer to Thee." 

The visions, the apparitions, the heavenly 
voices with which she was favored at this time, 
made her despise the things of earth and ardently 
long for the happiness of Heaven. Therefore, she 
greatly rejoiced whenever she fell sick, thinking 
that God was about to take her to Heaven; and 
when she would recover, she felt grieved and dis- 



appointed. But little by little God revealed to her 
that, before this ardent desire would be fulfilled 
she must travel the way of the cross, after the 
manner of her Blessed Redeemer. So on one 
occasion when her desire for Heaven was particu- 
larly strong, she asked our Lord at Holy Communior 
why He did not take her to Paradise. "Because 
my child," He answered, "I will give thee man> 
occasions of greater merit in this life through th> 
increased longing for Heaven, while bearing patient- 
ly the pains of earth." 

These words of our Divine Lord fired her young 
heart with a great yearning for suffering, — thai 
bread of the strong which was to bring her to the 
summit of sacrifice, there to be immolated in £ 
blissful union with the Crucified. No greater prooi 
of the genuineness of her sanctity could be desired 
than the fact that ordinary trials did not satisfy 
her. The love that burned in her noble heart was 
great and strong to an extrordinary degree, and 
therefore, its channel, its sustenance, its test oJ 
strength must be equally great. The year 1896 i< 
the time at which, she records, that an over-whelm' 
ing desire to suffer with Christ possessed her soul 
"I began to feel an insatiable longing for suffering,' 
she tells us, "and to be able to share my Savior': 
pains. In the midst of my countless sins, I ever) 
day besought Jesus to let me suffer much. 'Yes mj 
Jesus,' I used to pray, T wish to suffer, and to suffei 
greatly for Thee.' 

EIRST, an ailment of the foot, an affectioi 
which she disregarded but which shortl} 
developed gangrene, forced the physician: 
to use drastic measures to avoid amputation. Th< 
deep probing of the wound and a vigorous scraping 
of the bone, operations that made those who wit 
nessed them shudder with horror, were but a portioi 
of the excruciating remedies employed. Th< 
courageous girl refused to take an anaesthetic, anc 
bore the terrible pain almost without a murmur 
It was thus, she afterwards said, that in response 



THE + SIGN 



to her earnest entreaty to send her some suffering 
that Jesus consoled her. 

Then Signor Galgani, through the machinations 
of certain unscrupulous persons, little by little lost 
his comfortable estate, a loss that reduced him and 
his family to privation and want. Close upon the 
heels of this misfortune, Signor Galgani contracted 
cancer of the throat, and soon after, on the 11th 
of November, 1897, he died. There upon his home 
was besieged by 
lawyers and creditors, 
who stripped the 
house of almost every- 
thing that could be 
carried away. And 
so Signor Galgani's 
seven children and 
two maiden sisters, 
being left without any 
means of support, 
often lacked the very 
necessaries of life. 
Gemma deeply real- 
ized the greatness of 
the sacrifice that God 
was demanding of her 
in common with the 
rest of the family; she 
felt these misfortunes 
most keenly, and be- 
cause of the hardships 
they brought upon the 
rest of the family, she 
wept bitter tears. 

This distressing 
burden of misfortune 
was afterwards much 

relieved through the help rendered by relatives. 
Gemma was invited to stay with her Aunt Carolina 
Lencioni, who was rich and quite able to support her 
comfortably. As before hardship revealed her 
fortitude, so now her detachment became apparent, 
for, work in the house, prayer, and solitude were 
her only joy. 

But new circumstances did not remove the cross, 
for, spiritual difficulties now took the place of 
temporal privations. At her new home Gemma was 
expected to conform to the ways of fashionable 
society, and her efforts to do so caused her great 
remorse. Yet she did not wish to offend her rela- 
tives by seeming to reprehend in them what she 



The Crucifix of Limpias 



Francis Kean MacMurrough 



In distant Limpias, remote in Spain, 

And yet from Santander not really far, 

By boat or diligence or farmer's vCain, 

Something has happened wondrous, singular 



felt was not good for herself. The disappointment 
that she caused them by her reluctance, or rather 
inability, to follow their manner of life gave her 
real pain. She was, therefore, much perplexed, and 
there was no one whom she could consult to find out 
what to do. Even the Divine Master was silent and 
seemed unwilling to help. But Gemma only sought 
the Master with all the greater ardor; she continued 
to pray with her usual fervor; increased her efforts 
to strengthen the 
union of her soul with 
God, she made fre- 
quent visits to our 
Lady's shrine to pray 
for the repose of her 
father's soul. 



I speak, as 'twere, as one not of the Faith — 
Of Fra Anselmo and associate — 

WKo in the tillage church savJ, not a vCraith 

But God's dear Son and Her's, Immaculate- 

In this drear world, now riven so tvy" strife, 

The Prince of Peace again His quest fulfills 

A wooden Crucifix has come to life 

At this Shrine in the Cantabrian hills. 

And soon again the voice of God will speak 
To men, so say's Anselmo, saintly" seer, 

And this time, all men, Jeu>, Gentile and Greek 
Will know their Lord and give attentive ear 



HE attracted a 
great deal of 
favorable at- 
tention while she lived 
at Camaiore, and it 
was this that was des- 
tined to bring her stay 
there to an abrupt 
end. Her conspicu- 
o u s modesty, the 
austere simplicity of 
her manner of dress, 
could not hide the 
grace and beauty of 
her face and person; 
instead, both these 
qualities became more 
strikingly apparent. 
A young man of the 
place, of good family, 
having seen Gemma, fell in love with her, and with- 
out further preliminaries made overtures to Signor 
Lencioni for the favor of his niece's hand. The pro- 
position was very favorably received. Here seem- 
ingly was a Providential interposition to relieve the 
distress of the late Signor Galgani's dependents. 
When the subject was broached to Gemma, she not 
only would not listen to the proposal, but resolved to 
leave Camaiore at once. She, therefore, cast about 
for some pretext to carry out her purpose. The 
desired opportunity was not long in coming, for, 
soon after she was afflicted with severe pains in her 
head and back. Thereupon Gemma besought her 
aunt and uncle to send her back to Lucca. They 



■ 



THE 1* SIGN 



were very loathe to let her go; but Gemma was so 
insistent that she could not be denied. 

On her return home, her illness did not, by any 
means, pass away as quickly as it came. Rather 
it hourly grew worse, with developments rapid and 
serious — curvature of the spine, a severe attack 
of meningitis followed by total loss of hearing, large 
abscesses on her head, then paralysis. The saintly 
girl tried to keep her illness a secret, but as one 
symptom after another appeared, she had to give in. 
What she feared most was the medical examination, 
but when the physicians were called, she resigned 
herself to obedience and made a sacrifice of her will 
to God. The malady was diagnosed as spine disease, 
and was so treated, but without avail, for Gemma 
grew worse. 

Thus a whole year passed, during which Gemma 
hovered between life and death. It was a veritable 
crucifixion, for, being unable to move hand or foot, 
she had to remain day and night in the same posi- 
tion, unless when moved by some kind hand. Grad- 
ually the delicate frame of the young girl wasted 
away, her strength becoming less and less, until she 
was a mere shadow of her former self. To save the 
dying girl the doctors had recourse from time to 
time to severe operations, for which as usual she 
refused the anaesthetic, when the spasms of pain 
well-nigh snuffed out the flickering flame of life 
that remained. 



she had not even heard of the saintly Passionist, 
and at first did not take to him, although many of 
her friends were praying to him for her cure. When, 
therefore, a certain lady offered her the saint's life 
to read, she accepted the offer more for courtesy's 
sake than for any interest she had in the saintly 
subject. 

But is was God's will that Gemma should 
become specially devoted to St. Gabriel. On one 
occasion, soon after she received the saint's life, 
she became deeply immersed in a black melancholy 
accompanied by an unwonted agitation of her soul. 
The many heavy crosses that she had borne and 
that were then weighing upon her, were represented 
to her mind in their darkest hue, as if all were the 
direct result of her faithful service of God. Con- 
trasted with this was the picture of the joys, the 
pleasures, the general well-being of mind and body 
that might have been hers, had she not chosen to 
devote herself so completely to God's service. 
Although unaccustomed to such attacks, Gemma 
knew that these suggestions did not come from 
Heaven, but originated with the enemy of her soul. 
Instinctively she turned in prayer to Saint Gabriel 
and at once her heart regained its peace. The 
malignant suggestions were repeated again and 
again, and as often she made appeal to St. Gabriel 
with the same instant success, until the attacks 
altogether ceased. 



^^^HE misery of the family meanwhile increased, 
y J because of the additional expense they were 
under for medicines and doctors fees for the 
relief, if not the cure, of the invalid laboring under 
a malady that apparently must be fatal. They could 
not bring themselves to undergo the embarrassment 
of declaring their need to Gemma's many sympa- 
thetic friends, who undoubtedly would have given 
them assistance. The result was that things came 
to such a pass that they were unable to provide for 
the poor invalid the commonest household remedies. 

During all these sufferings Gemma was not left 
without consolation. God sent her good angel to 
comfort her. "If Jesus afflicts thee corporally," said 
the angel, "He does so in order to purify thee more 
and more." 

Through one of her kind visitors, Gemma be- 
came acquainted, so to say, with St. Gabriel of 
Our Lady of Sorrows, and this acquaintance-ship 
afterwards proved the silver lining to the dark 
clouds of affliction lowering over her. Until then 



(HE was deeply grateful to her heavenly bene- 
factor, and' was inspired with immense con- 
fidence in him after this proof of his power 
with God. She remembered the life that she had 
laid aside, and taking it up, read it again and again 
with increasing interest and affection. From that 
time on St. Gabriel was a special patron. At night 
before going to sleep she would place his picture 
under her pillow; at all times the thought of him 
was in her mind; in some mysterious way she saw 
him standing always near her. When the lady came 
back for her book, it was with great regret that 
Gemma returned it, and she could not restrain her 
tears. 

Nevertheless, the soul of the afflicted girl was 
filled with spiritual joy, the harbinger, no doubt, of 
the great privilege that she was about to receive. 
That night while she was asleep she clearly saw 
someone bright as an angel, standing near her bed. 
She did not recognize him at first, though she knew 
that he was no ordinary person but, in truth, a 



THE + SIGN 



heavenly guest. When she saw the Passionist habit, 
she quickly recognized him as St. Gabriel, but could 
not utter a word. St. Gabriel did not stay long; this 
visit was merely his introduction to the saintly girl. 
He merely asked her why she had cried when 
returning the story of his life; bade her to be faith- 
ful ; assured her that he would return to her 
and then was gone. That this was a genuine 
apparition and no mere dream, was proved by what 
followed. 

During her protracted and painful illness, 
Gemma came to long more and more for the religious 
life. She was convinced that this was an inspiration 
from Heaven, and, consequently, had a great desire 
to promise the Blessed Virgin, that if she were cured, 
she would enter religion. Her confessor, approving 
of this resolution, gave her permission to make a 
vow to this effect. 

The soul of the angelic girl was filled with 
consolation; eagerly she awaited her communion 
of the morrow, when she would promise her heaven- 
ly Mother to enter religion, and would make the vow 
of virginity — a permission the confessor at last 
granted her, after having denied it for a long time. 
With these thoughts in her mind, Gemma fell to 
sleep, when she received another visit from her 
beloved patron, St. Gabriel. "Gemma," he said, 
"make your vow to be a religious freely and with a 
good heart, but add nothing to it." He meant that 
God had in store for her a mystic immolation far 
more sublime than that of the religious life. But 
the simple girl, not understanding this, asked him 
why she was not to add anything to her vow. The 
Saint's only reply was: "My sister!" Then he took 
the heart such as the Passionists are accustomed to 
wear, and giving it to her to kiss, and placing it on 
her breast, he repeated the salutation and disap- 
peared. Thus the year's martyrdom that Gemma 
suffered was checkered by alternations of pain and 
consolation. 

When Gemma suddenly took a turn for the 
worse at this time it was generally thought that this 
must be the beginning of the end of her suffering. 
This anticipation proved correct, but in a different 
way from that in which it was expected. On 
February 2, her whole frame was racked by 
convulsions of pain as the result of new tumors 
that appeared on her head and back. The phy- 
sicians thought of operating again, but the weakened 
state of the invalid did not permit. The doctors, 
unable to do anything more for her, pronounced 



her case hopeless, and by their advice the last 
sacraments were administered, as Gemma was not 
expected to outlive the night. 

(f^"\UT it was not God's will that Gemma should 
v|L»J die. Only a miracle could save her, and God 
wrought this miracle in reward for her heroic 
patience. When it became known that Gemma's 
death was momentarily expected, one of her old 
teachers came to see her, to say good-bye until they 
should meet in heaven. She advised Gemma to 
make a novena to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, 
assuring her that the saint would obtain her cure. 
To please the good sister, Gemma began the novena. 
Near midnight of the first day of the novena, 
February 23, 1899. she became aware of the rat- 
tling of a rosary, felt the touch of a gentle hand on 
her head, and heard a sweet voice repeating nine 
times in succession, the 'Our Father,' the, 'Hail 
Mary,' and the 'Gloria.' The devout girl was too 
weak to answer. When the prayers were finished, 
the same voice asked her whether she wished to 
recover, and without waiting for a reply, advised 
her to pray every evening to the Sacred Heart, and 
promised to come every evening to pray with her. 
No need to declare this time who he was. Gemma 
knew all the time that it was St. Gabriel of Our 
Lady of Sorrows. He kept his promise faithfully; 
each time resting a kindly hand upon the saintly 
girl's forehead, while they recited the novena prayers 
together: always the nine 'Our Fathers,' 'Hail 
Marys' and 'Glorias,' and at the end three extra 
'Glorias,' to St. Margaret Mary. The last day of 
the novena, which was the first Friday of March. 
Gemma received Holy Communion amid a torrent 
of heavenly delights. Then Jesus Himself asked 
her whether she wished to be cured. She was so 
overcome by emotion that she could not reply, but 
her thought was: "Jesus, whatever Thou wiliest." 
Our Divine Lord willed her cure, and she knew at 
once that the grace was granted her. "Gemma's 
cure was as perfect as it was instantaneous — the 
Sacred Heart being its author; St. Margaret Mary, 
the intercessor; and St. Gabriel of the Dolors, the 
instrument." 

It was only a little after two o'clock when 
Gemma arose, those around her weeping with joy. 
She, too, was happy, as she beautifully says, not 
because of her recovery, but because Jesus had 
chosen her for his child. 

(To be continued) 



The La^-Retreat Movement Necessary in America 



George Philson 



it? 



"This sacred shade and solitude, what 

Tis the felt presence of the Deity, 

Few are the faults we flatter, when alone." 

Young — Night Thoughts. 



" f^. BURNING back the pages of history, we read 
/ Cj of a golden age, a silver age, an iron age; 
^^^^ later we come to an age of chivalry, an 
age of reform, an age of adventure; and 
if we may give a name to our own age we shall not 
be far wrong if we call it the age of industrial 
enterprise. Industry has taken possession of the 
land; and no man can stand by idle and live. 

That we American people are industrious is 
our pride. But the danger arising from our constant 
and close contact with material things and their 
interests, is, that they absorb us so much, leaving 
neither time nor energy, and, too often, not even 
will, to look to higher things. Man is so busy about 
"much serving," about his material well being, that 
it blots from his view, "the one thing necessary," 
the knowledge and service of his God. In other 
words, constant attention to business life tends to 
confine a man's thoughts, desires and aims in a 
material groove. Entrenched in this environment 
he is constantly exposed to the danger of losing 
hold on the great truths of revelation and the 
practice of what revelation teaches. This constant 
devotion to industry and public business life, unless 
carefully and wisely ordered will beget a certain 
lax spirit of "living, and a hardness and unscrupu- 
losity which blunt the edge of honor, habituate the 
mind to compromise and over-reach, and to forget 
distant ends and interests in the short-lived triumphs 
of this present life. 

Yet, the mere distractions of our daily life are 
not our most dangerous enemies. There are greater 
dangers, more insidious enemies; false theories of 
religion and morals which almost without our 
knowing it, poison our thoughts, pervert our ideals, 
and weaken the divine health and vigor of the faith 
within us : indifference in matters of belief, a 
tolerance of false ideals of family life, loose morals, 
vile and anti-Christian literature, false standards 
of honesty in business, a defiance of authority — 
Socialism and a host of other errors. 

Now, it is next to impossible to live in a defiled 
atmosphere without being contaminated. Hence 



the necessity at times to climb to clearer and holier 
heights and fill one's lungs with soul-saving draughts 
of unpolluted air. 

"O sacred solitude! divine retreat! 
Choice of the prudent! envy of the great, 
By thy pure stream, or in the waving shade 
We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid." 

— Young. 



X 



'T is necessary to dwell on the pure truths and 
unselfish principles of our holy faith, which 
are a medicine and an antidote against these 
evils. 

It is this opportunity which Retreats for laymen 
offer. We must all admit the fact that the struggle of 
modern life tells on the body as well as on the mind; 
but do we ever stop to think that it is also wearing 
and trying on the strength and purity of the immortal 
soul ? When the body craves for rest we give it 
repose. But the soul, the nobler element of our 
being, should also have its time of calm in which it 
can be strengthened and fortified in the principles 
of right living. 

Many lack interest in the Retreat Movement, 
because they have never come in contact with the 
benefical results obtained through it. They seem 
to cling to the principle "What sanctified our fore- 
fathers is sufficient to sanctify us;" and they ask, 
are not missions doing the same good work ? 

Granted, and only the apostle who has worked 
in the missionary field can appraise the results 
obtained and the harvest of souls that is saved 
at every mission. The idea of a mission is familiar 
to us all. We must not, however, confound a mission 
with a retreat. Good and helpful as a mission is, 
the retreats for the individual man mean something 
more. The very word suggests the difference for 
"Mission" means a sending. God's messengers are 
sent to us to exhort and to arouse us. We come 
together for awhile each day to hear their instruc- 
tions and to pray, and then we go home or to our 
business and soon forget the message of God which 
we have heard. But in retreat we ourselves retire 



T 



HE t SIGN 



from the bustle of our daily lives to give ourselves 
entirely without distraction to intimate converse with 
our Creator. We arise from our daily tasks and go 
apart to God. 

Some men will ask, why should I make a 
retreat? The answer to this question is well given 
by a writer in the Canadian Messenger for August 
1910. 

"No doubt the means already in vogue are 
sufficient, if they are rightly applied, and profited 
by to the full. But here is just the difficulty. The 
weakness of poor human nature is such that even 
the most potent remedies gradually lose their 
efficacy and fail of their effect. We quickly lose 
the spirit and fall into routine. Even the holiest 
states, the 
s a c e r d o tal 
and the religi- 
ous are not 
immune from 
this weakness, 
but need an 
o c c a s i onal 
awake ning. 
Now if the 
means of 
?race so liber- 
ally scattered 
along the path 
of the priest 
or the religi- 
ous, if the 
daily offering 
of the Holy 

Sacrifice, the recitation of the breviary, and the 
continual dealing in holy things; if daily Mass and 
Communion, and meditation, and frequent spiritual 
readings, and multiplied prayers, and examinations 
of conscience, and exhortations, are found so insuf- 
ficient for men and women cut off from the world and 
living in an atmosphere of the supernatural, that 
a yearly retreat of a week is prescribed by bishops 
and by every religious rule, who will say that the 
man-in-the-street who lacks all these aids to sal- 
vation, who is flung into the midst of temptation and 
thrown into daily contact with sin, stands in no 
need of an occasional spiritual rousing, and should 
not be given the opportunity of making a bare three 
days' retreat? 

" 'Let the layman be satisfied with the ordinary 
means, forsooth!' Abolish retreats of religious and 



clergy, and you will have the condition of things 
such as it was before the Council of Trent. 'Let 
him be satisfied with the means of grace that sancti- 
fied his fathers before him!' Yes, on condition that 
you roll back the world's history and place him 
in the same circumstances in which his fathers 
lived." 



® 




BOSTON CITY HALL'S EMPLOYEES' RETREAT 



ETREATS for the laity have been greatly 
encouraged by the Catholic Church. Pontiffs 
again and again have given their special 
blessings to the movement, conscious of the immense 
agency for good that such retreats are. 

Pope Pius X in 1904 wrote of the retreats : 
"One cannot conceive a better method for saving the 

working men 
exposed, a t 
the present 
time, to so 
manydangers. 
Since our ele- 
vation to the 
Papal Throne 
we see still 
more the im- 
portance o f 
these retreats 
for the end 
we have in 
view, 'to re- 
st o r e all 
things in 
Christ.' " 

And on 
one occasion he said with great feeling: "I wish 
to be the Pope of Retreats." 

Pope Leo, his illustrious predecessor wrote in 
1900 about retreat work: "There is no doubt that 
these retreats, penetrated with meditation upon the 
celestial truths, procure not only the sanctification 
of individuals, but the general utility of society. 
We have learned with the most lively joy of the 
creation of this new work, and of its fruits, already 
so abundant. We desire to see this work, so happily 
begun in France and Belgium, spread with equal 
success among other nations." 

These words certainly make clear that the mind 
and heart of the Church is in this movement, and 
no one .having the progress of religion at heart, 
can be indifferent to it, or stand aloof, branding it 
as a novel or an unnecessary institution. 



THE f SIGN 



His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV, on July 15, 
1920, sent an autographed blessing, giving "His 
Apostolic Benediction on the work of Retreats to the 
faithful laity in the Passionist Monastery of Saint 
Gabriel, Brighton, Mass., and a special Blessing 
to all those who go through the spiritual exercises 
in the aforesaid Monastery." 



© 



HE thought of making a spiritual retreat ought 
not to be rare or distasteful to our Catholic 
men of 



M-tA :m 



i Pk'A 11' ***" * f 

■fTf*tt| 



America. 
They are in 
as much need 
of it as their 
European 
brethren 
among whom 
it has become 
an annual 
custom. T o 
leave the 
active life of 
the world, its 
gaities and its 
pleasures re- 
quires some 
courage in 
him who has 
never done it. 
The best of 
Tien, however, 
have found 
pleasure i n 
occasional re- 
tirement, and 
i t betokens 
some moral 
defect when one has no desire to be sometimes alone. 

"Converse wth men makes shape the glit- 
tering wit, 

But God to man doth speak in solitude." 

The need of the spiritual retreat movement in 
our industrial age is admitted by all who thoroughly 
understand and have come to appreciate its value. 

His Eminence, William Cardinal O'Connell in 
his eloquent address at the dedication of Saint 
Gabriel's Monastery, Brighton, Mass., said: "In 
the fever and agitation of modern life the need of 
meditation and spiritual repose impresses itself 



on the Christian mind. Men will grow hard-hearted 
and selfish and semi-barbarous unless above their 
eyes a higher standard is erected. The modern 
world needs to learn the great secret of repose, quiet, 
thoughtfulness and peaceful retirement. In the 
middle ages, when the older civilization of paganism 
had run its course and failed, the monastery was 
a beacon light that blazed from the hilltops of 
Europe and summoned men to lay down their arms 
for a while and soften their hearts to the sentiments 

which created 
Christian 
c i v i lization. 
Within t h e 
quiet walls of 
these spiritual 
fortresses an- 
other and a 
far greater 
battle was 
fought out — 
the conquest 
of man by 
himself — and 
a new knight- 
hood, a Chris- 
t i a n knight- 
hood, arose, 
not to give 
battle, but to 
give peace." 

In con- 
cluding h i s 
address, 
Cardinal 
O'C o n n e 1 1 
said: "The 
dedication of 
this Monastery sets aside another institute destined 
for the welfare of the whole community in which 
we live. Up here on the heights is set a beacon light 
which will guide thousands in the way of true living 
and real happiness. Lift up your eyes to it often. 
Climb the steep hillsides every now and then. 
Knock at the portal of this citadel of God, enter 
and rest." 

Thousands have already heeded the invitation. 
Most Rev. Archbishop Regis J. Canevin ad- 
dressing the Retreat workers at Pittsburgh, Pa. 
April 29, 1918, said: "From the very earliest days, 
not only of Christianity, but of history, men have 



^U 



OFFICERS OF THE LAYMEN'S RETREAT GUILD 



THE t SIGN 



prepared themselves for great things by retirement, 
by living in solitude and in meditation and prayer 
for a time. We find this in the history of the Old 
Testament, and we find it in the New. Even outside 
of revealed religion great minds have gathered 
strength by retirement and prayer. It seems to me 
that men at certain times of their lives should with- 
draw themselves from their worldly occupations 
and spend their time in prayer, in order that as men 
and Christians they may better fulfill the work 
before them." 

His Eminence Cardinal Farley of New York 
speaking of retreats and missions said: "The 
mission is not 
a retreat. A 
mission is fil- 
led with many 
d i s tractions, 
and its work 
is scattered. 
The truths 
men hear in a 
mission are 
not so deeply 
etched on 
their souls as 
if they were 
entirely seclu- 
ded. In a re- 
treat you are 
free from dis- 

traCtl0n ° f BOSTON BUSINES: 

your facul- 
ties; you have a whole series of instructions and 
exercises knitted together in logical sequence; you 
are made to think and to judge things at their true 
value." 

^^=^HE retreat movement, of rather recent date 
V ^y in this country, has attained a gratifying 
growth. In fact one of the consoling signs 
of the times, amidst the present upheaval of things, 
is the interest manifested by the Catholic laity in the 
retreat movement for men. Those who have the 
progress of religion at heart are particularly gratified 
in seeing numbers of men from all walks in life 
entering zealously into a work which means so much 
for their spiritual welfare. 

It should be made clear that retreats offer the 
same advantages to the laity as to the clergy, and 
that all, whether living in the cloister or in the 




world, can reap immense spiritual fruit from a 
regular course of spiritual exercises. 

Spirituality did ever choose retirement. That is 
why it is so unattractive to the worldly-minded. 
They love the shout and bustle of the crowd. Their 
happiness is found amid the excitement of public 
assemblies, little dreaming at what cost of vitality 
and nerve power, what lowering of ideals, what 
wallowing in shallow mediocrity. "Quiet is the 
element of wisdom; the calmest man is the wisest; 
for the mind is of coral stone, around which thoughts 
cluster silently in stillness, but are scared away by 
tumult." Need we wonder that life at times becomes 

such a burden 
to them? Oh, 
if they but 
knew the 
blessings of 
a retreat! 
How they 
would seek its 
stillness a s 
the very balm 
of their souls! 
Its attractions 
would be ir- 
resistible. 

The most 
pressing need 
of the Church 
i n America 

MEN'S RETREAT t0day Is men 

well - instruct- 
ed, well trained in Catholic truth and discipline — 

"Wanted! Men! 

Not wealth in mountain piles, 
Not pawn with gracious smiles, 
Not even the potent pen : 
Wanted! Men!" 

— Men with consciences as steady as the needle 
to the pole; men who will stand for the right if the 
heavens totter and the earth reels; men in whom 
the courage of everlasting life still runs deep and 
strong; men who know their duty and attend to it; 
men who are honest, sound from centre to circum- 
ference, and men who are not ashamed to say "No" 
with emphasis; and lastly, trained men, imbued 
with love and devotion to Holy Mother Church, who 
will reflect the beauty of the Christian character 
and defend her in the arena of the world. 



Childhood Echoes of Nazareth 



Valerian Didymus 



^w^E have often seen children at play. Dur- 
j ■ j m S these cool, bracing days of autumn, 
V M J we see them frolicking in the fields and 
along the byways. How they do enjoy 
a game of "Hide-and-seek". What fun they have 
following one another through the piles of crisp, 
dry leaves that lie in the roadside or along the 
rugged path! 

And yet as we watched the children at play, 
did the thought of the Child Jesus ever enter the 
mind? Did we ever try to picture to ourselves 
the Holy Child in the fields of Nazareth, playing 
with other little children? We need not strain the 
imagination, nor force the fancy. We need only 
realize the truth that the Savior willed not only to 
appear, but also actually to be, a Child. However 
it may have been with His' interior life, outwardly, 
at least, there was nothing to distinguish Him from 
the children among whom He lived. He obeyed 
the laws of childhood, which are as universal as 
childhood itself. With this truth before our mind, 
we can easily imagine the Child associating with 
the neighboring children and joining them in their 
childish pastimes; now it is a game of "Follow-the- 
Leader"; or perhaps, tired of that, they play "Hide- 
and-seek." Sometimes the Child Jesus gently, and 
silently, steps behind a playmate unawares, and 
placing His hands over His companion's eyes, asks, 
"Guess! Who it is?" 

In the cool, quiet hour of the morning, the Child 
often gathers the few crumbs left after breakfast 
and scatters them along the garden walk for the 
birds of the air that nestle in the trees above Him. 
And silently, thoughtfully, He watches these little 
winged creatures eat of the bread He gives 
them. 

And can we not see the Child, in the soft, 
mellow light of evening, seated on the doorstep 
of the cottage, gazing pensively towards the distant 
hills? See, He is watching the flaming sun poise 
for a moment above the high hill and suffuse its 
summit with crimson hue. His countenance 
brightens with a light divine, for He is thinking of 
the Hill of Calvary. Softly, He sighs: "How long, 
O Father, how long!" 



When the years of manhood came, and Jesus 
walked among men, we catch, now and then, echoes 
of these, His childhood days. Once, while walking 
along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He saw 
certain fishermen, and He called to them : "Follow 
Me!" As little children, they promptly followed 
the Leader. Another time, He uttered the invita- 
tion: "Seek and you shall find!" And we know 
how His disciples would seek Him, how even the 
little children sought Him, and how Mary Magdalen 
went in search of Him, — and found Him! How 
often too, did He approach a blind man, and gently 
placing His hand across the poor man's eyes, ask: 
"Whom do you say I am?" Immediately came the 
answer in tones of surprise and child-like faith: 
"Thou art the Son of God." 

How beautifully He pictured the Kingdom of 
Heaven as a great sheltering tree! To its spreading 
branches, the souls of men shall wing their way, 
like the birds of the air, and nestle there, in peace 
and rest, — those souls whom He loves so much and 
whom He has so often fed with the Bread of 
Angels. 

He spoke of the birds of the air, of the flowers 
of the fields, and even of the downy chicks that 
snuggle under the maternal wing. All these were 
the friends of His childhood days. 

And behold! the last dying echo lingers on the 
Hill of Calvary in all its winning charms of child- 
hood. For, look up and see the gentle Savior, dying 
on the Cross. Wide are His arms outstretched, and 
we seem to hear him say : "I love you — this 
much." 

To the children of God is it given to continue 
the sweet echoes of the Savior's childhood, not only 
in this life, but even for all eternity in Heaven. 
Christ has said: "Unless you become as little 
children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God." 
Hence, as little children, the Blessed in Heaven 
gather around the Throne of God, and looking up 
into His Holy Face, they cry: "My Father!"; and 
turning towards Mary Immaculate, they exclaim: 
"My Mother!" These are the sweetest, the 
everlasting echoes of the childhood days at 
Nazareth. 



Archconfraternit)) of 



Advantages 



^-— -^HY should one become a member of the 
j I j Archconfraternity of the Passion? Is it 
\M/ worth while? Assuredly it is. The 
numerous benefits bestowed amply com- 
pensate for the conditions of admission and for 
whatever efforts may be made to increase true 
devotion to Christ's Passion. In truth, the many 
advantages of membership in the Archconfraternity 
of the Passion should appeal to every man and 
woman, who sincerely desires heavenly riches, the 
happiness of others, and personal contentment and 
peace. 

First, there are indulgences and privileges 
which have been granted to individual members by 
the apostolic letters of different Popes, and especial- 
ly by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XV. Next, 
there are benefits springing from the companionship 
offered by the Archconfraternity, such as good 
example, encouragement, and assistance. Finally, 
there are to be numbered the blessings given by God 
to parishes, schools, and families, wherever the 
Archconfraternity is established and where it suc- 
cessfully accomplishes its great mission of preaching 
Christ Crucified. 

Consideration of these favors will show the 
value of membership, and at the same time make 
this society better known and appreciated. 

The innumerable graces received by members 
of the Archconfraternity certainly bring home the 
familiar saying that God will never be outdone in 
generosity. For as the Popes from time to time 
lavishly adorned this society with the gifts of the 
Church, so God with infinite liberality rewards the 
members for their faithful remembrance of the 
Sacred Passion, and for persuading people to think 
of it. 

^XEFERRING to the excellence of this society, 
I^T the Sovereign Pontiffs point out the principal 
divine gifts offered to members. First among 
them is knowledge. That the apostle St. Paul truly 
esteemed this grace may be seen from his claim: 
"I know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and 
Him Crucified." The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas 




the Sacred P 



assion 



embership 



Acquinas, attributed all his learning to the Crucifix. 
It was the Science of the Cross which inspired the 
martyrs in their heroism, which enlightened the 
Fathers and Doctors of the Church, which lured 
apostles and missionaries from home, friends, and 
country, into strange uncivilized, and hostile lands, 
to make known the love and power of the Crucified. 
This science it was which brought the saints safely 
through the temptations and struggles of this life 
to everlasting joy and heavenly glory. By often 
thinking of Our Lord's sufferings, by reading leaf- 
lets and books treating of the Sacred Passion, by 
attending the sermon and devotions at Archconfra- 
ternity meetings, members advance in this science 
and imbibe more and more the knowledge of the 
Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The virtue of fortitude is likewise mentioned as 
a special grace of the Archconfraternity of the 
Passion. The saints kept the Crucifix before their 
eyes that so they might be strengthened to practice 
self-denial and to suffer all things with humility and 
obedience. The members of this society are "armed 
with the same thought," and willingly "choose the 
cross, despising the shame." They blend their 
voices with the chorus of the militant Church, 
exclaiming "If we suffer with Christ, we shall also 
be glorified with Him." 

In times of worry and doubt, of trouble and 
discouragement, of disappointment and failure, of 
humiliation and ingratitude, of sorrow and death, 
of bodily suffering and affliction, members of the 
Archconfraternity should look up into the Face of 
the dying Christ, Who will remember them, comfort 
them, strengthen them, and give them patience, 
resignation, and peace. In a word, the grace of 
fortitude enables us to practice the lessons of 
Calvary, and to unite our sufferings with those of 
Christ. 

Piety is another grace given in a special manner 
to members of the Archconfraternity. It is the gift, 
which prompts them to remember devoutly the 
Passon of Our Lord, and to imitate Him according 
to their strength. Listen to St. Paul the Apostle, 
who possessed this grace : "Christ loved me, and 



THE 1" SIGN 



delivered Himself up for me." "Far be it from me 
to glory, save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ." St. Peter also reminds us that "Christ 
endured the Cross, leaving you an example that 
you should follow in His footsteps." Such words 
should constitute the motto of every member of the 
Archconfraternity. The more interest they take in 
the society, the better they understand every motive 
for detesting sin and loving meekness, charity, 
modesty, gratitude, cheerfulness, self sacrifice, and 
every virtue that makes this life happy and secures 
an eternal reward. 

y^^HE Archconfraternity then is a fruitful source 
^SJ of divine blessings, whereby the members 
learn more of Our Lord's Passion, and how to 
suffer with Him and to walk in His footsteps. 
To obtain these graces, it is certainly worth while 
joining the Archconfraternity of the Passion. 

Our enumeration of the advantages of this 
society would be very long if all the indulgences 
were enumerated, which the members may secure 
for themselves and for the souls in purgatory. In 
the month of February, 1918, our Holy Father Pope 
Benedict XV. confirmed the list of indulgences 
granted by his predecessors and added a great 
many others. As may be seen in the manual of the 
Archconfraternity, it is possible for the members 
to gain a plenary indulgence frequently every month 
on the usual conditions of confession, communion, 
and some prayer for the Pope's intentions. They 
may gain a plenary indulgence every time they 
piously recite the Litany of the Passion, or as it is 
also called the Steps of the Passion. When a visit 
to a church is prescribed as one of the conditions 
for gaining the plenary indulgence, the members 
may substitute five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys 
in place of it. Among the partial indulgences, the 
most noteworthy is that of ninety nine years for 
saying the Litany of the Passion. On certain days 
in the year, when the Stations or particular Churches 
in Rome are venerated, all who belong to the Arch- 
confraternity receive the indulgence of thirty years 
and as many quarantines. Seven years and seven 
times forty days are granted to members each time 
they are present at the monthly meeting. The fact 
of their membership entitles them to forty days 
indulgence for every prayer, for every act of piety, 



for every act of charity towards the neighbor, and 
especially for every effort made by word or example 
to promote devotion to the Sacred Passion. Surely, 
in view of all this, it is worth while becoming a 
member of the Archconfraternity. 

The privileges conceded to the members are 
exceptionally great. Admission to the Archcon- 
fraternity entitles members to share in Passionist 
missions, retreats, and other works of apostolic zeal. 
Think of the numerous acts of worship and virtue 
performed during a mission or retreat, the number 
of careless Catholics brought back to the feet of 
Jesus Crucified and given a new start, the many 
non-Catholics received into the true fold of Christ, 
the sacrifices of both missionaries and people — to 
share in the merit of all these works is the privilege 
of members of the Archconfraternity. Moreover, 
members participate in the Masses, prayers, and 
good works of Passionist Religious throughout the 
world. They are likewise beneficiaries of the prayers, 
penances, and works of piety and zeal of Passionist 
Nuns, and of the other branches of the Archconfra- 
ternity. The members are privileged to wear the 
"Sign" or Scapular of the Passion. At the hour of 
death, a member may receive the Papal Blessing 
with a plenary indulgence from the Director of the 
Archconfraternity. In South America, the Archcon- 
fraternity has its own cemetery. In Ireland, Scot- 
land, England, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Hol- 
land, and Australia, there are privileges enjoyed by 
members, which, on account of local circumstances, 
render the Archconfraternity one of the most desir- 
able of all societies. The rich favors granted to 
members in these United States should convince 
every American Catholic that it means much to 
belong to the Archconfraternity of the Passion. 

Though many appreciate the advantages of 
membership in the Archconfraternity, the impell- 
ing motive ought to be gratitude to Jesus Crucified. 
His Sacred Passion and Death means the redemp- 
tion of every soul, reparation for the sins of man- 
kind, and reward of eternal life. God has granted 
innumerable favors to His creatures, but the my- 
steries of the Passion proclaim more than anything 
else His infinite love and generosity to them. Apart 
then from the advantages one may gain as a member 
of the Archconfraternity, let gratitude be the reason 
for the most active interest in this society. 



Index to Worthwhile Reading 



SUPERNATURAL MYSTICISM. By Rev. 
Benedict Williamson. St. Louis: B. Herder Co. 
Price $2.75. 

The title given to this book describes only a 
part of it; the greater portion deals with the ascetical 
life. The author is thoroughly acquainted with 
spirituality. He is very practical, and enriches his 
teaching with the most impressive word or deed he 
may chance to find in the experience of favored 
souls. He brings into service every illustration that 
will render clearer and more appreciable the science 
of the saints. Religious communities will be glad 
to include this book among those dealing with the 
obligations of their state. The part treating of 
mysticism reveals the mind of one who has had 
considerable experience with souls devoted to 
mystical prayer. The Call to Contemplation, given 
as an introduction by the Bishop of Plymouth, is a 
gem of religious literature. 



THE WORD OF GOD. By Monsignor F. 
Borgongini Duca, S. T. D. Secretary of the Congre- 
gation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, 
Rome. Translated by Rev. Francis J. Spellman. 
Introduction by Most Rev. John Bonzano, D. D., 
Apostolic Delegate at Washington, D. C. New 
York: The Macmillan Co. Price $2.00. 

These explanations of the Holy Gospel were 
first published weekly in pamphlet form by the 
Society of St. Jerome in Rome. The author's high 
reputation for scholarship would lead the reader 
to expect something exceptionally good in this 
most recent work, and we are in no sense disappoint- 
ed. The simplicity, the directness, the inspiring tone 
of these treatises exhibit anew the great attainments 
of the writer. The apposite quotations from the 
Saints and Doctors of the Church as well as the 
author's own erudition make this book a very help- 
ful commentary on the Gospels of the Sundays. At 
the conclusion of each chapter, we find an appro- 
priate example from the lives of the Saints. For 
the sick at home or such as are unable to be present 
in church for the sermon on Sundays, this book, the 
publishers well say, will prove to be a great blessing. 
The translation has been exceptionally well done. 
We think that a lower price would have contributed 
largely to a more extensive distribution of the 
book. 



PSYCHOLOGY AND MYSTICAL EXPERI- 
ENCE. By Professor John Hawley, M. A. St. 
Louis: B. Herder Book Co. Price $2.50. 

This is a critical study of mysticism, or rather 
of the psychic phenomena of the religious life. As 
a philosophy of religious experience, we venture to 
say it is one of the best books on the subject. Who- 
ever is acquainted with the philosophy of the 
Schools, will appreciate and carefully study this 
work. Certainly he will be rewarded with a new 
and better understanding of the meaning and im- 
portance of psychology. The author never wanders 
from his purpose, and while serving it gives the 
reader clear-cut, penetrating views of the separate 
workings of sense, and mind, and will. He is forced 
to deal with the theories of agnostics. For instance 
we find a critical examination of the subliminal self 
of Meyers, and the field of the subconscious of 
James, which disposes easily of the findings of the 
new psychology. Clearness never fails the author, 
even when dealing with the most difficult topics. 
He brings illustrations to his aid — parables, he calls 
them, — which prove him a master in his art. As 
with a searchlight he illumines the path leading to 
a complete understanding of his subject, but again 
and again he draws into the same light a number of 
cognate subjects. The genesis of faith is masterful. 
A philosophy of ascerticism is admirably set forth 
between the covers of this book. And we would note 
especially his cameo reference to the Rosary. This 
is a book that will attain its place as a classic, 
and should be found sooner or later in the library 
of every thoughtful man and woman. 

A MOTHER'S LETTERS.. A Book for Young 
Women. By Father Alexander, C. F. M. New 
York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, $1.10. 

In this little book of about 100 pages we have 
thirteen letters of a mother to her daughter, in which 
she imparts needful information and sage counsel 
on matters of sex. There is no dearth of books 
under such captions as "What a Young Girl should 
Know" professing to give sound instructions to 
adolescent women. Many of these go too far and 
set forth data in a repulsive manner; others fall short 
and are obscure and insinuating. Certain authors 
are not above the suspicion of pandering to morbid 
curiosity, thus bidding for an extensive sale. The 



THE + SIGN 



question of sex is a difficult one to broach. It 
demands tact, wide experience, and the purest of mo- 
tives. All these requirements Father Alexander 
possesses in an eminent degree. In the treatment 
of this most delicate of questions he strikes a happy 
medium. We would have no hesitation in putting 
his book into the hands of any young woman in the 
advanced classes of college or convent. In his 
preface the author quotes from a personal letter of 
commendation from the Most Rev. Thomas White- 
side, late Archbishop of Liverpool : "I have care- 
fully read your booklet, and parts of it I have read 
and re-read. . . As far as my opinion is of any value, 
I think you have said neither too little nor two 
much . . . You have given a young woman what was 
necessary to avoid obscurity and further question- 
ing. You have done that well. . . .In a word, I think 
you have been most successful in treating of the 
whole sex question." We would especially recom- 
mend the two chapters "A 'Real' Woman" and "A 
Girl's Future" as peculiarly timely and helpful. 

CHILDREN OF GOD. By Mark Moeslein, 
C. P. New York : The C. Wildermann Co. Price : 
cloth, $1.25; paper, 50c. 

Few books of the present day will be more 
welcome to the general reader than this "summary 
of Catholic Doctrine for busy people" by Father 
Moeslein. A glance over the contents might lead 
one to suppose it was an enlargement of the cate- 
chism; but as the different chapters are read, one is 
agreeably surprised by the way the author presents 
the subjects with which we thought ourselves 
familiar, and when reluctantly the book is closed, 
it is with a resolution to take it up again on the 
first opportunity. There are many books which 
explain and defend the teaching of the Church, but 
this work of Father Moeslein stands out among 
them as the latest proof that these ancient doctrines 
are ever new. Certainly it will be welcome not only 
to priests and the laity, but will interest many a 
non-Catholic, who desires to learn what Catholics 
believe and do. 

Throughout the book, Father Moeslein keeps 
faithfully and interestingly to the theme that all 
men are the "Children of God." He treats in the 
opening chapters of the relationship between God 
and men, and briefly tells us what religion is, the 



infinite greatness of God, the mystery of the Most 
Blessed Trinity. In natural order, the author 
describes in a few words the creation of the angels, 
the rebellion of the devils, and then the world and 
man. He writes of man, first as a creature of God 
and then as an adopted child of God. In successive 
chapters, the author continues his fascinating story 
of man's trial, his sin and its punishment. The 
Redeemer is pictured as the Savior of mankind, as 
Man's most loving brother, and his greatest friend 
and benefactor. We read in detail of the fruits of 
Christ's love for men, especially the establishment 
of the Church and the institution of the Sacraments. 
The author brings his admirable work to an end 
with short chapters on the Holy Ghost, the com- 
munion of saints, and life after death. The con- 
clusion offers a rule of life for the children of 
God. 

In these pages, controversy seems to have been 
carefully avoided. We find nothing in the work that 
would in any sense antagonize the reader; on toe 
contrary, Catholic doctrine is explained in a simple 
attractive manner that appeals directly to those 
already familiar with it, and persuasively to such as 
know little about it. It is a book that we believe 
will accomplish much good. As a drop of dew on a 
blade of grass glistens like a diamond in the morn- 
ing sun-light, we may say this work will appear to 
many as a clear brilliant reflection of the sun of 
truth. Moreover, its convenient size, its brevity, 
its suggestiveness, its completeness makes it a book 
that can be read and read again with pleasure and 
profit. 

Many "not of the one fold" are anxiously look- 
ing for a book of this kind. They know something 
about Catholicism, but their knowledge is far from 
complete: sometimes, at least, it is more mis- 
understanding than ignorance that keeps them from 
becoming loyal children of the true Church. They 
hesitate to ask questions of their Catholic neighbors; 
and often Catholics neglect seasonable opportunities 
to make the Church's teaching better known. Father 
Mark Moeslein's book will help the Catholic to give 
information to those who desire it, and Non-Catho- 
lics will be delighted to get such knowledge in this 
easy practical way. If you secure one copy of this 
book, it is safe to say you will obtain more for your 
friends and neighbors. 




To-night the sun spills blood upon the trees, — 
On oak and cedar and on the olives, too; 
On shrubs that shrank for pain, as He did pass, 
On xOillow-lea-Oes that w"eep to-night anew. 

Here, haply, His faint Feet pressed throbbing earth, 
And here, beside this rock, He knelt Him dovJn, 
Whose Eyes saw death before Him from His birth, 
Here, haply, grew" the flower that kissed His gown. 

A timid wind of dusk steals through the trees. — 
O winds of all the w"orld, ye know His Name! 
O Breeze of Olivet, what memories 
You wear, of agony and death and shame! 

Here blows a crimson berry, — lo, His Eyes, 
Perhaps, grew tender here, — He loved all things; 
So berries blush, and ^)et from Paradise 
Went forth His Father's help on angels' v?ings. 

Here fell His tears — that precious flood — for Man. 
To-night the birds are hushed, as if they keep 
The rite of silence of an ancient clan, 
Along these sacred avenues of sleep. 

In all the gardens of the world no flower 

Has blossomed, nor shall bloom, as on the night 

The Son of God came to His passion-hour, 

With burning love for men in meekest might. . . . 

Nov? fades the West in deepening screens of rose. 
Oak, cedar and olive-trees sink off to rest; 
The flowers fold, — the day winds to its close, 
Here where He prayed and bared His bleeding breast. 



; u! vli X\u Xu\ un a fi Tu. x~u \'\ :• n 7-7. T'~\ :{\ ;•'?, M, ;■?. :•?. ;•"■". :"■ ■."':"■ ■-.■■.-.■ "■ ■':".:■":' 



Some Pilgrim Shrines in Spain 



Thomas Walsh 



"^^^^HE shrines of Spain! — their story embraces 
# Cj the entire history of the Spanish people 
^^^^ from Isadore and Pelayo down to the 
wonders of Limpias of today. In fact the 
whole race may be said to be the expression of the 
crusader influence, that expelled the Moors in the 
name of Santiago the Apostle-Saint of Campostela, 
that purified monastic life in the cloisters of Teresa 
of Avila and John of the Cross, that made the guide- 
books of Spain one long litany of saints, that made 
the daughters of the race the servants at the shrines 
of their patrons the Virgins of Esperanza, Consuelo, 
Mercedes, Angustias, Regla, Dolores, Nieves, Luz, 
Asumpta, Natividad, Piedal, and Rosario, — qualify- 
ing in every way to make Southern Spain the "Land 
of Santa Maria" and the kingdom of the Philips the 
Catholic Majesty of the world. 

To begin with Santiago, the earliest of the 
shrines in its lofty mountains at Compostela where 
they found his grave in the ninth century and 
whence he issued forth in no less than thirty-eight 
battles to conquer the Moors, and become the 
palladium and patron-saint of the Spanish race. 
Miss King in her "Way of Saint James" (Three 
volumes The Hispanic Society 1921) tells the whole 
story fully and leads the pilgrim along the ancient 
roads once guarded by the. Knights of Santiago and 
trodden by Saints like Simeon and Theobald, Domi- 
nic and Francis of Assisi, Brigitta of Sweden and 
Elizabeth of Portugal, and monarchs and heroes 
like Ferdinand I., Alfonse VI., Richard Lion-heart, 
and My Cid Ruy Diaz. It is a far shrine and dif- 
ficult of approach; but between the years 1397 and 
1457 nearly eight thousands pilgrims came from 
England and Ireland, and in 1589 Elizabeth's free- 
booter, Francis Drake, came over swearing to burn 
the relics, which were hidden away so carefully 
that they were not rediscovered until 1879. There 
is here a whole literature and a magnificent epopee 
for the student, as well as a golden opportunity for 
the artist and architect. 

The pilgrimage to Saragossa is another event 
that will charm the pious traveller, after he has 
overcome the difficulty of pronouncing the name of 
the city in the Spanish manner, — Zaragoza, — and 
has managed to get through the crowds that assem- 



ble here for the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar 
on October 12th. Saragossa is familiar to most of 
us as the scene of terrible warfare in the past, 
ferociously resisting Moors and French invaders 
"to the knife" and "to the last ditch" as their own 
expression first put it. Women bore a noble part in 
all their patriotic risings, so it was no surprise to 
meet in Rome during the Pontificate of Leo XIII 
the large body of noblewomen from Saragossa 
bringing the diamond crowns for the Pope's blessing. 
Santiago or Saint James, on his mission through 
Spain is said to have had a vision of the Blessed 
Mother and child standing on an "immovable pillar" 
of marble. Today in the ancient shrine of almost 
unbelievable splendors we find the little wooden 
image representing this vision, crowned with the 
diamond crowns, and half hidden by the silver lamps 
and grates of the altar. Below is a small aperture 
where the pilgrims may place their lips against this 
very holy stone. It is one of the greatest shrines 
in all the world; and the proud modern city that 
flourishes around it is haughty in calling itself the 
"City del Pilar." 

XT is the little personal happenings that, after 
all, seem to signify the most to our memories, 
and the accidents that occur to us take on 
particular light or shadow with the flight of time. 
I remember once a few years ago, in sauntering 
through the narrow streets of Valencia at twilight, 
that magic hour of poets and lovers, I noticed a 
large number of fine equipages drawn up before a 
chapel and hundreds of ladies and gentlemen enter- 
ing and issuing through the doors. A soft illumi- 
nation tempted me to enter in spite of the rather 
private character of the gathering and I was sur- 
prised to find myself standing in a circulating crowd 
of black robed figures apparently engaged in soft 
conversation. 

It was obviously the great world of Valencia 
engaged at one of its social rites and the chapel — 
for so it proved — took on the character of some con- 
vent parlor on a graduation day. Thousands of 
candles hung high in the beautiful vaulting; some 
of the visitors endeavored with difficulty to kneel on 
the crowded pavement: looking up to a lofty arch, 
I discovered the handsome figure of Our Lady of 



THE f SIGN 



Sorrows, whom they apparently regarded as their 
hostess for their quaint and lovely ceremony. She 
was robed in the stiff black velvets of the 17th 
century and after I had come away from the scene 
in a state of dreamy pleasure and confusion, I dis- 
covered that I had visited the shrine of Our Lady 
de les Desamparados, or "The Forsaken" which 
had been founded in 
1410 by their own 
Pedro de Luna, the 
Anti-Pope Benedict 
XIII. It was all so 
gentle, so human and 
reverent, that the in- 
fluence of it remains 
with me in every esti- 
mate I make of Span- 
ish character and cul- 
ture. The "Patroness 
of the Forsaken" has 
become the devotion 
of the best that there 
is in Valencia. 

Another odd ad- 
venture was our arri- 
val at the city of 
Burgos at three o'clock 
one winter morning; 
we had taken the 
principal train from 
Madrid the evening 
before and planned 
to retire for a few 
hours' sleep on arriv- 
ing at the hotel. We 
quarrelled all along 
the journey, as tired 
travellers have always 
been known to do, and 
what was our chagrin 
to find that on reach- 
ing the hotel it was 
necessary for us to wait while they roused the 
chambermaid from bed, and sent for fresh linen. 
By the time it arrived we were ready to sally forth 
for the first masses in the Cathedral. One should 
always get up early to appreciate an ancient 
structure, to get the flavor of devotion, and self- 
sacrifice, coming almost like the breath of the stone 
vaults and funeral monuments. The glories of 
Burgos are for other pages and volumes; we in our 




THE CHRIST OF 
In the Church of Sar, 



little sketch upon our experiences at Spanish shrines 
have only time to turn into the chapel where at 
present they preserve the strange old cross known 
as the "Most Holy Christ of Burgos." As early as 
it was, there were two little urchins with tousled 
heads wide awake to quarrel furiously over the right 
to escort us through the chapels, until a very grim 
old sacristan arrived, 
and, with a cuff to the 
right and a cuff to the 
left, gave Solomon's 
judgment equally to 
both, and himself 
carried us off as guide. 

y^=^HE importance 
{^J of the Most 
Holy Christ of 
Burgos can be gather- 
ed in the fact that 
from primitive times 
the cathedral was 
called the "Cruci- 
ficio," was a famous 
place of pilgrimage 
and miracles that at 
present seem to have 
declined. The cruci- 
fix seems to have suf- 
fered in the course of 
time, for it was once 
famous for its beauty 
and lifelikeness. The 
tradition is that it is 
formed of the real 
skeleton of a man and 
covered with dried 
human skin and at 
one time the head was 
movable. We may 
gather the extent of 
its fame as a wonder- 
working image from the three ostrich-eggs — em- 
blems of immortality — the gift, it is said, of some 
Negus of Abyssinia during the Middle Ages. 

There are two recollections of our visits to 
Seville that return with unusual clearness, one con- 
cerned with "Our Lady of the Kings" and the other 
with the "Christ of Great Power." 

Over the altar of the Capilla Real, above the 
tombs of King Alfonso the Learned (D.1284) and 



GREAT POW 

Lorenzo at Sev 



THE t SIGN 



Saint Ferdinand (D.1252) there stands one of the 
holiest images of Spain, the "Virgin de los Reyes," 
a figure designed in the thirteenth century and said 
to have been presented to the King Saint Ferdinand 
by the King Saint Louis of France. The figure is 
shown only on rare occasions, like that of November 
23rd, when the troops renew their oaths of service 
as they march past with lowered colors. It is richly 
clothed and has removable golden hair and priceless 
lace. Its feet are adorned with slippers bearing the 
fleur de lis and the word 
"Amer." In the shops 
you have frequently 
noticed little shoes of 
silver: they are facsimiles 
of those worn by the In- 
fant-Christ and are pre- 
cious gifts for any baby 
in Seville. The evening 
after I had seen this image 
I was strolling through 
the quieter streets of the 
city and entering a little 
square I was suddenly 
confronted by an image 
four times lifesize, model- 
led after Our Lady of the 
Kings, enthroned in front 
of a renaissance church, 
whose splendor seemed 
quite out of keeping with 
the humble quarter. The 
square was entirely de- 
serted: the only orna- 
ments were two vases of 
artificial flowers. (Here 
I would note that in 
countries where flowers 
are so common as in Spain, the use of artificial 
flowers denotes special honor, as natural flowers 
have lost some of their preciousness through their 
abundance). I was alone in the twilight with this 
archaic, giant Madonna. Nobody came to watch 
the image; all Seville was at its supper. The silver 
and laces were of the highest values and only the 
stars over the square of San Salvador kept guard 
on the Royal Madonna and Child until the morning. 
It was a perfect night and in memory I can hear the 
low gurgle of the fountains and the occasional 
swishing of the palm-trees, and scent the heavy 
odors of the roses in the hidden patios in every 
house around. 



OUR LADY 
Patrones 



XT was on another visit to the "Pearl of Anda- 
lusia," as they with great justice call their 
Seville, that at the close of the processions 
that had continued for three days and nights, in 
utter weariness of ceremonies and gorgeousness, I 
suggested to my Sevillian friends that it was time to 
retire, only to be met with a violent protest, that 
we had not done honor to the "Christ of Great 
Power." 

We made our way to the restaurants crowded 
with people waiting like 
ourselves for the Sodali- 
ties de la Madrugada, 
or Day back. The night 
wears on frigidly and a 
full moon struggles with 
the clouds for a view of 
Seville at its doleful cele- 
bration. Good Friday is 
dawning; at two in the 
morning we must witness 
the coming forth from 
the Colegiaia of San 
Lorenzo, of the most in- 
spired work of the sculp- 
tor Montanes — Our Father 
Jesus of Great Power — 
bearing the Cross crusted 
with exquisite gold and 
robed in velvets and bul- 
lion beyond the dream of 
kings. A hundred, or so, 
people are drowsing in 
the little white plaza when 
at last the low doors of 
the church swing silently 
of sorrows open and a procession of 

of Granada ,. T , , ., 

Nazarenos or lay-brothers, 
files forth into the gray chill of the morning. An 
enormous float of silver with urns, garlands and 
huge lanterns more beautiful than any that ever 
floated on a lagoon of Venice, dips from under the 
door-shaft and slowly approaches us. In the droop 
of the beautiful figure there is something strangely 
poignant; the face and head under the crown of 
thorns are the very ideal of divine grief and suffer- 
ing, — a characteristic that endears the "Christ of 
Great Power" to the hearts of all Seville. As it 
comes forth a long murmur of "Ay," Alas! runs 
over the scattered groups and several voices, almost 
in rivalry, break out in singing from the street and 
neighboring balconies. 




THE t SIGN 



And so it was that followed by the lovely velvet- 
robed image of "Mary Most Holy of Greater Grief 
and Anguish" the doleful Christ of Seville under His 
golden cross goes on His way at daybreak. 

There is so much to be studied in a voyage through 
such a country as Spain that after a while the mind 
grows weary of details and yearns for the fresh im- 
pression of the sights one is witnessing. This is 
particularly the case in a city like Granada where 
history has left so many marks that are important. 
In fact the period of the Spanish renaissance may 
point to Granada as its birthplace, on the day when 
Boabdil wept his historic 
tears, and left Ferdinand 
and Isabella in undis- 
puted possession of the 
whole Peninsula. It is 
curious that the great 
throngs of North Ameri- 
can tourists who daily 
pour in and out of Gra- 
nada never seem to realize 
that in their abbreviated 
devotion to the Moor and 
his Alhambra they are 
neglecting one of the most 
interesting cities of Eu- 
rope, the creation of the 
earliest conquistadors and 
the finest example of 
Spanish art in its best 
period. Wearied of guides 
and guidebooks I had gone 
to explore the crowded 
residential parts of Gra- 
nada, visiting churches 
without asking their 
names, seeing a thousand 
things never recorded by the most holy 

any tourist-agent. I came in this manner into a 
little parish-church, richly decorated enough, but 
evidently still a place of prayer avoided by the tip- 
gathering tribe, not a museum, but a church of God. 
It was dark and very faintly lighted only from the 
clerestory, so all was mystery and charm around the 
high altars. There was one other occupant of the 
church besides myself, an old lady in black who 
ceased her devotions for a while to watch me with 
such evident curiosity that I began to think that she 
either suspected me to be a sneakthief or a person 
who could be watched with profit. I dodged behind 




the columns only to find that she had shifted her 
little hand-stool to a position from which she might 
still observe me. From right to left I tried to outflank 
her but in vain. The rosary ran swiftly through her 
fingers, her lips muttered prayers, but her eyes fol- 
lowed the tourist who without his Baedecker guide 
had wandered into her parish church. Tiring at 
last of diplomatic manoeuvring I turned to genu- 
flect before leaving the church, whereupon the old 
lady rose and with a confused gathering up of 
prayerbooks, rosaries and campstool, she inter- 
cepted me at the door, seized me by the elbow 
and forcibly detained me 
while with one hand she 
gesticulated wildly, point- 
ing toward the roof above 
the high-altar. As I 
could not understand at 
that time a word that she 
was saying I made up my 
mind that there must be 
some answer to the prob- 
lem and permitted her to 
lead me back to the sa- 
cristy where at the open 
door she hailed a young 
man, a member of the 
brotherhood, very much in 
undress in a thread- 
bare soutane, and gave me 
a sign to follow him. 
There upon she disap- 
peared forever. 

The young brother 
without a word led me 
up a little winding stair- 
way to a platform above 
the archway of the high 
hrist of burgos altar and merely with a 

complacent gesture folded his arms before an 
exquisite tomb of bronze and marble. It was the 
holy of holy places of Granada; unmentioned as I 
later found, in the guidebooks, the tomb of Saint 
John of God, and that dear old lady, whom I had 
suspected of lunacy and all kinds of viciousness, 
after having recognized me as a "northern Christian" 
had resolved that I should not overlook the tomb of 
her favorite saint. I bless her still in memory for 
her kindness to her foreign brother and I pray that 
her years may be happy in the lovely shrine in the 
heart of old Granada under the relics of her great 
fantastic Saint (1495-1550) the founder of the 



THE + SIGN 



Brothers of Charity, de los Hospitalarios, canonised 
in 1690. 



X 



T was in the same city of Granada on another 

day I turned into 

a large church to 
avoid the begging and 
importunities of a crowd 
of young men, who for a 
few cents would agree to 
provide me with all the 
amusements of Granada 
from the shrines of the 
saints to the cave of the 
gypsies. To my surprise 
they folowed me into the 
church still whispering 
their propositions when 
suddenly, in the midst of 
the worst, they one and all 
fell upon their knees, and 
gazing above the altar I 
saw a splendid camarin, 
or dais, holding a large 
image of Our Lady of 
Sorrows. She is seated 
beneath a lovely orna- 
mented cross under a great 
aureole and a heavy silver 
crown; her face with the 
expression of an over- 
whelming grief is sur- 
rounded by a ruching of 
lace in the Polish manner; 
her breast is built up into 
the lines cultivated in the 

sixteenth century and crusted with superb diamonds. 
A cloak of black velvet falls over her shoulders; it 
is embroidered in pure gold in a style that suggests 




OUR LADY 
Photograph authorized by 



the design of what we call the Napoleonic era — 
for the present arrangement of the image dates 
from 1742. Across the knees is an ancient wooden 
statue of Christ taken down from the cross, with 
His shoulders covered 
with some laces which I 
later learned, were consi- 
dered priceless. A strange 
decoration was the cere- 
monial walking stick of 
some famous personage, 
general or governor, left 
in tribute to the Patroness 
of Granada, Our Lady de 
las Angustias. When I 
saw the crowd of young 
gypsies and chulos caught 
thus by the presence of 
their Madonna I quietly 
made my escape and 
reached the Alameda un- 
molested. It was thus I 
made my first visit to the 
very holy shrine of Our 
Lady of Sorrows, the most 
revered spot in Granada. 
One could go on for 
volumes in recording the 
shrines of Spain, the cha- 
pels to miracle-working 
crucifixes, the Madonnas 
of the warriors and kings, 
the holy banners of an- 
cient battlefields ; but 
enough is a feast, and 
leaving Monserrate and 
Guadalupe, and Avila and Manresa for another time, 
we wish our reader a pleasant journey when he 
starts out in person for the Shrines of Spain. 



DEL PILAR 
the Most Reverend Chap! 
ragossa 



A Late-Autumn Reverie 

COLMAN LADD 



Keen is the quiet air 
In the autumn gloaming; 
Southward across the sky 
Wild-birds are homing; 
Leafless the gnarled boughs 
ThWart the Western glare, 
Like arms of sinking men 
Clutching the air. 



Starts not a katydid 
From a leafy 1 bower: 
Nor from a pond-tuft green 
Croaks a frog the hour; 
Earth has no lovliness: 
Husked is vale and lea; 
Freer my soul may* rise 
To Thee, God, to Thee! 



The Disarmament Conference and Its Obstacles 



John McGuinness 



"^^^^HE eyes of the world have turned from 
m C] Versailles to Washington where the Dis- 
^^^V armament Conference meets on Armistice 
Day. This is not a conference to disarm 
the world as some may take from the name, but a 
conference to consider the limitation of armament 
with a view to establishing universal peace. 

Limitation of armament is not a new idea. It 
rtas been suggested before. 
It is embodied in Article 
VIII of the League of 
Nations wherein the re- 
duction of armament to 
the lowest possible point 
is clearly recognized as 
the one great essential 
factor in preserving uni- 
versal peace. With 
America possessing the 
bulk of the world's gold, 
a greater amount of muni- 
tions than the other 
nations, and in a position 
to exceed England's navy 
in two years, it would be 
futile for the members of 
the League to attempt a 
plan of limitation of arma- 
ment so long as America 
remained out. 

The peoples of the 
world were told by their 
leaders, some of whom 
will sit in the Disarma- 
ment Conference, that the 
late war was waged to 

abolish secret diplomacy; to preserve democracy; 
to guarantee the rights of small nations; and to 
destroy militarism. It accomplished none of these 
ideals. A review of the budgets and proposed mili- 
tary and naval programs indicates that militarism 
has conquered instead of being conquered. The fact 
is that England, America and Japan are engaged in 
a concealed rivalry in naval and air craft con- 
struction. 

For the year ending June 30, 1920, America 
spent about ninety-two cents out of every dollar of 
taxation for war purposes. The expenditure for 



nnHE Disarmament Conference — a meet- 
-*■ ing of representatives from the fore- 



most governments of the world — 
summoned by President Harding, opens in 
Washington on Armistice Day.. The avowed 
purpose of the Conference is the reduction 
in naval and military expenditures, that so 
the crushing weight of taxation may be 
lifted from the already overburdened 
shoulders of impoverished peoples. With 
this aim all Americans are in full accord. 
Mr. McGuinness briefly sets down some of 
the problems to be faced and solved if the 
Conference is to attain its purpose.. A 
realization of these problems will help to 
an appreciation of the difficulties confront- 
ing our Chief Executive, will temper delus- 
ive over-confidence, and will preclude a 
reactive depression — The Editors. 



military and naval purposes from June 1920 to June 
1921 amounted to $825,337,939. 

While the Borah resolution does not commit 
America beyond the calling of the conference, the 
object of the conference is to destroy the weapons 
of war through international agreement, to remove 
the causes and possibilities of war, principally 
economic, and to find a plan whereby international 
capital can be invested 
and raw materials obtain- 
ed without resorting to the 
costly and destructive 
method of war. In this, 
America should assume 
the lead. 

But the obstacles to 
be overcome are so com- 
plex and far reaching as 
to make achieved results 
almost impossible. Con- 
sider, for instance, the 
conflicting interests in the 
Pacific and Far East, 
where the nations must 
turn for trade. 



w 



APAN enters the 
conference suspici- 
ous that England 
and America, the domi- 
nating white nations, may 
be allied. Both have in- 
terests in the Pacific. 
Japan came out of the 
war stronger and richer 
than before she entered. Will she willingly give 
up the Island of Yap? Will she forego her hold 
on Shantung? Will she evacuate Korea? It is just 
possible that Japan in justifying her policy will 
parallel it with that of the United States toward 
Mexico and the Central and the South American 
Republics. Such a stand on the part of Japan, 
strongly and persistently pressed, would constitute 
a serious obstacle in reaching an agreement on a 
limitation of armament. 

Will Japan insist upon race equality, the right 
for her people to own land in California and to colon- 



THE 1* SIGN 



ize in Mexico, South America and Australia? She 
is a very prolific nation and must have an outlet 
for her overflow population. Japan can be relied 
upon to press such vital domestic questions to 
advantage should the situation require it. Her 
delegates will stand firm and refuse to make a 
reduction in armament which she is fast acquiring 
unless granted equal concessions. 

What of England, she too has great interests 
in the Pacific and Far East? For years before the 
war, her bankers, tradesmen and financial journals 
lamented the fact that Germany was making great 
strides in the Far East, capturing the trade that was 
once England's. They demanded that this condition 
be checked by war. 

Now, Egypt and India, very rich countries, are 
being forcibly held by England for trade purposes. 
The size and cost of the 
army which she has to 
maintain there today to 
hold these people who 
are fighting to get from 
under her domination, 
has recently been the 
source of very strong 
protests on the part of 
the English working 
people. Will England 
agree to disband her 
army and risk losing 
these rich colonies? 

Persia, a small weak country near India, is 
dominated and exploited by England. How can 
England insist on Japan withdrawing from Shantung 
unless she withdraws from Persia ? 

Another obstacle is Ireland. The peace of the 
world cannot be established until Ireland is given 
her freedom. England realizes this very well. Mr. 
Lloyd George feeling the embarassing position he 
would be placed in at the conference talking peace 
and limitation of armament while he was waging 
war on Ireland, desired very much to reach a settle- 
ment with Ireland before the opening of the Dis- 
armament Conference. Japan can not consistently 
be asked to cease her atrocities in Korea and with- 
draw her army from there while England does the 
same in her possessions on a much larger scale. A 
successful attempt to establish universal peace and 
limit armament can not be made if one part of the 
world is to hold the other part in subjection. 

France seeing that England and Japan will not 



Jesus — Hostia 



Placidus M. Endler 
A wheaten Wafer, white as sno^; 

So fragile! Yet our faith doth know 
Imprisoned" Love, transpierced ana nailed 

The Vision Beatific, Veiled. 



materially reduce their military forces on account 
of the people they forcibly hold for exploitation, 
announces that she will not give up her army on the 
Rhine lest she might lose the valuable natural re- 
sources taken from Germany. Mr. Briand says he 
is resolved not to fall a victim to "mystic pacifism." 
France also has interests in the Pacific which she 
will desire to guard. 

BMONG the contributory causes of war, trade 
can be placed first. The desire for gain, for 
commerical supremacy, is as rife among the 
nations today as before the war. From time im- 
memorial the East has been looked upon as the 
treasure land of the world. The Washington Con- 
ference will be controlled by the trade interests. 
Trade will be given first consideration. Unless 
these conflicting inter- 
ests can in some way be 
harmonized, it is useless 
to expect any valuable 
results in the reduction 
or limitation of arma- 
ment. 

Another serious ob- 
stacle which the confer- 
ence will have to over- 
come is the power of the 
munition makers. Un- 
less their influence is 
destroyed, no permanent results need be looked for. 
These "pocket-book patriots," continually keep alive 
through their press a propaganda which inflames 
the people and creates war scares. For years they 
have successfully carried on a war policy which 
increased the armament of the nations. Since the 
move to limit armament has taken root among the 
people, the munition makers have been busy circu- 
lating false reports regarding the military programs 
of the various countries and forming organizations 
to combat the move. 

The Washington Conference is not, however, 
without its possibilities even though it be dominated 
by the same old diplomats whose intrigues have 
caused so many wars. The Italian delegates had 
no part in the war. They are young men and will 
probably bring a new view point into the conference. 
The "whip of necessity" may compel the old diplo- 
mats to adopt a new angle of vision. Economic 
compulsion rather than a desire to avoid war may 
force them to yield. The pressure from the people 
Continued on page 13 



Will's H 



eiress 



John Ayscough 

Author of First Impressions in America; San Celestino; Faustula; 

Monksbridge; Abbotscourt; Jacqueline; Fernando; The Tideway; 

Saints and Places; etc. 



^^^^HE priest had only just come in and there 
m CA was something visibly temporary in his 
^^^^ method of sitting before the fire: he had 
not yet removed his wet (and shabby) 
boots, and they had begun to smoke, though he 
hadn't. His old and worn cloak, wetter than his 
boots, he had absent-mindedly stretched across a 
wooden chair, with the outer side of it turned to 
the blaze, and that was also now steaming. His 
shapeless, old gloves lay on the seat of the same 
chair and were sodden with rain. 

He was gazing into the flame of the logs, but 
was clearly not thinking of them, nor of the grateful 
warmth. There was no glitter of tears in his kind, 
rather tired eyes : but the old, gentle face expressed, 
not precisely melancholy, but a thoughtful regret. 

At one end of the small room there was a door 
leading into his little log-built church. At the other 
end was another door, beyond which was his meagre 
bedroom. 

Presently he arose and passed into the cold 
chapel. There was no light but that of the red lamps 
before the altar, which scarcely sufficed to show 
how bare the building was. It called, indeed, out 
of the darkness, about half of the "Stations" of 
the Way of the Cross: it showed, but dimly, Our 
Lady's statue, and St. Joseph's; more plainly, the 
simple altar — and very little besides. 

From outside, one could hear the sound of 
steadily falling rain: within, there was no sound 
soever. 

By the low rail of the altar (which the priest 
had made himself) he knelt and prayed — for an old 
friend, whose voice he would hear no more on earth. 

Then, presently, he arose, went to a small cup- 
board in the wall, and put away in it an empty pyx, 
a little stole (purple on one side, and white on the 
other), a little book, and some Holy Oil "stocks". 
When he had locked up the little cupboard, he 
knelt again for a few moments, this time before 
Our Lady's statue; and then went back into his tiny 
house. 

He did now take off his wet boots, and put on 
instead a pair of loose, very shabby slippers. Having 



put the boots, with their soles to the blaze, against 
the low fender, to dry, they immediately fell down. 
As he set them up again, more carefully, his smile 
was characteristic. It meant "My own fault! I'm 
not going to try to put the blame on you." They 
were too old friends (the only friends of their kind 
he had) to find fault with or quarrel with. They had 
been his companions wherever he was out-of-doors, 
for several years; they had been soled and heeled 
and patched over and over again. 

QRESENTLY he took up his breviary and began 
to say office — the lauds of the next day. And 
all his praying was offered for the soul of the 
poor friend whom he had just seen start upon his last 
journey, relinquishing him into the care, kinder 
than his own, of the Fellow Traveller he had given 
him. 

"Poor fellow!" he said aloud when he had 
finished his office, with the closed book dropped into 
his lap, but still held in his fingers. He leaned back 
and sat gazing into the red heart of the fire. Its 
heat made him think of another Heart, Divine and 
Human. And he pressed the book with his fingers, 
and that pressure was still a prayer. 

"Poor Will," he thought, "he will have a home 
at last." 

Outside there was the rain's soft monotone. 

"Just such a night," thought the priest, "as that 
on which he came." It was ten years since that 
other night and he hardly knew whether it seemed 
double that or but the other day. The little episodes 
of that other night seemed clear enough for yester- 
day : but later episodes, happening separately at long 
intervals of time, crossed it and made it seem long, 
long ago. 

He himself had not been here more than a year 
then. He was still building (with his own hands) 
the wooden chapel then: boys and girls of his 
sparsely scattered flock, as it was then, he had 
married since. 

He had then, as now, been sitting in his old 
chair, here by the fire, his cloak (hardly three years 



THE + SIGN 



old then) drying on the Windsor chair, when Will's 
shambling knock had first been heard at his door. 

When he called out "Come in!" Will had not 
come in, but had only knocked again. So he had 
gone to the door and opened it himself. 

Outside in the rain, meagrely clad, there was 
Will's wet, shivering, unimpressive figure : Elderly, 
not recently shaven, certainly not recently fed, nor 
warmed. 

In spite of the rain it had taken two invitations 
to get Will indoors. 

"I'm dribbling rain," he had explained (very 
needlessly, and very meekly). And though he eyed 
the dry warmth of the log-cabin wistfully, he had 
not moved a step forward. He had reminded the 
priest of a wet dog, to whom "indoors" is out of 
bounds — not a popular dog either. 

"Come!" the priest had said, "Come in!" 

Inside it was easier to see what Will was like — 
not much to look at, though as a young buck he had 
esteemed himself handsome. He was far from 
young then; sixty or over. He had once been vain 
of his curly, abundant brown locks ; he had left only 
a few, meagre, grizzled whisps of hair, long 
enough to be drawn across his bald crown. It had 
formerly been his favorite occupation to review his 
ample wardrobe, and count and try on his many 
suits. The clothes in which he crossed the priest's 
threshold were all he had in the world then. He 
had pawned or sold (eaten, anyway) everything 
else — clothes, jewelry, watch; and earlier, he had 
sold (and eaten) a bit of land, a little stock, some 
tools, and a few bits of furniture. 

All this the priest had known as well, at first 
sight of him, as now ten years later, when he had 
heard all Will's dull, unhappy story time and again, 
bit by bit, from Will himself. 

And he had known at once (what mattered 
more) that the man was starving. So Will stayed 
on. 

He was not dried for an hour, and sent back, 
out into the forest and the rain; he was not fed 
with one full meal and sent back to his fellow- 
traveller, Starvation, waiting for him outside. He 
had stayed on. Not because the priest had touch- 
ing, fiattering illusions about him. To tell the truth, 
the priest had perceived much that was far from 
lovely or romantic in his visitor: there was that in 
the man's face that told him (quite correctly) that 
the stranger had been dissipated, selfish, boastful 
and — a liar. 



But he was starving — he did not say so, nor 
even that he was hungry. Therefore he stayed on. 

iir^ILL had been a gentleman: the priest saw 
\\y that: and he had hardly remained a gentle- 
man; the priest saw that too. It was not 
mere poverty that had torn his patent of gentility, 
but himself, his lies and shifts, his bragging, his 
selfishness. 

Not, thought the priest, that all the fault had 
been Will's: partly theirs who had sent him over- 
seas to get rid of him. Very likely they had had 
over-sufficient cause to be glad to get rid of him. 
He had, probably, been started in life at home more 
than once, but had never worked, and had always 
come back to be started again. Perhaps he had 
been middle-aged when they shipped him over 
here, to the far west: too old to have any real 
chance; and perhaps (it was the fact, like more of 
these conclusions of his that the priest labelled 
"perhaps") they had sent him with scarcely any 
capital — knowing he would spend what they gave 
him. But they would frank him to the far west; 
in the far west of that west had lain their real 
motive; once there it would be too far for him 
to get home again. That their incubus of a relation 
was too old for such work as must be done over there 
they could have known, and did know; also that he 
had no fitness for the work, or knowledge of it; also 
that he had not sufficient bodily strength, let alone 
ardor and energy; also that a young man, strong, 
eager, willing, could hardly do any good out there 
with nothing in hand but the papers which made so 
many acres of forest his own, so that there was not a 
tree on them under which he had not a proprietor's 
right to die. He would not anyway die at home, 
in a British work-house. 

All this the priest, ten years younger then, 
had known at once — guessed it with a superfluous 
"perhaps." So Will had stayed on. Will had a real 
surname, and a good one; and presently the priest 
knew it, but Will preferred the use of what he called 
a Nom de plume — not that he had ever written 
anything — and became known as Mr. Trees "My 
only property over here," as he explained to the 
priest alone. 

V?=^E helped his friend to build the church, prov- 
1 I ing oddly clever with his hands. He pro- 
posed it himself, but with an apology, "For," 
said he, "I'm not a Catholic." 



THE 1* SIGN 



His people, he added, were Church of England 
— and Low Church. For himself, he claimed the 
motherhood of no religion. For a long time he 
worked on the building of the church. During the 
rest of the time he was helping to build "the hotel" 
two miles away, for no present wage in money, but 
on condition of being allowed a tiny room in it 
(which he built himself) when it should be finished. 
Meanwhile, he slept in a shed on part of the hotel- 
site, where hay was kept for the hotel-keeper's pony : 
and he dined every day with the priest. 

When the church was finished, Will taught the 
hotel-keeper's two boys, and he had free meals at 
the hotel, and a suit of the hotel-keeper's clothes 
when that gentleman regarded them as worn out. 
Will proved to be also clever with his needle, and 
earned a little cobbling clothes; finally, some time 
after he had ceased to feed at the priest's table, he 
became a Catholic. 

That was all Will's story since the night of his 
coming ten years ago. Very little "to it," you see. 

I cannot assert that he ever became rigidly 
truthful — fibs were part of the marrow of his bones : 
but to the priest he told no lies, and to no one did 
he tell any that were cruel, spiteful, injurious of 
other people. Only he would brag — half-heartedly, 
as not expecting to be believed, nor caring whether 
he was believed. He would brag of having been 
a wonderful horse-man and a wonderful shot; of 
having spent huge sums, whereas he had only spent 
more than he ought and had always been a nervous 
rider and a slack sportsman. Of his family he never 
boasted — it was an ancient one, and he never at his 
worst had been given to brag truly. 

He never became popular, but he was tolerated 
and not at all disliked. The children liked him — 
for he liked them better than he liked their fathers. 
And the children's mothers liked him from the time 
that he nursed little Marabel Wolf through the 
diphtheria, Mrs. Wolf being away in the Maritime 
provinces, whence she came, and Mr. Wolf being 
(in his rather frequent cups) impervious to any 
distinction between liniments and medicines. As he 
had always been considered a rank coward, this 
nursing of little Marabel surprised the settlement. 
If he had caught the diphtheria and died, his funeral 
would have been quite a testimonial : but he did not 
die until seven years afterwards, so the opportunity 
was not forthcoming. 

Even previous to becoming a Catholic, he had 
constituted himself sacristan, and had made a set of 



vestments out of Mrs. Wolf's wedding dress which 
she gave him for the purpose, as an act of thanks- 
giving for Marabel's recovery. 

XT was generally considered by the settlement 
that Mr. Trees was clever, — which accounted 
(if considered, epigrammatically) for his 
being a failure in life. By the women, his extreme 
personal cleanliness was held up as an example; 
and his closet of a room at the hotel was declared 
by Mrs. Sudd, the mistress of that establishment, to 
be a pattern to all men, so tidy was it, so clean and 
so "nacky." 

All the same, Mr. Trees was not regarded with 
enthusiasm by his male acquaintances. Even the 
priest did not idealize him — he considered in him 
not so much what he had made of himself, at his 
best, as what the material had been out of which 
that best had come. The finished result was not 
splendid, any better than anyone had had a right 
to count on. 

And now Will was dead, and the priest knew 
that he would miss him. He felt that the withdrawal 
from sight of that personality of slight consequence 
would leave in his own life a gap not likely to be 
filled, or to be at all ignored. 

In his fashion Will had been educated, and in 
his degree and measure he had been refined — with 
perhaps only a superficial refinement. Without the 
least wit, or originality, his talk had never been 
interesting; but it had been possible in talking to 
him to take for granted the absence of a sort of 
ignorance certainly to be reckoned with in any con- 
versation with the other settlers. And the man was 
himself a tribute to what had been done for him. 
He had not quite, but nearly, ripened, like an autumn 
apple to which sunshine had not come at all till too 
late. For quality and flavour, the sun had come 
very late to Mr. Trees, but it had come in the shine 
of decency, happiness and purpose. 

"Our Lord thought him worth making," thought 
the priest, "if his family didn't think him worth 
keeping. He suffered as much for poor Will upon 
the Cross as for anyone of the Saints. And the devil 
(what an example the devil sets us that way!) 
took, I dare say, as much trouble to get hold of him 
as if he had been a person of consequence." 

The priest's fingers pressed upon his book again 
— and meant a thanksgiving : that Our Lord had 
thought the saving of poor Will worth His while. 

"He saw in him things to like that we couldn't 



THE + SIGN 



see. I hope He sees things to like in me that / 
can't. That's one's great hope. One can't even talk 
His language in one's prayers — let's hope our broken 
talk sounds in His ears as appealing as broken 
French sounds in ours " 



a 



—ii— 

VERYTHING," said the old priest to 

himself, "keeps reminding me of that 

night when poor Will first came — on his 

way home. I believe I have been half 

listening to hear him knock on the door again. ..." 

And there came a knock, as meek as Will's 
had been. 

"Come in!" he called out: but no one came in. 
So as on that former occasion, he went to the door 
and opened it himself. 

The light sent out an upward shaft into the rain 
and darkness, and revealed a very large umbrella. 

"Do come in!" the priest begged, and presently 
the umbrella (after convulsive wavings) collapsed 
and a very little elderly lady became visible. 

"Miss Grove!", exclaimed the priest. "Do 
hurry in out of the rain. What brings you out, 
and so far from home, on such a night?" 

Miss Grove appeared to be rather out of breath 
— a little 'winded' by her struggles with the um- 
brella. Even after she had come in, and after the 
door was shut, she continued to pant. 

"I hope nothing's the matter. I trust no one is 
ill," said her host. "But even so, was there no one 
else they could send?" 

"No one's ill," she replied, "nothing's the 
matter — except what you know, that poor Mr. Trees 
is dead." 

All this time the priest had been helping the 
little, old lady to take off her very numerous (and 
very wet) wraps. Miss Grove was well known to 
him: she was a member of his congregation, and 
aunt of one of its bulwarks, Mr. Hoss of the hotel. 
Nevertheless, her present visit surprised him: she 
was a fragile, timid, very shy little creature, and 
he would hardly have thought her capable of coming 
out into the forest in the black night, alone and 
in such weather. 

She was clearly in a state of considerable shy, 
but eager agitation, and her little twittering manner 
was more twittering than usual. 

"Oh, Father!", she whimpered, making little 
ineffectual dabs at her own person in search of a 



pocket and a pocket handkerchief, "Oh, Father! 
dear Mr. Trees — what a loss! There's nobody like 
him — at all like him — in St. John of the Woods! 
nor likely to be. It can't be expected." 

She was sincerely distressed, and her being so, 
for the solitary, not greatly popular, poor failure 
of a man, pleased and touched the priest who had 
been his one real friend. Two very small tears 
trickled down Miss Grove's cheeks, which were like 
two small apples. Everything about her was pro- 
portionate — her whole body was little, her hands 
and feet were tiny, and her mouth was like a button- 
hole. The priest was a big old man, and his chair 
was a big old chair: Miss Grove looked like an 
elderly doll in it. 

"So irreplaceable!", she cried, "so much man- 
ner! Why there's no manner left at St. John of 
the Woods!" 

Inwardly the priest had to smile. His smiles 
often were inward and invisible. She was so mani- 
festly sincere, and poor Will had gone on such a 
journey, where manner could matter so very little!" 

"In that she continued shaking her little head, 
and tapping one of her little feet on the floor, "in 
that he leaves no heir or successor." 

The idea of poor Will's heir, the idea of his 
"succession" could only cause another inward and 
invisible smile. 

"As to his position," added Miss Grove, "I am 
his heiress. He begged it might be so. That's 
why I came to you. I was so anxious you should 
become accustomed to the idea at once, Father. 
I was so afraid of your forming any other idea or 
plan. So I came at once. Mr. Trees wished it so 
much — you ivill let me be his successor, Father!" 

He had to confess a desire for enlightenment 
as to what it was he was to let her be. 

"Why Sacristan, Father. Mr. Trees was 
Sacristan — irreplaceable, I know. But he did, 
really, wish me to be his successor in the post. He 
mentioned it so often. And I really was his under- 
study. He taught it me. He made me quite under- 
stand the little book — the Ordo, you know: you 
see, I know its name: I quite understand it, tho' 
it's all in Latin and queer contractions. V means 
green vestments, and A white; R red; and Dup 
means no black masses on any account. Poor Mr. 
Trees said I got on surprisingly with the Latin. 
I began last summer — he was quite struck when 
I made out (it was the 7th of July, I remember) 
that the feast was St. Cyril the Methodist: a 



THE t SIGN 



convert, of course, like himself; and the similarity 
of our name was a link — after all what is a Grove 
but a grove of Trees? He liked to show me the 
Ordo, and also the Missal, and let me tell him in 
English the Saint of the next day. Even in that 
there's much to learn. On July the 26th he said, 
'Well, to-morrow — what Saint is it?' 'Ah,' said I 
when I looked! See how the church has saints of 
every class and calling. The Martyr of the Panta- 
loons — a tailor of course! Then on September 1st, 
St. Duodecimo, a holy bookseller, you see : and on 
the very next day, a holy gardener, St. Hyacinth 
(another convert, evidently) — 'Sancti Proti Hyacin- 
thi; St. Hyacinth the Protestant: 'Proti' is one of 
those innumerable contractions, trying, till one gets 
used to them. But dear Mr. Trees! how patient 
and cheerful he was teaching me. And, Father, I 
have washed all the albs and things since he fell 
ill, and I should be proud to wash out the church 
every Monday and Saturday — after Sunday, and 
before, you understand: and arrange the flowers 
(I often have) and clean the vases — and everything. 
Poor Mr. Trees — he said, 'Go and ask Father Barry 
to let you be Sacristan in my place. Say I left it 
you, and he knows I've nothing else to leave. He 
won't refuse.' " 

He did not want to refuse. Poor Will! He 
too had had the great human longing for a successor, 
an heir; and his choice has been wiser than that 
of many who choose an heir. 



To the little old maid this service near our 
Lord, in His modest house, would be a vocation, 
a great honour and privilege and delight: and her 
privileges in the world had been few enough. Why 
should Will's last will and testament be set aside 
and disregarded ? 

"Indeed, Miss Grove," said the priest, "I am 
only too glad that Mr. Trees thought of it, and only 
too happy that, now he can ask nothing for himself, 
he has left me the power of fulfilling a desire of his." 

"He never did ask anything for himself," said 
his loyal little friend. "Since he came here, how 
little he had — and all earned : and how contented 
he was with it! I have heard strong men, and young 
men, make sneering hints about him who would not 
have been content if what fed him for a whole week 
had been offered them for one meal. Father, I can 
never replace him: but I'll do my best in his place 
if you will be so good as to do as you say and let 
me be his successor." 

He promised it should be so, and presently 
himself saw her home. 

"My first work," she said, at parting, "will be 
getting the church ready for his requiem. His coffin 
is ready. He made it himself, long ago, when he 
was helping you, Father, to build the church. It 
is under his bed. T used,' he told me, 'to plan how 
I would live in my own house — and all my plans 
came to nothing. But when I am dead I shall be 
in a house of my own building after all.' " 



n~he Disarmament Conference and Its Obstacles— -Continued 



at home who abhor war and seek relief from taxa- 
tion, the increasing army of un-employed, the 
thought of the 10,000.000 of soldiers and the 
30,000.000 civilians who would be living today had 
it not been for secret diplomacy, may force these 
grim old diplomats to open the session of the con- 
ference to the public. If forced to work in the open 
they will be compelled to honestly and seriously 
consider a plan of harmonizing the conflicting in- 
terests of the world, whereby an amicable settle- 
ment can be reached on these questions without 



resorting to the barbarous method of war. 

The American people can greatly aid the con- 
ference in reaching its objective by insisting that 
their government stand for open sessions and bring 
these diplomats, whose secret sessions have caused 
so many wars, under the great controlling influence 
of public opinion. 

Let us pray, then, that the nations of the world 
will beat their swords into plowshares, that perma- 
nent peace may reign, and that humanity will be 
spared another scourging. 



Montefalco's Gnostl}) Visitant 



A Roman Ecclesiastic 



ffi 



'ONTEFALCO is a quaint little town 
situated like most towns in Italy on the 
summit of a mountain and commanding 
such a glorious panorama of the surround- 
ing country that it has been called the "Balcony of 
Umbria." From this balcony you look down on the 
Umbrian valley and there meets your gaze an en- 
chanting view of vineyards and oliveyards, fields 
of grain and vegetables gardens dotted here and 
there with hoary hamlets or single residences of 
the Umbrian peasants. In the distance, and perched 
again on hill-tops or mountain sides are the cities 
of Assisi and Spoleto, Frevi and Foligno. The 
beauty of the scene is indescribable — the color 
scheme one that would wrap an artist into ecstacy. 
Montefalco is even amongst Italian cities, excep- 
tionally rich in art treasures and it has been the 
birthplace of many illustrious personages the fore- 
most of whom is St. Clare of the Cross in whose 
heart the Divine Artist sculptured out of nerve and 
fleshy fibre the instruments of the Passion — the 
Crucifix itself, the Lance, the Nails, the Scourge, 
the Crown of Thorns, the Pillar — a most unusual 
miracle and a permanent one which may be wit- 
nessed by any visitor to the monastery Church of 
St. Augustine and which was recently witnessed by 
the present writer. However, it is not with the 
matchless beauty of the scene which Montefalco 
commands that we are now concerned, nor yet with 
the miraculous heart of St. Clare which has stood 
the scrutiny of the keenest and most sceptical 
observers, but rather with some strange occurrences 
that happened only a few steps away from the 
Monastery of St. Augustine and the Convent of St. 
Leonard from September 2nd, 1918, to November 
9th, 1919. These two Convents are separated by a 
garden and a few times a year both Communities 
meet for mutual entertainment and edification. 

From a small, narrow and almost perpendicular 
street you step into the little Church — "Chiesina" as 
the Italians would say, of St. Leonard, and there at 
your right is a sacristy about 8x4 feet in dimension. 
This sacristy connects with the cloister by means 
of what is called a "ruota" or "turn" that is, a 
revolving drum-like dumb-waiter by means of which 
messages or articles may be passed into or out of 
the cloister. 



Here precisely occurred the events narrated in 
the Diary of the Rev. Mother Abbess which we now 
submit to our readers and we submit it with the 
understanding that the reader may pass whatever 
judgement he pleases on the genuineness of the 
facts related therein. This only shall we say at 
present that the story seems to be recommended 
by a simplicity, brevity, directness and wierd mono- 
tony of cadence that might naturally be expected in 
such subject matter. 

DIARY OF THE REV. MOTHER ABBESS 
1918 

1st Time. Monday September 2nd. The 
Sacristy bell rang and Sister Maria Teresa of Jesus, 
the Abbess having gone to answer it a voice said to 
her: "I must leave this alms here." The "ruota" 
containing a 10 Lire bill was turned, and to the 
question of the Abbess whether she should have a 
triduum offered or some prayers or a mass, the 
voice answered : "There is no obligation whatso- 
ever." 

"If I may be permitted to ask: Who are you?" 

The voice answered: "It is not necessary to 
know who I am." 

The voice was gentle but withal sad, with a 
quick far-off muffled sound. 

2nd Time. Saturday October 5th. 3rd Time. 
Thursday, October 31st. 4th Time. Friday, Novem- 
ber 29th. 5th Time. Monday, December 9th. Each 
time the message was the same and a 10 Lire bill 
was left. The Abbess again asked if she should 
have prayers offered and the answer was: "Prayer 
is always good." 

1919 

6th Time. Wednesday, January 1st. 7th Time. 
Wednesday, January 29th, almost always the same. 

8th Time. Friday, March 14th. During the 
time of examen about 8 o'clock in the evening the 
bell sounded twice and having gone to answer, the 
Abbess found 10 Lire on the "ruota" but to her 
enquiries no answer was given. The front door of 
the Church was closed and the key held by the 



THE 1* SIGN 



nuns. The servant was called and told to search 
the Church carefully. This was done but no one 
was found. At this juncture, writes the Abbess, we 
began to suspect that whoever left the alms was 
no person of this earth. 

9th Time. Friday, April 11th. 10 Lire were 
brought and the voice said: "Please pray for a 
deceased person." This was the first time prayers 
were asked. 

10th Time. Fri- 
day, May 2nd. A little 
before the " great 
silence," about 9.30 
P. M., I heard the 
sound of the bell and 
four of us went to an- 
swer, — Sister Mary 
Francis of the Five 
Wounds, Sister Amante 
Maria of St. Anthony, 
Sister Angelica Ruggeri 
and myself. We found 
two 10 Lire bills placed 
in the form of a cross 
but knew not who left 
them there. The front 
door of the Church was 
closed. 



11th Time. Satur- 
day, May 25th. Again 
10 Lire were brought. 

12th Time. Morn- 
ing of Wednesday, June 
4th. 10 Lire found on 
the " ruota " without 
knowing who placed 
them there. 



frrfarr fnr itas nf tip Draft 



Translated for The Sign 



/T is truly meet and just, right and gain- 
ful to salvation, that we should at all 
times and in all places render thanks unto 
Thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, 
Eternal God, through Christ Our Lord, in 
whom the hope of a blessed resurrection 
shone forth for us, that those whom the 
unescapable lot of death casteth down may 
be gladdened by the promise of immortality 
to be. Life in thy faithful, O Lord, changeth, 
it is not taken away; the dissolution of this 
earthly tabernacle cometh before the en- 
trance to the eternal mansions in heaven. 

And therefore, with the Angels and 
Archangels, with the Thrones and Domina- 
tions, and with the whole heavenly court, 
we sing the praise of Thy Glory, forever 
saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of 
Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of Thy 
Glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed 
is He that Cometh in the Name of the Lord. 
Hosanna in the highest. 



a voice outside her cell said: "The Sacristy bell is 
ringing." She went immediately to answer and 
heard the usual voice : "I am leaving here 10 Lire 
for prayers." 

She asked: "In the name of God who are 
you?" The reply came : "It is not permitted," and 
she heard no more. The Abbess afterwards asked 
the Community who had called her in time of Silence 
but none of the Sisters had done so. 



15th Time. Friday, 
July 18th, after the 
evening silence was 
called at 9.30 o'clock, 
the Abbess went to 
close the door of the 
bake-shop, and on re- 
ascending the stairs 
heard the sound of the 
bell. She went to the 
"turn" and pronounced 
the salutation : "Jesus 
and Mary be praised!" 
A voice answered 
"Amen" and then 
added: "I am leaving 
this alms for the 
usual prayers." The 
Abbess then with more 
courage demanded : "In 
the name of God and of 
the most Holy Trinity 



13th Time. Satur- 
day, June 21st. Exactly 

the same occurrence. It is to be noted, however, 
that on the previous Thursday and Friday when the 
bell sounded, one time Sister Angelica went to 
answer, and the other Sister Angela, but no one was 
found in Sacristy or Church. 

14th Time. Monday, July 7th. About 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon, time of repose, the bell rang twice, 
but the Abbess thinking that some children were in 
the Church did not trouble to answer. After a while 



who 



are you 



The 



same voice answered: 
"It is not permitted," 
and no more was heard. 
The Church door was 
locked. 



16th Time. Sun- 
day, July 27. The Ab- 
bess happened to go to 

the "turn" before mass and found there a 10 L're 

bill. 

17th Time. Tuesday, August 12th, about 8 
o'clock in the evening the bell rang and three nuns 
went to answer: — The Abbess, Sister Mary Naza- 
rena, and Sister Clare Benedict. They found 10 Lire 
at the "turn" and conjured in God's name the my- 
sterious person to declare who he was. No answer 
was given. The servant then called in the Rev. E. 



THE + SIGN 

Alexander Climati, Prior of St. Bartholonew and 
confessor of the nuns, D'Agasiz Tabarrini, Parish 
Priest of Casale and Chaplain to the nuns, also Fr. 
Angelo, Guardian of the Cappuchins. These 
searched the Church but found no one. 



18th Time. Tuesday, August 19th, at 6.30 in 
the evening the bell rang, the Abbess went to answer 
and said: "Jesus and Mary be praised!" The voice 
answered : "Amen" and said : "I am leaving this alms 
for prayers." The Abbess said : "We will pray for 
you just the same, but please give the alms to some 
person who is more in need of it." The soul 
answered in pleading tones: "No, please take it. 
It is a great mercy to me." Is it permitted to know 
who you are?" said the Abbess. "I am always the 
same person" was the reply — and no more was 
heard. As usual the 10 Lire were left. 

19th Time. Thursday, August 28th. Practically 
the same message. 

20th Time. Thursday, September 4th. Again 
the same message. 

21st Time. About 9.15 P. M. The Abbess on 
closing the dormitory door heard the sound of the 
bell. With another nun she went to answer, found 
the alms, but heard no voice. The other nun then 
retired to see if the voice would speak to the Abbess 
alone, but not a word was heard. The Abbess went 
upstairs without taking the money, and hearing the 
bell sound again returned. The Soul offered the 10 
Lire as usual but she refused it. Then the Soul 
said: "Please take it to satisfy divine justice." The 
Abbess then made the mysterious person repeat the 
ejaculation: "Blessed be the holy, most pure and 
immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!" 
The Soul repeated the words exactly. 

22nd Time. Sunday, September 21st. In the 
morning before mass the Abbess found 10 Lire at 
the "turn". 

23rd Time. Friday, October 3rd, about 9 
o'clock P. M. as the Abbess stood at the window 
of her cell she thought she heard the bell ring. She 
went to answer and refused 20 Lire offered as an 
alms saying their confessor had directed her to do so 
unless the Soul would declare who he was, because 
they feared diabolical deceit. The voice said : "No, 
J am a suffering soul. It is now 40 years that I have 
been in Purgatory for having wilfully ivasted 
ecclesiastical goods." 



24th Time. Monday, October 6th. The Abbess 
had a mass celebrated for that soul by the Rev. 
Alexander Climati, their confessor, and a short time 
after the mass was finished the bell rang and the 
same voice said: "I am leaving this alms. Many 
thanks!" The Abbess asked some more questions 
but no reply was given. The Sacristy was closed. 
10 Lire were left. 

25th Time. Thursday, October 16th. About 
9.45 P. M. after silence was called and all the nuns 
had retired, the Abbess heard someone calling out- 
side her cell and saying that the Sacristy bell was 
ringing. In the morning the nuns were asked about 
this but just as in the case of July 7th, they knew 
nothing. That night the Abbess went to answer the 
call and gave the salutation: "Jesus and Mary be 
praised!" the Soul answered: "Amen" and added. 
"I am leaving this alms. Many thanks." (Here it 
must be noted that on the morning of the same day 
they had a mass celebrated for that Soul by the 
Jesuit Father Luigi Bianchi who was then giving a 
retreat to the Community). The Abbess replied: 
"By order of our Confessor I must know your name 
and surname otherwise I won't take the alms." The 
Soul instead of a direct answer simply said: "The 
Judgement of God is just and right." "But," said the 
Abbess, "how now is this? I have had a mass said 
for you and one mass alone is sufficient to free a 
soul from Purgatory. How is it that you are not 
yet free?" The answer was: "/ received a very 
small share of it." The Abbess then said some other 
things but the Soul did not answer. This time 
20 Lire were left. 

26th Time. Monday, October 20th. The bell 
for Silence had just rung at 8.45 P. M., and as the 
Abbess with two Sisters — Sister Mary Rosalia, and 
Sister Clare Joseph were ascending the stairs they 
heard the Sacristy bell ring, all three went to answer 
and found 10 Lire at the "turn" but the voice did not 
speak, presumably because of the presence of the 
other two. They then went away and the Abbess 
returned a second time but heard nothing. Then 
having gone upstairs again and closed the door of 
the domitory she heard the bell ring once more. She 
answered and to the usual salutation the voice said 
in a very clear tone : "Amen," and because the 
Abbess had not taken the money, added : "Take this 
alms. It is a great mercy." The Abbess took the 
alms and the voice said: "Thanks!" "But," said the 



THE 1* SIGN 



Abbess, "Can I not know who you are?" The reply 
was: "Pray, pray, pray, pray." 

27th Time. Thursday, October 30th, at 2.45, 
after midnight — The Abbess heard a voice outside 
her cell saying: "The Sacristy bell has rung." She 
went to answer and as usual the soul said: "Amen" 
to the salutation, then immediately added: "I am 
leaving here this" — but the Abbess without waiting 
for the sentence to be finished said: "By order of 
our Confessor I cannot take it. In the name of God 
and by order of the Confessor tell me who you are ? 

Are you a Priest?" 

The answer was : Yes." 

"Did the funds you wasted belong to this 
Monastery?" 

Answer: "No, but I have permission to bring 
them here." 

"And where did you take them?" 

Answer: "The Judgement of God is just." 

"But I scarcely believe you are a soul from 
Purgatory. I think it may be some one who is play- 
ing a joke on us." 

"Do you want a sign?" 

"No, I am afraid. May I call someone? I will 
call immediately — " 

"No, it is not permitted." 

The Abbess took the 10 Lire and the Soul said : 
"Thanks. Now it is my turn to pray." 

The Abbess said: "Pray for me, for my Com- 
munity, and for the Confessor." 

The Soul said: "BENEDICTUS DEUS QUI"* 
and it departed continuing the prayer in a low voice, 
and she understood no more. This last time the 
voice had less of nervous haste and less indistinct- 
ness. Again, at one time it seemed to be speaking 

* It is surmised that the soul began to recite verse 
20 of Psalm LXV. "Blessed be God who hast not turned 
away my prayer nor His mercy from me." 



on her right and when departing it seemed at her 
left side. 

28th Time. Sunday, November 9th. At about 
4:15 A. M. the Abbess heard from the dormitory 
the sound of the Sacristy bell. She answered and 
gave the salutation: "Jesus and Mary be praised!" 
The usual voice answered : "May they be praised 
forever! I thank you and the religious Community. 
/ am now out of all pain." 

"You must not forget the priests who have said 
masses for you, and our Confessor, and Fr. Luigi 
Bianchi, and Fr. DAgazio." 

"I THANK ALL." 

Said the Abbess: "I would like to go to Purga- 
tory where you were because there I would be safe." 

"Do the will of the most High God." 

"You will pray for me, for my Community, for 
my parents if they are in Purgatory, for our Con- 
fessor, for Fr. Luigi Bianchi, for the Pope, the 
Bishop, and Cardinal Ascalesi." 
Answer: "Yes" 

"Bless me and all the persons whom I have 
mentioned." 

"Benedictio Domini super vos!" 

The morning before Fr. Luigi Bianchi, S. J., 
had said a mass for that Soul at a privileged altar in 
the church of the Gesu in Rome. 

The voice of the dead priest in the beginning 
used to be sad but gradually became more joyful 
and at last spoke in accents of blissful ecstacy. 

Even in the sound of the bell, though it was 
recognized as that of the Sacristy, there was always 
something at once sad and consoling. When the 
Sisters heard it they always said: "Mother Abbess, 
it is that poor soul. Please go to answer." And 
meanwhile a fervent "De Profundis" spontaneously 
arose from their lips. 



We trust that the above article will prove not only interesting to our 
readers but will help to actualize for them the reality of Purgatory and spur 
them on to a more ardent devotion to the Poor Souls. The writer assures 
us that the facts are supported by an abundance of unimpeachable testimony. 
For personal reasons he requests us to withhold his name — The Editors. 



Current Fact and Comment 



m 



WHY GIVE TO 



buting to Peter's Pence. While all Catholics 
are assured that what is thus contributed is 
applied with a minimum of waste to many worthy 
and important objects, still would they be amazed 
were they fully informed how numerous and diversi- 
fied those objects are. Consider the upkeep of the 
diplomatic service alone. It was consoling to ob- 
serve the change of sentiment among the nations 
in favor of the Vatican after the war. The number 
of nations with diplomatic relations with the Holy 



PETER'S PENCE 

See has doubled; and now twenty five nuncios and 
internuncios are established with the greater and 
lesser Powers, while a corresponding number of 
ambassadors and ministers are designated to the 
Vatican. It is a department that cannot be conducted 
gratuitously, to say the least; yet, when we consider 
the incalculable benefit to Religion directly and 
indirectly derived through this arrangement, 
we find a most gratifying motive for generous 
giving in the annual offering to the Holy 
Father. 



LET JUSTICE BLUSH 



OUR readers have already been acquainted 
through the columns of the daily press of the 
acquittal of the murderer of Father James E. 
Coyle former pastor of St. Paul's Church, Birming- 
ham, Alabama. This ominous incident gives food 
for disquieting thought to all sane citizens of our 
Republic. It is the application in the concrete of 
the damnable tenets of the Klu Klux Klan. Sollicitor 
Joseph R. Tate in summing up for the State declared 
to the jury, "If you go into the jury room, kick out 
the evidence and render a verdict of not guilty, you 
will have all the narrow-minded, fuzzy-necked 
people come and pat you on the back, but the 
remainder of your lives you will have your consci- 
ence to prick and sting you." In face of this virile 
charge a verdict was returned "not guilty." The 
Nation commenting upon this disgraceful miscar- 
riage of justice has this to say: 

"Acquittal of the Rev. Edwin R. Stephenson, 



a Methodist minister, of the murder of Father James 
E. Coyle, pastor of St. Paul's Catholic Church in 
Birmingham, will surprise no one who understands 
the play of forces behind that beastly crime. Writ- 
ing in The Nation for August 31, Mr. Charles P. 
Sweeney made clear that anti-Catholic bigotry is 
a predominant state of mind in that section of the 
United States of which Birmingham is the metro- 
polis. The murder of the priest in his own home 
is the logical product, in a community predisposed 
to lawlessness, of the reckless campaign of defama- 
tion in which the junior Senator from Georgia, 
Thomas E. Watson, is the central figure. He is not 
guiltless of the murder of Father Coyle, as he was 
not guiltless of the tragic lynching five years ago of 
Leo Frank. Both were victims in part of his in- 
cendiary vilification in that tinder-box of medieval 
superstitions and phobias designated on our maps as 
Georgia and Alabama." 



SEEDS OF JOT— HARVEST OF TEARS 



QFEW weeks ago, in one of our large Eastern 
cities, a school girl, 15 years of age, went out 
in search of romance. She found it, through 
the medium of the "movies" and an automobile ride. 
While standing at the curb after a "movie" show, 
she was accosted by four unknown young men in 
an auto, and invited for a ride. Here was the 
romance and she accepted. The rest of the story is 
written in scalding tears, a shattered body, and 
bitter regrets. Her experiences were such as will 
crowd her future with hideous memories. She was 
held captive in a lonely shack for a whole week, 
and made the pitiable plaything of a gang of 
degenerates. She was finally turned loose, to 
wander, dazed, in an adjoining woods, where, many 



hours later, she was accidently found, and rescued. 
She is now home under her mother's care, working 
her way back to a doubtful recovery. 

This tragic story is neither new nor uncommon. 
Unfortunately, it is recurring with alarming fre- 
quency in the police records of all our large Ameri- 
can cities. It may be too much to expect that girls 
of 15 should appreciate the many and various pit- 
falls modern life provides for girls of their age. But, 
certainly, mothers of girls of 15 cannot be blind to 
what is going on every day, cannot be blind to the 
many dangers peculiar to these modern times which 
threaten their growing girls. Mothers who deliber- 
ately blink these obvious facts assume a grave 
responsibility before heaven. Too frequent attend- 



THE + 

ance at the "movies," with their unreal description 
of life, and fantastic notions of romance, is one of 
the most deadly dangers. "Automobilitis," or the 
hunger of the young for the "joy-ride" — too joften 
a misnomer for a "sad-ride" — is another. To the 
list must be added the aimless promenading on our 
streets of under-dressed and over-dressed girls. The 
folly of many mothers who indulge their young 
daughters in all the extravagance of indecent fash- 
ions which brazenly parade the natural charm and 
attractiveness of budding womanhood, places young 
girls directly in the path of danger, and provokes 
the attenton of the large number of vultures who 
infest our streets under the guise of nattily attired 
gallants in glittering motor cars. 

One cannot help questioning seriously the cha- 
racter of the bringing up of a girl of 15 who accepts 



SIGN 

an invitation to an automobile ride on a late Satur- 
day evening from a party of young men, to whom 
she is a total stranger. It would seem that a girl 
who has been reared by a sensible mother, a girl in 
whom had been instilled a proper sense of self- 
respect, and the right ideal of maidenly modesty and 
reserve becoming to girls of tender age, would know 
better than lightly trust herself, unprotected, to the 
company of unknown men, or be on the streets alone 
late Saturday night, or any other night. One 
wonders how many Catholic girls are joining the 
numbers of those who meet with disaster via the 
automobile and "strange young man" route. The 
rearing and training of Catholic young girls, if it is 
what it should be, should effectively safeguard them 
against the many modern snares so abundantly set 
for the unwary. 



FATHER FIDELI5 KENT STONE, C. P. 



V|^HILE Foch, Diaz and Beatty are being wel- 
\I/ corned to America with every phase of a 
country's applause, no recognition is given to 
the passing of one whose remarkable gifts of mind 
and heart could readily have swayed individuals and 
peoples. On October 13, Father Fidelis of the 
Cross (known in the world as James Kent Stone) 
died in California at the advanced age of four score 
years and one. 

Father Fidelis embodied in his charming per- 
sonality all that is admirable in the true American 
ideal. He was the son of a distinguished Episcopal- 
ian clergyman. He himself became a clergyman 
in the same denomination. At a very early age he 
held successively the presidency of Hobart and 
Kenyon Colleges. In his thirtieth year he became 
a Catholic, and two years later was ordained to the 
holy priesthood as a member of the Paulist Com- 
munity. Four year afterwards he joined the Pas- 
sionist Order. As a Passionist he spent many years 
abroad, particularly in Argentine and Chile where 
he did much for the establishing and upbuild- 



ing of his Order. During his long religious career 
he held many positions of responsibility both at 
home and in foreign parts. 

As a young man he loved to climb the Alps, 
when with rapture he would gaze upon the snow- 
capped peaks glistering in the sun-light, forgetful 
of the verdant fields, the fragant flowers and 
mellow shade of the luxuriant valleys. This was a 
portent of his after life. He unhesitatingly sacri- 
ficed fame, fortune and pleasure which were easily 
within his grasp. And having made the sacrifice, 
he manfully pursued the arduous ascent to the 
heights of virtue and union with God. 

Men have been heard to complain that to 
seclude oneself as he did from the world's notice 
was a wanton burial of great talents. But in the 
judgment of Him Who said "He that shall humble 
himself shall be exalted" Father Fidelis was su- 
premely wise. There is every reason to believe 
that he received a welcome in heaven such as no 
admiring throng could have vouchsafed him on 
earth. 



WHAT ABOUT THE LIVING HEROES? 



CONGRESS has appropriated the sum of 
$50,000 for the ceremonial burial of an un- 
known hero. No true American will object 
to this or any other sum being spent to honor this 
individual hero and the thousands of others he 
represents who so loyally played an heroic part and 
generously made the supreme sacrific in the world 
war. 

But all the unknown heroes who went to battle 



are not dead. We have a mighty number of ex- 
service men in the country who acquitted them- 
selves of their military duty as manfully and valor- 
ously as any known or unknown dead hero. The 
least these living heroes can expect from the Govern- 
ment which they unflinchingly supported is the op- 
portunity of now supportng themselves. These 
heroes should be provided with work that will enable 
them to earn a decent livelihood; and it is no more 



THE + 

than just that the Government give or, if necessary, 
make jobs for these deserving men. 

We know, of course, that there are many pro- 
fessional bums who represent themselves as ex- 
soldiers. But even allowing for these there is still 
a very large number of worthy ex-soldiers without 
employment who are only too anxious to get work. 
It is nearly time that Congress should stop frittering 
its time in party recriminations and pettyfogging 



SIGN 

investigations and do something for the ex-soldiers 

who deserve so well of the country. 

What has been said of these returned heroes 
applies with equal force to the other living heroes 
who did not go to war but who gave all that was in 
them that we might win the war. We cannot honor 
the dead too much. But it would be more fitting and 
healthful for the country if Armistice Day was made 
less a memorial day and more of an employment day. 



POPE AND 

^^XECENTLY general elections were held in the 
I^T Republic of Nicaragua. That this republic 
has a sound and unbiased electorate we are 
assured from their choice for the presidency of 
Diego M. Chamorro, a fine type of Catholic man- 
hood. On the morning of the elections Signor 
Chamorro with his family received Holy Communion 
from the hands of the Archbishop. His election 
being verified, he withdrew to the Cathedral where 
the Te Deum was solemnly chanted in thanksgiving 
to the Most High. Thereupon through the Secretary 
of State at the Vatican he offered his respects 
to the Vicar of Jesus Christ and notified him of his 
election to the presidency. Some points from his 
inaugural address will indicate how profound are his 
Christian convictions: "The Catholic Church, of 
which I am proud to be a faithful son, during my 
incumbency shall enjoy the full freedom guaranteed 
to her by the constitution, not only because it is so 
guaranteed, but especially because the Church is 



PATRIOTISM 

the most powerful support of order and public 
morals and because I esteem her as the true mother 
of civilization. Humbly realizing that 'unless the 
Lord guard the city, they watch in vain who guard 
it,' I yield myself over to the guidance of the 
Almighty, and committing to Him my destiny and 
that of the country, I also put all my trust in Him 
for the successful discharge of my duties." Ap- 
parently the good people of Nicaragua do not be- 
lieve in the thread bare calumny against the Catho- 
lic Church, that loyalty to Christ's Vicar spells dis- 
loyalty to one's native land. Would that our Ameri- 
can bigots in high places were as enlightened ! Only 
by fidelity to conscience, by fulfilling duties to church 
and state will American Catholics live down this 
flimsy slander. "Render to Caesar the things that 
are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," 
this is Christ's principle, true and binding in the reign 
of Tiberias Caesar — true and binding in the in- 
cumbency of Warren Harding, President. 



AMERICAN GOLD BUYS AUSTRIAN SOULS 



/f^VRESS dispatches frequently inform us of the 
w^J efforts being made by the Protestant sects 
to alienate Catholics in Germany and Austria 
from their faith. These proselytizers are using 
some new tricks, such as holding "missions" in the 
public squares of the cities without mentioning the 
name of their religion, and even giving the impres- 
sion that they are Catholics working in the interests 
of the Catholic Church.. It is only when they see 
an evident chance of making a pervert that they 
reveal their identity. Their chief method of per- 
version, however, is the "free soup" system so com- 
mon in Ireland in the days of the famine. They 
take advantage of the pitiful distress and harrowing 
poverty of the wretched people and hold out the 
bait of money, food and clothing. We may well 
wonder if the decent Protestant people in the United 
States are aware of the ignoble purposes to which 
the money they so generously contribute is put. 



The chief offenders in this contemptible business 
of buying souls are the Methodists, Baptists and 
Seventh Day Adventists. The New York Herald 
justly remarked: "If the foreign sect works with 
plenty of dollars or pounds sterling it becomes all 
the more attractive to Austrian candidates." 

We doubt whether the money being so lavish- 
ing spent in the nefarious traffic of Germanic souls 
will have more lasting results than similar expendi- 
tures upon the Irish immigrants to our shores. An 
incident is narrated in the new life of Cardinal 
Gibbons. When that distinguished churchman was 
Vicar-Apostolic of North Carolina, he once paid a 
visit to Plymouth. Whilst there, the Bishop learned 
that an Irishman had apostatized and had become 
a Baptist. The Irishman was immersed, and after 
the ceremony, was asked by his new co-religionists 
to lead in prayer. He astonished them by reciting 
the "Hail, Holy Queen." 



China Calls 



"M^^^HE many friends of the Passionist Fathers 
M C*\ in America were made glad when they 
^^^^ read recently in the Catholic press that 
the Passionists had volunteered their ser- 
vices to the Holy See for work in the Far East. 
They will have added reason to rejoice now that 
the offer has been accepted, and that a territory has 
been assigned in China to American Passionists and 
that a band of five priests 
will leave the Mother house, 
St. Michael's Monastery, 
West Hoboken, on Sunday, 
December 11th, for their new 
field. 

The Sacred Congrega- 
tion of the Faith which has 
special charge of foreign 
mission activites has allotted 
to the Passionist Fathers a 
district in the Province of 
Hunan, Central China. This 
territory lies north of the 
district now being evange- 
lized by the American 
Foreign Mission Society of 
Maryknoll, N. Y., and south 
of that under the care of the 
Maynooth Irish Mission 
Society. The entire Province 
of Hunan is at present a 
Vicariate-Apostolic under the 
direction of the Spanish 
Augustinians who have labored in the territory with 
unflagging zeal since 1879. The population of 
China is 440,000,000, four times greater than the 
population of the United States, comprised within 
an area only one fourth larger than our Country. 
The Province of Hunan to which the Passionists are 
going is about the size of the State of Kansas and 
like that State is centrally located. Hunan has a 
population reaching the enormous figure of 
22,000,000 people of whom only 13,000 are Catho- 
lics. There are at present in this territory thirty 
European and two native priests. 

The eyes of the Catholic world are turned today 
to the Far East and not only from Europe but also 
from America, missionaries are leaving in ever in- 




creasing numbers. China with its teeming millions 
is making an especially strong appeal. Hither 
missionaries are hastening in the hope of garnering 
a rich harvest of souls to Christ. This work, how- 
ever, is not new. China has been a field of mission- 
ary labor since the sixteenth century and has been 
watered by the blood of hundreds of martyrs whose 
hands are raised in supplication begging for the 
redeeming blood of Jesus 
Christ to free these hordes 
of people from the miseries 
of paganism. 

During the last few 
decades the Protestant sects 
have centered their efforts in 
an endeavor to propagate 
their false doctrines among 
the Chinese. With immense 
wealth at their disposal, they 
have succeeded in spreading 
to every Province in the 
Celestial Empire. But in 
spite of this the Catholic 
missionaries with meagre 
financial resources, with little 
else than a spirit of sacrifice 
and untiring labor have 
reaped gratifying fruits. 
Nearly 2,000,000 pagans 
have been converted. A 
thousand native priests, 
many native sisterhoods, and 
an army of catechists aid the foreign missionaries 
in their labors for souls. 

St. Paul of the Cross, whose heart burned with 
zeal for the salvation of the heathern, ardently 
desired that his sons should give themselves to this 
blessed work. Like his namesake, the great Apostle 
of the Gentiles, he had but one desire, "to know 
Christ and Him Crucified" and to spread this know- 
ledge to the ends of the earth. In his Rule he 
plainly directs that when the time presents itself 
the Fathers of his Order, armed with the blessing 
of the Vicar of Christ, must be ready to leave all, 
home, friends and country, and go forth to preach 
Christ Crucified to the heathen. It is worthy of note 
that five years after the death of St. Paul of the 



21 



THE + SIGN 




REV. AGATHO PURTILL, C. P, 




REV. RAPHAEL VANCE, C. 





REV. TIMOTHY McDERMOTT. C. P. 



REV. FLAVIAN MULI.INS, C. P. 



THE 1* SIGN 



Cross, the Passionists were invited to make a 
foundation in the city of Pekin. At that time, how- 
ever, this could not be done. Now, nearly a century 
and a half later, a band of Passionists, will for the 
first time set out for China, not from the Eternal 
City, but from America, a country which but a 
decade ago was classed as a foreign missionary 
field. True to the ideals of their saintly founder, 
the Passionists have always preached the Gospel 
to the most neglected children of the Church. For 
many years they have labored in the Near East 
where they have spared no effort to win back the 
schismatical children of the Orthodox Greek Church 
and the followers of Mohamed. 

One of the first foreign missions undertaken 
by the Passionist Order was the conversion of the 
aborigines of Australia. In more recent times, a 
band of Passionists was led by the noted Father 
Fidelis Kent-Stone, whose death we are still lament- 
ing, into the South American countries of Argentina, 
Chile and Brazil. The Passionist Fathers of Spain 
have been laboring for a long time past in the wilds 
of Peru. 

When we glance over the history of Catholic 
missionary activity in China, and come to realize 
that in spite of the long years of labor there are 
relatively so few Catholics within its borders we 
cannot but appreciate the difficulties that confront 



the missionary in this limitless field. The work of 
the missionary has indeed been carried on steadily 
against almost insurmountable odds. Speaking of 
the Province of Hunan alone, 13,000 Catholics out 
of 11,000,000 inhabitants! This speaks volumes 
for the bouyant heroism and apostolic zeal of the 
Spanish Augustinians who have gone before. This 
plainly tells the story of the hardships which are 
facing the band of Passionists who are about to lend 
a helping hand to their Augustinian brethen. Much, 
indeed, has to be done before this land of paganism 
becomes a spiritual child of the church. The mis- 
sionary has merely touched the fringe of the multi- 
tude. Our Lord's words, the "harvest is great but the 
laborers are few," have through these many years 
applied to China as to no other country in the world. 
Whether or no China shall become a child of the 
Church or a fruitful field of Protestantism will 
depend in the main on the spirit shown by American 
Catholics toward this great work, the preaching of 
the Gospel in China. Let us pray, let us labor for 
this noble cause. 

The five Passionist Fathers who have been 
chosen for the band are Rev. Fathers Celestine 
Roddan of Randolph, Mass.; Agatho Purtill of West 
Hoboken, N. J.; Flavian Mullins of Athens, Pa.; 
Raphael Vance of Philadelphia, Pa.; and Timothy 
McDermott of Pittsburg, Pa. 



nsoners o 



Thomas McGuiri 



f Hope 



^^^>HE Church is often called Mother, and 
/ C\ rightly so. The children whom God has 
^^^^ given her she takes to her heart and cher- 
ishes with a mother's love. She guides their 
every step on through life to keep them to the narrow 
path which leads to life eternal. When death ap- 
proaches she stands by to assist them in that moment 
of need. But she does not part with them there. 
Knowing that "there shall not enter into heaven 
anything defiled," she follows with her prayers the 
souls of her children into the prision of Purgatory. 
Daily she pleads with God for mercy and offers in 
atonement for her suffering children's sins the merit 
of her grace. During November, particularly, is her 



plaintive prayer incessant. Then she invites in an 
especial manner her other children still in the flesh 
to join her, that by united prayer, God may be moved 
to set free from their prison of woe the souls of 
the dear departed and to admit them to the joys of 
Paradise, there to praise Him, to thank Him, and 
to love Him forevermore. 

Hence, at this time, all the faithful, hearkening 
to the invitation of their Mother, devote more 
thought and time to their deceased brethren. A 
constant crying appeal for mercy mounts to heaven 
from near every Catholic heart. The morning sun- 
beams, dissipating night's darkness make visible in 
every place the priest standing at the altar, and 



THE 1* SIGN 



gathered about him, with heads bowed in prayer, 
large numbers of faithful. And in the evening 
shadows, when the turmoil of the day has died away, 
many more kneel around their Sacramental King, 
thumbing their beads ; or quietly move from station 
to station piously following in the blood-stained 
foot-steps of the Savior in the Way of the Cross. 
The fervor of the whole Catholic world is aroused; 
it is sustained by a common thought, the liberation 
of the poor souls in Purgatory. 

It is the greatest charity to assist the poor souls. 
Of themselves they can do nothing to alleviate their 
sorrows, but are in all things dependant on the 
charity of others. Intense is the pain they suffer 
from the purifying flame, but their agonizing long- 
ing to look upon the face of God causes them a pain 
far greater. God is deaf to their plea for pity; in 
life, His mercy was at their beck and call ; but now, 
mercy has given way to justice. They turn in sup- 
plication to their brethren here on earth, whose 
prayers and good works they know can comfort 
them and shorten their detention. From the depth 
of their misery they cry out, "Have pity on me, have 
pity on me, at least you my friends, because the 
hand of the Lord hath touched me." To answer 
the appeal of these afflicted ones — is there any 
charity like to this? 

XT is a duty incumbent upon everyone to succor 
the poor souls, but especially to help those 
souls to whom one is bound by ties of blood 
and friendship. The departed have a claim on such 
as loved them in life. Time may have filled the 
void that their passing made in the home ; time may 
have healed the wounds that grief dug in the heart; 
but time cannot obliterate the obligation of remem- 
bering the departed ones who still suffer on. Jf 
the. voices of the dead could penetrate the portals 
of death many stinging rebukes would tingle the ears 
of the forgetful living. They who forget have never 
pondered on the meaning of that plaintive pleading, 
"Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you 
my friends, because the hand of the Lord hath 
touched me." They who so forget can never have 
brought home to themselves the import in the poet's 
words : 
"For what are men better than sheep or goats 

That nourish a blind life within the brain, 
If knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer 

Both for themselves and those who call them 
friends?" 

Long ago the celebrated Athenian, Cimon, had 



to bear the sorrow of seeing his insolvent father 
imprisoned by hard, exacting creditors. To add to 
the son's grief his father died in prison before a 
release could be secured. The distraught young 
man rushed to the prison and begged his father's 
body, that, at least, he might give it decent burial. 
When the creditors refused, he cried out in a 
frenzy, "Let me first bury my father and I will 
return and take his place in prison." This exhibi- 
tion of filial piety is worthy of all admiration, but 
it also deserves imitation. Fathers and mothers 
are now languishing in a prison with which no 
earthly prison can be compared for pain, misery 
and sorrow. Brothers and sisters, too, are there and 
many others who loved and were loved in life. 
There shall they be until their debt is paid, even 
to the last farthing. Relatives and friends on earth, 
if they will, can cancel these debts and set their 
loved ones free. More fortunate than the Athenian 
youth they need not enter the prison house, they 
need not serve another's term, they have but to pray. 
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to 
pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from 
sins," says the Holy Spirit. 

What more beautiful example of this christian 
duty than the pathetic prayer of the Angel of the 
Agony as conceived by Cardinal Newman: 

"Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee; 
Jesu ! by that cold dismay which sickened Thee ; 
Jesu! by that pang of heart which thrilled in Thee; 
Jesu! by that mount of sins which crippled Thee; 
Jesu! by the sense of guilt which stifled Thee; 
Jesu! by that innocence whch girdled Thee; 
Jesu ! by that sanctity which reigned in Thee ; 
Jesu ! by that Godhead which was one with Thee ; 
Jesu! spare these souls which are so dear to Thee, 
Who in prison, calm and patient, wait for Thee; 
Hasten, Lord, their hour, and bid them come to Thee, 
To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze 
on Thee." 

Sweet supplications like to these, addressed to 
the tender Heart of the Crucified, and hallowed by 
reminiscences of His bitter sufferings for souls, shall 
not fail to draw down gentle and plentiful showers of 
graces to refresh His languishing ones in their night 
of pain. 

To pray for the dead is an act of great charity. 
To pray for the dead is a duty. To pray for the 
dead is to sever one's bands by anticipation, for 
whatever the living do for the dead, the Saints 
assure us, shall be remunerated a hundredfold. 



Whereon The}) Crucified Him 



Hubert Cunni 

OEVOTION to the passion of Christ is the 
most ancient, it is the first of all catholic 
devotions and showed itself very common- 
ly by reverence for the holy cross even 
before the year 300. We can follow this beautiful 
spirit back through the mists and the mazes of all 
the intervening centuries with a clearness that is 
unmistakable and by evidences made up of authentic 
statements and historical facts. These testimonies 
show us that the piety of our ancestors to that 
solemn sign was one of the best known traits of 
their religion. 

They held up that standard at all times. For 
example, Minutius Felix, a practising Roman lawyer, 
born of a pagan family about the year 250, became 
in later life a convert to Christianity. In a work 
entitled "Octavius" he publicly defended the faith 
and its followers against the cruel attacks and false 
ideas of his former fellows at the bar. The Romans 
of that period were very much like our own Ameri- 
cans of to-day; they were proud of their national 
prestige and prerogatives, their liberty and inde- 
pendence, and so they recoiled from anything that 
savored of slavery or subjection; and because cruci- 
fixion was the punishment of the slave they despised 
the cross and everything associated with it; they 
knew that the christians deeply venerated that 
dreaded instrument and that was enough; the 
Romans despised them and their symbol. The con- 
verted . lawyer had learned much of both and he 
loved his new-found friends and saw that their cross 
was so prominent and prevalent that he boldly 
declared, "you proud Romans had better beware lest 
perchance you be actually honoring what you really 
despise — lest you are adoring in your idols the wood 
which we christians have already used for making 
crosses." 

That looks very much as though in the middle 
of the third century the followers of Jesus were 
trying to out-Titus Titus. The historian Josephus 
tells us that in the seige of Jerusalem that general 
crucified Jews till there was no longer to be found 
wood for the making of crosses; our forefathers in 
the days of Minutius Felix were using up all the 
wood in Rome to make crosses of love! 

Earlier than this the fervent attachment of 



ngham, C. P. 

christians to that mysterious wood can be read in the 
works of Tertullian, born in 160 A. D. He was a 
deep scholar, an elegant writer and a daring public 
defender and advocate of Christ and all that was 
His, like Bishop England in the days of our fore- 
fathers in the United States and Cardinal Gibbons 
in our own time. Tertullian can very aptly be called 
the Defender of the Cross; that sacred subject comes 
up in his writings in such a variety of phases as to 
convince the reader that it is the dominant thought 
of that wonderful man's mind, yet his works date 
a hundred years earlier than the lifetime of Minutius 
Felix. It is not unreasonable to conclude that Tertul- 
lian's grandfather was living in the days of the 
Apostle St. John, and thus we steadily creep back 
further and further finding as we go that our favorite 
devotion is strongly evident along the way. This 
great mind tells us that in his day to the eyes of 
the devout catholic, "every upright stick stands for 
a portion of the cross." This brings us face to face 
with the truth that devotion to the sacred wood was 
fervent and universal in the middle of the second 
century, that is, within one hundred years after the 
death of Our Savior. 

©UT we can go back sixty years earlier than 
Tertullian and still meet even more and 
equally inspiring evidences of the same truth 
in him who was the earliest of the great men called 
apologists, men who stood before the world and 
propounded and defended with the powers of their 
voice and pen the teachings and the practices of the 
Church of Christ, I mean the great philosopher, saint 
and martyr, Justin. This remarkable man was born 
in Greece where he studied and where he became 
a master of the philosophy of Plato. He was born 
a pagan, but in the course of his young manhood 
and first successes he received the light of faith and 
went to live in Rome where he wrote and addressed 
to the Emporer Augustus his "Apology for the 
Christians" or what we would today call a Defense 
of the Church of Christ. After the death of this 
Emperor, Justin returned to his same labors and sent 
a new apology to the succeeding ruler. These are 
but some of the daring acts and learned writings 
of that great and versatile man. We are not exactly 



THE f SIGN 



concerned with these more than to say that they 
ultimately led him to martyrdom. But so exalted 
were this man's sentiments toward the sign of our 
religion that he says, "the cross is the greatest sign 
of the power and majesty of Christ." He follows 
up this statement by elaborate expositions and turn- 
ing upon his opponents, hurls at them the absurdity 
of condemning in others what is in constant evidence 
and necessary use by all — a cross in one form or 
other, on land and sea, in life and death; but he 
drives the argument in upon them with convincing 
vigor when he says : — "You are carrying that hated 
figure in honor and even triumph but you are too 
dull of sense to see it. And where? There at the 
head of your public processions. The poles and bars 
from which your 
banners wave and 
trophies hang — > 
what are these but 
crosses? " The 
sacred figure of 
Christ, indeed, runs 
all through Justin's 
writings. In his 
extant writings 
Justin brings up 
the holy cross 
thirty six different 
times. In one work 
alone, his "Dia- 
logue with Try- 
pho," he deals with 
that venerable 
topic in seven consecutive chapters. 

Food of this kind fed to the soul of the Catholic 
of today is strengthening and inspiring. It is all so 
real, so solid, so satisfying. It is so plain and so 
plentiful, and withal' so pleasing to our catholic 
palate, that we are compelled to pause in the midst 
of the growing thoughts and marvel that a practice 
so homely with us today is really so ancient. The 
vision which it produces of the unchanging features 
of our Holy Mother the Church and the undimmed 
brightness of every line of her figure and every fold 
of her raiment makes the lips smile and the heart 
peaceful. How true that she never changes! Ever 
ancient, she is ever new in all her life and activity. 
This shines forth in her devotion to the Passion even 
in the detail of her delicate reverence for the death- 
bed of her spouse. We can see this as far back as 
the beginning of the second century. 



Facts, not words impress these convictions and 
sentiments both on mind and heart. The worth of 
the quotations which we have hitherto given lies 
mainly in the conditions which they reveal and 
which their citation was intended to display. We 
want to know not what the early christians say, 
so much as what the early christians do : not what 
a few of them say but what all of them do. 
Christian faith is a vital fact; it is the most practical, 
fruitful thing in all this world and so if devoton is 
true it is a matter-of-fact affair in its results and the 
devotion of His disciples to the sufferings of the 
Nazarene in those days was a living, vigorous thing; 



so vigorous that we can see 
edifying lives. 





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CRYPT OF ST. CECIL 
Note the simple cross depicted on 



it even yet in their 

The Roman 
catacombs immedi- 
ately stand out as 
one of these con- 
vincing facts. Let 
us recall the senti- 
ments entertained 
by the Romans for 
their legal gibbet; 
they saw this hated 
thing flaunted in 
their faces by the 
christians and 
turned bitter con- 
tempt upon them 
and that symbol, 
put their feelings 
into facts, pursued 
and persecuted that sign till they literally drove 
cross and christian off the face of the earth and 
compelled them to bore out a dwelling place under 
the soil. There in gloom and fear these hated 
people and loving hearts paraded their standard 
until Constantine stamped it on his oriflamme and 
made cross and christian free. 

X STOOD one time before a grave, a tiny, age- 
worn grave, and on the marble slab I read 
the words "Rufina, Rest in Peace." Above 
these simple words I noticed a plain cross carved. 
The composite told me the story of holy sorrow, 
holy love and holy confidence in the merits of the 
passion of Christ. It was the usual story which the 
writer and the reader have seen traced a thousand 
times in the cemetries all the country over. How- 
ever, I was not in one of our American cemeteries; 



bare rock near the ceil 



THE + SIGN 



I was in the Roman catacombs looking on one of the 
most convincing proofs of early Catholic devotion 
to the cross. It has ever been "Unica Spes Nostra." 
— Our Only Hope. 

Anterior to the Christian Catacombs Calvary's 
consecrated wood was revered and its copyings were 
used by the devout so openly, so defiantly, so uni- 
versally that it became their characteristic mark 
and this so much so that it was known to every man 
and woman as the christians' badge; it marked them 
of from their non-christian associates as clearly as 
it today forms the distinguishing mark between 
our own and the non-catholic churches around us. 
The brat on the street was taught even then, as he 
was taught in our own country and in our own youth, 
to sneer at his christian neighbor boys as so many 
crossmarked donkies. This is a bitter and an time- 
worn insult which millions of us have been com- 
pelled to suffer, but here it is another example of 
how God (and He alone can) is able to draw good 
out of evil : here and now it becomes invaluable 
evidence in point for we can trace its origin back 
to Tacitus. This man was one of the greatest orators 
of his time and is celebrated as an historian. He 
was born in 55 A. D. or only twenty two years after 
the tragedy of Calvary and so our studies show us 
that devotion to the holy cross and passion of Jesus 
was common, public, well known by friend and foe, 
by the old and the young even before the year 
100 A. D. What we do to-day when we kiss the 
cross our ancestors were doing within fifty years 
after Calvary saw the work of our redemption. 

Success is the very best stimulant to labor and 
that is why the discovery of these accumulating 
evidences urges us to go on further in the hope 
of finding even more. The hope is well founded 
and the efforts are well rewarded. In recent times 
there has been unearthed the most ancient christian 
monument in the world and (how gratifying to be 
able to say it!) that is nothing other than a cross. 
Yes, it is true and there it stands in bold relief 
against a stucco background on the walls of a 
christian home — on Pansa's house in the ruins of 
Pompeii! 

Think of what this means in the interesting 
cause for which we are contending. We know that 
Pompeii and Herculaneum, twin cities of southern 
sunny Italy, were the favorite and exclusive resorts 
of the powerful and wealthy families of Rome, like 
the Newports and the Palm Beaches of our own 
land; these were the centres of all the social 



grandeur and luxury that great wealth and refined 
sensuality could crave. We also know that in the 
year 79 A. D., these two cities were suddenly and 
completely destroyed by the eruptions of Mount 
Vesuvius. Now, it is a fact of church history, or 
better still, of such pagan historians as Tacitus, 
Suetonius and Dio Cassius, the later of whom is 
famous not only for his elegance of style, but for his 
diligence in the search for truth and the accuracy 
of his data, that even during the lifetime of the Holy 
Apostles men and women, even whole families of 
the Roman upper classes and of the highest nobility 
became christians. The home of Pansa is a strong 
confirmation of such statements. Only forty-six 
years have passed since the Passion and Death of 
Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, less than ten years since 
the martyrdom of SS Peter and Paul and, better still 
while the Beloved Disciple, St. John, was still living 
and in the height of his active work and ministry, not 
only has the faith reached over these many miles 
from Jerusalem to the wondrous bay of Naples and 
into the most exclusive circles of Roman wealth 
and power, but step by step with it has come devo- 
tion to the gibbet of Calvary. Therefore this family 
of Pansa, with a simplicity which rivals as it ante- 
dates the ages of faith, and with a boldness that is 
a keen rebuke to the prevailing shyness and cowar- 
dice of our own day, though they know they will 
thereby make themselves a term of contempt to 
thousands of their old friends and neighbors, rise 
superior to the coldness and disdain that is turned 
upon them from the wealthy pagans about and they 
mould the sign of Christ on the walls of their home. 
Why? Because they are christians and christians 
glory in the cross. They want to do as the christians 
do, as all christians do around them, and in the year 
70 A. D., every christian is a cross-bearer. 

nERE is the church only forty years after com- 
ing forth from the riven side of her Divine 
Founder radiating a spirit of love and 
reverence for the hard bed on which she was born. 
What is the explanation? How came these first 
christians thus spontaneously to love that instrument 
of death which all the world besides hated and 
shrank from? It is because they were taught to 
love the cross by the Apostles themselves. The 
newly converted christians along the shores of the 
Mediterranean had heard St. Paul proclaiming in 
words of fire the wisdom and the power and the 



THE + SIGN 



glory of the cross — "I am a christian and God 
forbid that I should glory save in the shame of my 
Master and that shame is expressed in the double- 
dyed degradaton of His cross, through which the 
world and all the wealth and all the honor and all 
the pleasure of the world is dead to me. I am dead 
to the world and with Christ I am nailed to the 
cross; I carry all the marks of that cross and death 
with me constantly not on walls of brick or cut in 
stone but in my very body are they dug." The 
inspiring story of the Master and His wonders and 
His love and His cruel and unjust death had been 



held before his hearers by every preacher; some 
of the early christians had been eye-witnesses of 
the martyrdom of the Apostles every one of whom 
had not only preached the cross but died for love 
of the passion and death of the Master. It was 
from these that the first christians learned — from 
their words, from their conduct, from their suffer- 
ings, from their love, from their death — that the 
cross of Christ is the greatest thing in all the world. 
Devotion to the cross was first taught and first 
practiced by the apostles and they learn the lesson 
from Mount Calvary. 



A Vision of the Day 



y^^ORE than three quarters of a century has 
vL£ elapsed since the great impartial Englishman, 
Cardinal Newman, saw Ireland moving slowly 
but surely toward her emancipation. Thus did 
he contemplate Erin freed from her thraldom and 
restored at last to her rightful heritage among the 
nations : "I look toward a land both old and young 
— old in its Christianity, young in its promise of 
the future. A Church which comprehends in its 
history the rise of Canterbury and York, which 



Augustine and Paulinus and Pole and Fisher left 
behind them. I contemplate a people which has had 
a long night, and will have an inevitable day. I 
am turning my eyes toward a hundred years to come, 
and I dimly see the Ireland I am gazing on become 
the road of passage and union between the two 
hemispheres and the center of the world; I see the 
inhabitants rival Belgium in populousness, France 
in vigor and Spain in enthusiasm." 



A Lo))al Sold 



BPASSIONIST Father, who served as chap- 
lain in the Italian Army during the world 
war, tells us that he was an eye witness of 
the following edifying incident: 

"While stationed with a regiment from Fanteria 
on the Carso," he writes, "I made the acquaintance 
of Major Francis Rizzo. A close friendship grew 
up between us. I was delighted to learn that from 
childhood he had always loved the Sacred Passion, 
and never went anywhere without having about his 
person a small crucifix. 

"On the 29th of June 1916, our regiment re- 
ceived orders to move up to the front line. We were 
soon afterwards in the thick of the fighting, and the 
Major was one of the first to fall mortally wounded. 
We carried him to the field hospital, his mouth 
bleeding profusely. He held his little crucifix 
tightly in his hands, and again and again put it to 



ier of Christ 

his mouth as a solace in his agony. Unable to speak, 
and death swiftly coming on, he made a sign to write 
and with trembling hand scrawled these few 
words : 

"I dearly love my whole faith and my whole 
country. I bless God for this death, to die for my 
fair and great Italy. Conquer; conquer; courage; 
courage; trust, constancy in God's help. Farewell. 
Farewell. Blessed be God. I love you all. Farewell, 
my family, my fellow citizens of Salentino, my noble 
land of Puglia. Again may God be forever blessed. 
Francis Rizzo, major, 14 Fanteria. 

"The pencil dropped from his fingers. Again 
and again he pressed his crucifix to his bleeding 
mouth. As the bystanders with indescribable 
emotion watched him, the brave soldier of Christ 
Crucified departed from the field of battle to enjoy 
in heaven the fruits of eternal victory." 



The White Rose of Lucca 

The Storp of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
4 — Tke Marks of the Lord Jesus 



M^'HE Spring of the year 1899 saw the end 
a C\ of Gemma's long and painful illness and 
^^^V ushered in a new period of her life, — a 
period crowded with those external super- 
natural manifestations which have made her unique 
in the annals of Christian holiness, and have made 
her name familiar throughout the Christian world. 
Through affliction she would be transformed into a 
seraph of love, and her pure soul adorned with 
virtues as with so many precious jewels. By constant 
communion with God she now lived more in heaven 
than on earth. 

Lovingly Gemma's heart now turned to the ful- 
filment of the vow, made on her sick-bed, of enter- 
ing the religious life. With intense ardor her soul 
was straining, as it were, on the wings of desire to 
enter religion, which, in her eyes was a mystic city 
and a holy commonwealth resplendent with the light 
of the Lord's majesty. She asked to be received at 
the Convent of the Visitation. The nuns were will- 
ing and even glad to admit her, so her confessor 
undertook to arrange the preliminaries necessary for 
her reception. But obstacles arose and the misgiv- 
ings of the ecclesiastical authorities as to Gemma's 
ability to fulfill certain canonical conditions were 
not dispelled, so that they remained unmoved in their 
refusal to allow the nuns to receive her. 

Therefore, Gemma's future path was shrouded 
in mystery. She was greatly perplexed at her un- 
successful efforts to do what our Lord had apparent- 
ly so clearly commanded her to undertake: "Renew 
all thy promises to Jesus, and add that in the month 
consecrated to Him (June), thou also wilt go to 
consecrate thyself to Him." Was this not a clear 
call to the religious life ? The darkness of uncertain- 
ty in which she was walking did not permit her to 
see the distant scene — a circumstance that was really 
a tender mercy. Resolute as she was in God's service, 
how could the gentle girl but be terrified had she 
been permitted to see in advance and in all the 
vivid truth of detail whither her feet were directed 
— the mount of immolation and the altar of sacrifice ! 



Even now the time was at hand which God had 
chosen for the immolation of this victim without 
blemish. 

God took care to prepare the sweet girl gradu- 
ally for the sacrifices that He was about to demand 
of her. Evidently it was God's will that in the fulfil- 
ment of His purpose to make her a reflection of the 
Crucified, she should have the merit of a sacrifice 
wholly voluntary. By means of the most powerful 
and sweetest attractions of grace it came to pass that 
God's designs over Gemma were the only object of 
all her desires. The heart-rending visions of the 
Crucified with which she was favored and by which 
the wounds of Jesus were impressed indelibly on 
her soul, gave to her holy desires new impulse. 
Henceforth she prayed with tearful earnestness for 
the grace of participation in the Savior's pains. 

>~-f"T the same time a heavenly voice was con- 

1 I tinually urging her to go on courageously to 

higher and better things. "Rise, take cour- 
age," said the voice, "abandon thyself without re- 
serve to Jesus; love Him with all thy being." These 
words added zest to her holy desires :"0 my Jesus, 
how greatly I wish to love Thee! but I don't know 
how." And the answer came: "Dost thou wish to 
love Jesus always ? Never cease even for a moment 
to suffer for Him. The cross is the throne of the 
true lover; the cross is the patrimony of the elect in 
this life.'' And at last when all was ready, this 
word came to her from Heaven : "Gemma, courage ! 
I await thee on Calvary, on that mount whither 
thy feet are directed." Thus the immaculate white- 
ness of a soul elevated to the highest peaks of per- 
fection and glorified by the golden light of heaven, 
was soon to be overcast (or rather say, embellished), 
with the crimson hue and solemn shade of Calvary. 
The eighth of June, 1899, was the day on which 
God chose to glorify before the Christian world 
the humble virgin of Lucca. That morning after 
communion our Lord gave her to understand that 
today He would grant her a great grace. It was 



THE f 

Thursday, the vigil of the feast of the Sacred Heart. 
In the evening, while Gemma was engaged in her 
usual devotions in honor of the Sacred Passion, she 
was suddenly wrapped out of her senses, and found 
herself in the presence of the Blessed Virgin and 
her Guardian Angel. They were there no doubt to 
support her in the painful ordeal which she was 
about to undergo. Then the Virgin Mary opened 
her mantel and covered her with it. "At that 
moment," she tells us, Jesus appeared with all his 
wounds open; but" 
from these wounds 
there no longer 
came forth blood 
but flames of fire. 
In an instant those 
flames came to 
touch my hands, 
my feet, and my 
heart. I felt as if 
I were dying, and 
should have fallen 
to the ground had 
not my Mother 
held me up, while 
all the time I re- 
mained beneath 
her mantle. I had 
to remain several 
hours in that posi- 
tion. Finally, she 
kissed my fore- 
head, all vanished, 
and I found my- 
self kneeling; but 
I still felt great 
pains in my hands, 
and feet, and _ " 

heart. I rose to go to bed, and became aware that 
blood was flowing from those parts where I felt 
pain. I covered them as well as I could, and then 
helped by my angel I was able to get into bed. In 
the morning I felt it difficult to go to Holy Com- 
munion, and I put on a pair of gloves to hide my 
hands. I could not remain standing and felt every 
moment that I should die. Those pains did not leave 
me until three o'clock on Friday — feast of the 
Sacred Heart." 

It is impossible within the narrow limits of this 
sketch to narrate all the details of Gemma's mystic 
martyrdom. But a brief summary of its more 



SIGN 

general features must not be omitted. These my- 
sterious sufferings always began on Thursday even- 
ing and always ceased on Friday afternoon. They 
occurred regularly every week for two years, when 
they ceased altogether in virtue of a formal command 
imposed on Gemma by her confessor — a command 
that God deigned to honor. 



w 



The Query 

Nicholas Ward 
I asked the heavens: What foe to God hath done 

This unexampled deed? The heavens exclaim: 
' Twas man; and we in horror snatched the sun 

From such a spectacle of guilt and shame." 
I asked the sea: the sea in fury boiled 

And answered with its voice of storms: " 'Twas man! 
My waves in panic at his crime recoiled, 

Disclosed th' abyss, and from earth's center ran." 
I asked the earth; the earth replied agast: 
" 'Twas man! and such strange pangs my bosom rent 
That still I groan, and shudder at the past. 

To man, gay, smiling, thoughtless man I went 
And asked him next; — he turned a scornful eye, 

Shook his proud head, but gave me no reply! 



ITH Gemma the stigmata, as these wounds 
are called, opened in various ways: some- 
times they came 
gradually from 
within; at others 
they appeared in- 
stantaneously, as 
if the ecstatic's 
hands were sud- 
denly transpierced 
with some sharp 
instrument, — the 
manner of the ap- 
pearance of the 
wounds always 
depending on the 
strength of the 
inner fire of Di- 
vine Love. When 
the wounds ap- 
peared a copious 
flow of blood, of 
course, always fol- 
lowed ; but the 
bleeding was not 
continual as long 
as the wounds re- 
mained. It came 
and went at irreg- 
ular intervals, 
waxing and waning with the impulses of Divine 
Love in her soul. 

But the five wounds were not the only 'marks 
of the Lord Jesus' that Gemma was destined to bear 
on her virginal body. Chosen by God to be the 
spouse of His Crucified Son, Gemma was enriched 
and adorned with all those wounds that rendered 
Him in His human nature so infinitely dear to the 
Father. 

With spontaneous generosity and whole-hearted 
courage Gemma co-operated with God's designs. 
When she was favored with a vision of Jesus muti- 
lated and bleeding as if fresh from the scourge, 



"HE + .SIGN 



Gemma would count those wounds with loving 
sorrow, begging Him meanwhile to allow her to 
share His wounds. When an angel displaying two 
crowns — one of lillies and the other of thorns — 
invited her to take her choice, she grasped the 
thorny one with amorous impetuosity, kissed it and 
pressed it to her heart, exclaming, "Give me that 
of Jesus." So it was with her other visions of the 
Passion — the intensity of her compassionate grief 
could be assuaged only by participation in all the 
sufferings of Christ. 

Therefore, when as if agonizng with Him in 
the garden, the crimson perspiration ran down her 
face and bedewed her whole body; when her hair 
was matted with blood from innumerable apertures 
in her scalp, as if it had been pricked in so many 
places by sharp thorns; when her body was furrowed 
by deep and bleeding gashes, like the brutal lacera- 
tions of the scourge; when her soul was inundated 
with the bitter waters of dereliction such as engulfed 
the Redeemer, and the palor of her countenance, 
the drawn mouth, the sunken eyes and cheeks, the 
laboring breath told of the martyrdom that she 
endured, — all was but the answer to her own ardent 
prayer; all was but so much ineffable consolation 
to her heroic soul from the infinite bounty of God. 

HOR a long time Gemma kept her miraculous 
wounds a secret, for she had a keen repug- 
nance to speak of herself, even to her con- 
fessor. Only her aunt learned of the stigmata at the 
time that Gemma received them; for the morning 
after the wounds appeared for the first time, feeling 
the need of telling someone, Gemma with outstretch- 
ed arms approached her aunt and said with touching 
simplicity: "Look, aunt, see what Jesus has done 
to me." Shocked at first to see her niece's hands 
bleeding and pierced with large wounds, the aunt 
later came to understand the mystery. 

Not until the end of July did Gemma tell her 
secret to the priest; and it is an interesting co-inci- 
dence that the first confessor to hear from Gemma's 
own lips the story of her miraculous wounds was a 
Passionist. When towards the end of June a Pas- 
sionist mission was opened at the Cathedral in 
Lucca, Gemma decided to make the holy mission. 
She was profoundly moved, she tells us, when she 
saw that the habit of the missionaries was exactly 
like the garb that St. Gabriel wore in the visions of 
him with which she had recently been favored, and 



immediately she felt a predelection for the mission- 
aries. 

On the last day of the mission at the general 
communion, our Lord spoke to Gemma, asking her 
with reference to the missionary whether she liked 
the habit of the Passionists, and whether she would 
like to be clothed in it. These words filled her with 
such emotion that she was unable to answer. Then 
Jesus added : "Thou shalt be a child of my Passion, 
and a beloved child. One of these shall be thy 
Father; go and explain everyhing." 

Gemma was overjoyed at these words, for, as 
she thought, they explicitly promised that she would 
one day be a Passionist nun, and that thus her 
longing to become a religious would eventually be 
gratified. Immediately, as if her soul had been 
delivered from the shackles of some malignant 
charm, all her aversion to tell her holy secret passed 
away. 

One Father Cajetan was the missionary to 
whom Gemma went and revealed all the wonderful 
things that God had wrought in her. The priest 
was very deeply impressed by her sublime narrative; 
but much more so, by the candor, the simplicity, 
the humility, of which Gemma's every word was 
redolent in the telling. He gave her prudent counsel 
and ended by urging her to reveal everything to her 
confessor without delay. 

^I"- ^SATER on when the missionary returned to 
It Lucca, he had the consolation of verifying 
Gemma's story by witnessing with his own 
eyes her miraculous wounds. He made a formal 
statement to Monsignor Volpi, Gemma's confessor, 
both of what he had seen as well as of his conviction 
that its origin was divine. Soon after to Father 
Cajetan's attestation was added that of the Provin- 
cial of the Passionists, Father Peter Mareschini, 
afterwards Archbishop of Camerino, who came to 
Lucca on the 20th of August, 1899, and also had the 
privilege of seeing Gemma's miraculous wounds. 

The sublime favors that we have enumerated 
were bestowed upon Gemma while living at No. 3 
via del Briscione, and no doubt this house will be 
a place of pilgrimage to future generations of Christ- 
ians. But another dwelling is destined to share this 
celebrity. In September, 1899, Gemma was adopted 
into the large and well-to-do family of Signor 
Giannini, at the request of his sister, Cecilia Giannini, 
who had learned to love and revere the angelic girl, 
(To be continued) 



Arcnconfraternit}) of 




the Sacred P 



assion 



"^^^^HE Rules of the Archconfraternity of the 
a £j Passion set forth the purpose of the society 
^^^V and the way to accomplish it. From them 
the members learn to treasure in their hearts 
the beautiful virtues of the Cross and to persuade 
others whenever possible to remember devoutly the 
sufferings and sorrows of Christ Crucified. 

Many reasons could be mentioned for the 
necessity or value of rules . As a train speeds along 
to its destination surely and safely by means of the 
iron rails, so every society asks the members to 
follow some rules in order to attain the object for 
which it was founded. Moreover, besides being a 
principal means to the end, the rules also foster a 
unity of thought and action among the members, 
which gives strength to the whole society. Is it 
not a pleasing sight to watch soldiers drilling and 
marching? Something of the same pleasure may 
be experienced on witnessing a number of persons 
acting together as directed by the rules of a society. 
Finally, the rules not only form a unifying bond, 
but they are likewise a source of inspiration and 
encouragement, enlightening and guiding the mem- 
bers, and often rewarding them, in a measure, for 
their loyalty and service to one another and to the 
society. 

The few rules of our Archconfraternity are 
directive rather than preceptive. They are not 
commands. They do not oblige members in the 
sense that if neglected or omitted, a penalty is 
incurred or advantages of membership are forfeited. 
But they show what is to be understood by the 
Archconfraternity of the Passion and suggest those 
public and private exercises expressive of compas- 
sion for the Divine Redeemer in His grief and pain, 
and sincere gratitude for the plentiful fruits of 
redemption. 

St. Paul of the Cross had but one rule for the 
faithful. He would entreat them to spend fifteen 
minutes every day before a Crucifix. In glowing 
language the Saint would picture the infinite love 
and generous sacrifice of Jesus Crucified, the repa- 
ration He made for sin, and His exemplification of 
every virtue. He would then point out the ingrati- 



tke Society 



tude in giving over much time to work, pleasure, 
and sleep, and of never recalling to mind what 
Christ suffered for men's souls. To offset this indif- 
ference the Saint used to instruct the people to gaze 
upon a Crucifix for a quarter of an hour every day 
as an expression of gratitude, and to obtain for them- 
selves and their families the immense blessings of 
the Passion of Our Lord. 

"Think of the Passion of Our Redeemer," says 
St. Paul of the Cross, "for a quarter of an hour 
every day, and you will see that all will go well with 
you, and that you will live far removed from sin. 
I have converted by this means the most hardened 
sinners and so sincere was their repentance that, 
when I afterwards heard their confessions, I could 
no longer find matter sufficient for absolution. So 
remarkable a change came about because they were 
faithful to the rule I had given them, to think of 
the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ." 

As some found it difficult to be faithful to this 
rule, the Saint proposed to them to recite piously 
every day five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys 
in honor of the Passion of Our Lord, and that it 
would become better known to men. 

^— f T the present day, there are only two rules 
1 | which, in every part of the world, are common 
to the Archconfraternity of the Passion. They 
are the first two rules given in the manual and read 
as follows: "The object of the Archconfraternity 
is to promote a grateful remembrance of and tender 
devotion to the Passion and Death of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the Sorrows of His Holy Mother. 
The members keep this object in view, and pray 
daily that they may know better and may make 
known Jesus Crucified." The second general rule 
refers to the Black Scapular of the Passion. "The 
members are formally invested with the Black 
Scapular of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of 
Our Lord Jesus Christ. They wear this Scapular 
constantly." (The Scapular Medal, blessed by one 
authorized to do so, may be substituted for the 
Scapular itself.) 



THE 1* SIGN 



Besides the above general rules, the Archcon- 
fraternity in different countries has adoped parti- 
cular practices, which assist the members in many 
ways to cultivate true devotion to Our Lord's 
Passion and to enlist the services of other apostles 
to give greater honor to Jesus Crucified and insure 
the salvation and holiness of many souls. The 
particular rules followed in English speaking 
countries bring out these exercises of piety, which 
are already familiar to all Catholics. For example, 
the members are asked to be present at the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass, the "Memorial of the Passion" 
as often as they can. Once a month, the members 
should receive Holy Communion, wearing the badge 
of the Passion. They are urged to practice some 
devotion every day in memory of the Passion, such 
as the devout veneration of the Crucifix, following 
the Stations of the Cross, or the recitation of the 
Litany of the Passion. The members are exhorted 
to devote the Friday of every week in a special 
manner to the memory of Christ's Passion and 
Death. Attendance at the meeting every month is 
an important rule, for then interest in the society 
is renewed and greater enthusiasm is inspired in 
promoting devotion to Jesus Crucified. The order of 
exercises at the meetings, the distribution of devo- 
tional leaflets or books or pictures, different works 
of zeal, and similar matters are usually left to the 
Director of the Archconfraternity to regulate, and 
are not considered rules of the society. 

Speaking of the apostleship of the Cross and 
Passion of Our Lord, St. Paul of the Cross after 
giving directions for missions and retreats, says, 
something very pertinent to members of the Arch- 
confraternity : "Circumstances will open numerous 
other ways of promoting so great a work, and ac- 
complishing their pious desire and purpose, to the 
great advancement of their own souls, and of those 
of others. For the love of God is very ingenious, 
and is proved not so much by the words, as by the 
deeds and examples of the lovers." These words 
of the Saint express the idea of the Archconfratern- 
ity. The members are not called upon to follow 
strict rules, but rather to learn the love of Christ 
Crucified and then do all in their power to make 
known the Sacred Passion to others. 

Those who faithfully and generously make the 
rules of the Archconfraternity their own can be 
certain they are doing much to honor the Passion 
of Our Lord and secure for themselves and others 
innumerable blessings in this life and for eternity. 



>?^AVING treated of the rules, which serve as a 

I P guide to the members, it will be interesting 

to mention here those laws which support and 
protect the whole society. The new code of the 
Church's laws contains a chapter devoted exclusively 
to archconfraternities, or sodalities of primary rank. 
The society is placed under the supervision of the 
Holy See. A chief society, or centre of activity, is 
required. The Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Benedict 
XV., appointed the celebrated shrine of the Holy 
Stairs, familiarly called the Scala Santa, in Rome, 
to be the centre of the Archconfraternity of the 
Passion. The Supreme Director is the Superior 
General of the Congregation of the Passion, who 
resides in Rome. Through him the Holy See issues 
those documents, which are necessary to establish 
the society in different parts of the world. To estab- 
lish the Archconfraternity in any church, or institu- 
tion, the first requisite is to obtain permission from 
the Bishop of the place. This permission is then 
forwarded to the Superior General of the Passionists, 
and he publishes the diploma of affiliation to the 
Archconfraternity at the Scala Santa. He grants all 
the privileges, which have been conferred on the 
society of law, and makes known the indulgences 
that may be gained by members. 

The Supreme Moderator then is the only one, 
who can make rules effecting the Archconfraternity 
and all its branches. For each local branch there is 
appointed a Director, who determines special laws 
for the members in his vicinity. To him it falls to 
assign the day for meeting, to keep a register of the 
names of sodalists. It is his duty to keep the Sacred 
Passion of Our Lord before the members, by instruc- 
tions, sermons, and by means of leaflets, magazines, 
and books. When receiving new members, he in- 
vests them in the Black Scapular of the Passion. 
From time to time, he reminds the members of the 
privileges they enjoy and the rich indulgences it is 
in their power to gain. The success of the Archcon- 
fraternity depends in great measure on the Director, 
and its membership will be more and more numerous 
and more zealous as he directs them in honoring and 
preaching Christ Crucified. 

The Archconfraternity of the Passion, approved, 
blessed, protected by the Church, unites in one 
great sodality all the apostles of the Cross and 
Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, it assembles all 
nations on the "Hill of Calvary," it makes known 
in every tongue the wonderful mysteries of Jesus 
Crucified. 



33 



What Do You Know About: 



Indulgenc 



"^^^'HE ordinary Catholic takes little interest in 
M Cj the doctrine of indulgences, but for four 
^^^^ hundred years his Protestant neighbor has 
found this doctrine a very interesting and 
fertile field for activity, and all over the world has 
made the subject very interesting for priests and 
bishops, — very interesting indeed, — and very 
annoying. 

Because an indulgence is a detail of the religious 
life of our people, the ordinary Catholic looks on it 
as merely a minor thing. But if he will try to under- 
stand that Protestant misrepresentation of it has 
in the past ruined thousands of our own people and 
kept still more thousands out of the true Church; 
that this was the very subject that brought about 
the greatest disaster that has fallen on Christ's 
Church in a thousand years, — I mean of course the 
revolt of Luther; if he will recall that this is the 
breakfast food of the bigot and the half educated 
minister, who not only travels through our southern 
and western states but through South America from 
Panama to Cape Horn, through Canada from Hali- 
fax to Vancouver, across the Pacific to the Oriental 
world, everywhere using the topic of indulgences 
to poison the minds of millions against the Church, 
he will cease to regard indulgences as a trivial 
matter and will come to look upon them as a very 
important and interesting subject. 

1. Is an indulgence the pardon of sin for a 
price ? 

2. Does the priest sell indulgences to the 
people like a hunting licence — for a fixed price? 

3. Does the law of the Church tell the buyer of 
indulgences how many and what kind of sins he may 
commit, as the state law tells the hunter how many 
heads of game he may bag for the season? 

4. Does the priest get his support from the 
taxes on indulgences? 

5. Is this disgraceful traffic now plied in the 
secrecy of the Catholic confessional? 

These are only a few of the ignorant crudities 
with which the minds of our unsuspecting non- 
Catholic neighbors are filled by their fellows, whose 
ignorance is as deep, if not as pitiful, as their own. 



The menace of this widespread falsehood is evident, 
and it can be fought down only by a knowledge of 
the truth. 

To all the previous questions and to all of their 
ilk, there is but one answer: No. An indulgence 
is not in any sense the pardon of sin. It is not a 
licence to commit sin of any kind or degree. It is 
not subject to tax. The priest must look for his 
support elsewhere. The very nature of indulgences 
demands that these be granted, published, and 
imparted in the open, and always apart from the 
Sacrament of Penance. And finally, they do not 
pretend directly or accurately to determine the length 
of time that a soul is to be imprisoned in the purify- 
ing pains of Purgatory. 

All this is made plain by the simple definition 
of an indulgence, which is a remission before God 
of temporal punishment due to sins, the guilt of 
which sins is already forgiven or wiped away, either 
by sacramental absolution or by an act of perfect 
contrition. This favor can be dispensed only by 
proper authority, with well defined conditions. 
These two sentences comprise the whole teaching of 
the Church on indulgences. They should be read 
and re-read. They show: 

1st. That an indulgence is not concerned with 
sin, either past, present or future, with the guilt nor 
with the stain which sin leaves on the soul; but 
merely with one of the results of sin — the burden of 
temporal punishment owing as satisfaction to divine 
justice for sin. 

2d. Absolution in taking from the penitent 
the guilt and stain of sin discharges the debt of 
eternal punishment, but leaves the debt of temporal 
punishment still unpaid. 

3d. Indulgences pay this undischarged debt 
in part or in whole; and so we have a partial or a 
plenary indulgence; the partial remits a part, the 
plenary remits the whole obligation of temporal 
punishment. 

No Catholic may doubt that the Church has the 
right to grant indulgences. Christ gave His Church 
unlimited power over sin and sin's consequences. 
His words are : "All power is given to me in heaven 
and on earth; and as the living Father hath sent me, 



THE + SIGN 



so I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost and 
go forth : whosesoever sins you shall forgive they 
are forgiven them, and whosesoever sins you shall 
retain they are retained." This commission knows 
no limitation; it is universal and absolute. If the 
Church has the greater power to actually forgive a 
man's offences and to declare him innocent, she must 
have the lessor power to forgive a mere result of 
sin. The whole includes the part. Thus has the 
Church ever interpreted the words of Christ. The 
Council of Trent irrevocably settled the matter by 
condemning anyone, who should dare to teach the 
opposite. 

The authority to grant indulgences rests with 
those alone, who are the heirs of the apostolic office; 
and so, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the 
Pope can grant indulgences. All other inferior 
clergy can do so only in so far as they may be 
authorized. 

When the Church grants a partial indulgence, 
for example, of one hundred days or seven years, 
does that mean that should we gain this indulgence 
our purgatory will be shortened to a corresponding 
number of days or years? By no means. It does 
mean that the temporal debt due to our sins has 
been remitted to that degree to which God would 
have -reduced it were we to have performed one 
hundred days or seven .years of the ancient canonical 
penances of the Church. In the early Church the 
law specified the penance for specific sins; the con- 
fessor was obliged to impose these specified penan- 
ces, and the penitent was obliged in conscience to 
fulfill them. These works were primarily corrective 
or disciplinary and were severe penitential acts. As 
to the merit of these canonical penances in the sight 
of God, it is beyond the power of man to determine; 
neither can we measure the indulgences of today. 
But we do know that where man is exacting, God 
is indulgent, and we can well feel that our indul- 
gences shall prevail with His Mercy vastly beyond 
the terms expressed — that one day shall be to Him 
as a thousand years. That is God's way. 

Indulgences are granted under very exact con- 
ditions, — conditions which affect the one who seeks 
an indulgence and the work such a one must do to 
gain it. The petitioner must be a baptized Catholic, 
in the state of grace, and united with the Church. 
Hence, heretics, schismatics, apostates, excommuni- 
cated persons, or persons in the state of mortal sin, 



cannot gain an indulgence. Besides the petitioner 
must fully accomplish the appointed work, and this 
in the manner prescribed. 

The works prescribed for the gaining of an in- 
dulgence must be personally performed. 

The gainer of an indulgence cannot apply it to 
any living person. 

Indulgences granted by the Pope, unless other- 
wise specified, are applicable to the poor souls in 
Purgatory. These embrace those indulgences, with 
which we are most familiar, as, the indulgences of 
the Way of the Cross, of the Rosary, of the Porti- 
uncula, of the Archconfraternity of the Passion. 

The living gain indulgences by way of absolu- 
tion, — by the exercise of the juridical authority 
which the Successor of St. Peter has over all the 
living members of the Church. The souls of the 
faithful departed receive the benefit of indulgences 
by way of suffrage or prayer. The Pope has not 
direct judisdiction over the dead; the souls of the 
departed are in the hands of God alone. The Church 
begs God to accept, in atonement for the sins of the 
dead, those works of the living to which the indul- 
gences are attached. 

The great indulgences of the Church, or those 
which are exceptionally rich, are : 

1st. The Jubilee, which is a plenary indul- 
gence accompanied with special privileges granted 
for a specified time. It differs from an ordinary 
plenary indulgence, in solemnity, in the special 
powers granted to confessors during the time of 
Jubilee, and in the very extraordinary graces which 
accompany it. 

2d. The Stations of the Cross. This is the 
most richly endowed of all the ordinary works of 
piety, and the performance of this act calls for 
nothing more than these two conditions : that we 
pass from station to station; that in doing so, we 
think on the Passion of Christ. Nothing more is 
prescribed. It is no wonder then that so easy, so 
simple, and so very rich a practice is so very popular 
and is steadily growing in favor among our people. 

3d. The indulgence "in articulo mortis" is a 
plenary indulgence granted at the hour of death. 
This great privilege is attached to crucifixes blessed 
by the Passionist Fathers. A person who has a 
crucifix so blessed near or about him at the moment 
of death receives the grace of the indulgence "in 
articulo mortis." 



35 



Index to Wortkv?kile Reading 



THE CHRISTIAN MIND. By Dom Anscar 
Vonier O.S.B., Abbot of Buskfast. St. Louis: B. 
Herder Co. Price $1.50. 

Abbot Vonier has, on previous occasions contributed 
two works of great merit which are of much service to 
the serious reader who wishes to get beyond the cate- 
chism and the works of popular instruction to an under- 
standing of some of the depths lying below the palcid 
depths of catholic dogma. In the present book his aim is 
the same, though in the Christian Mind he is treating of 
the ascetical side of revealed religion. The same un- 
qualified praise however is not due to this work that 
the former ones merited. One could not but rejoice 
at the singular brightness and clarity in Abbot Vonier's 
former writings. This singular lucidity, which on former 
occasions enabled the author to bring out profound and 
subtle truths appears dimmed in this present work. Too 
often in the Christian Mind is there ponderous writing, 
heavier than even good broad shoulders are capable of 
bearing; too often is there a disconcerting avowal that 
this or that is plain to the reader, when the truth seems 
to be that closer fidelity to the point of view would have 
elicited from the reader, not from the author, the grateful 
assurance that the point was evident. 

We are strongly of the opinion that the entire 
Chapter X should not have found a place in this book. 
It will unsettle the minds of most readers, if indeed it 
will not convey a wrong and mischievous impression. 
Those who are familiar with the question treated in this 
chapter will, we think, still prefer the old presentation 
rather than the abbot's novel one; and this, despite the 
learned author's claim of an exclusive scriptural warrant, 
a claim not likely to shake the conviction of his opponents 
that their view is solidly based on the New Testament. 

Our purpose is not to deter the public from reading 
this book. Not withstanding some defects like to these 
mentioned, it may fairly be considered a most important 
contribution, one of a small number, to our ascetic library. 
There has been a void in English of works treating of the 
place of the Incarnate Life in the lives of men and this 
will help to fill this long felt need. 

With the exception of a few commendable works 
in translation, mostly from the French and German, there 
is a derth of any spiritual treatises on this fundamental 
phase of asceticism in our language. "Christ's role," the 
author says, and if he refers to English, says rightly, 
the "role as the life of man is an unexplored field of 
spiritual possibilities." Truly, the God Incarnate is es- 
sentially and intrinsically the life of individual souls. His 
most constant and solemn assertion is that He is Life, 
man's life. 

The whole range of the Pauline Epistles is covered 
to show forth the christian mind as St. Paul conceived 
it. For St. Paul, to live, was simply Christ. The Chris- 
tian Mind has distinct value as a commentary on St. Paul. 
Indeed, the author tells us that he was inclined to name 
his book the Christ of St. Paul. What a pity that use 
was not made for quotation of the recently published 
Westminister version of St. Paul's epistles. . In so doing 
he would have added light to light. The reader of the 
Christian Mind will profit much if in looking up the 
scriptural references the Westminister version already 
referred to is used. 



THE HOUNDS OF BANBA. By Daniel 
Corkery. Dublin: The Talbot Press, Limited. 
Price $1.50. 

In this neat book is a collection of stories, the 
episodes in each being taken from Irish life such as has 
been lived in Ireland since the Easter Rebellion of 1916 
to the present lull. Banba is an ancient name for Erin 
and here symbolises the soul of that country. Any one 
reading the Hounds of Banba will agree with the patriot 
portrayed in the character, Seumas, "Ireland was safe; 
her soul was the same old priceless soul: no wealth could 

purchase it: no power break it." "After 

the Rising there was in Ireland, as everyone knows, a 
sense of spiritual exaltation that laughed all the wisdom 
of this world to scorn. As Seumas put it to me : the soul 
of Ireland had been more deeply influenced through the 
hundred men who had died for her in Dublin than the 
soul of England through the hundreds of thousands who 
had died for her in France." .... "It is intensity 
only that counts — intensity alone can raise vision. 
Vision! — The land was swept with it — Our lives were 

dazzled : we lived nobler." "And since 

everybody had begun to learn Irish, it seemed that every- 
body had at last came to know all this." 

Those who were in a position to know the truth 
about the Irish Republic could have had no doubt that 
this prophesy would eventually come true; but we were 
hardly prepared for the English debacle we are witness- 
ing today. Capitulation, not humanitarianism, accounts 
for England's executive submitting to the parleys now in 
progress. It is not now as it was in the days of Elizabeth 
and Cromwell ; truth, today, cannot be trammelled ; it is 
abroad on the air. The day is gone when English junkers 
can piously pose behind a screen of official, systematic 
calumny. When the world began to awake to the doings 
of the Black and Tans it peered to discover the leaders, 
but in vain ; they were wrapped in an impenetrable cloud 
of mystery. When the world had fully awakened the 
mists were dissipated and the cry went up "Elizabeth 
rediviva ! Cromwell come to life again !" The truth was 
out ; the masked were unmasked. Murder gangs there 
were; pure, exalted patriotism there was; but the torch 
of home-love was burning within the Republican ranks, 
the black clouds of murder and rapine were hanging 
heavy over the tents of the Invader. 

Each struggle of the Gael has had its bard to throw 
his faggot and also keep aflame the patriotism of his race. 
Immortal literature was born of the Easter uprising. 
A new galaxy of writers appeared in Ireland. Among 
these is Daniel Corkery. He has the varied gifts of poet, 
dramatist and raconteur. These gifts he possesses to a 
degree rare even in one of his race. Thus bountifully 
endowed he took up the task of interpreting for the 
world the final act in the century-old tragedy of English 
frightfullness and unconquerable Irish patience. Mr. 
Corkery has found a place in the elect school of Banba's 
prophets, though he himself assumes no higher role than 
simple chronicler. He has the eye of a seer and the power 
of the romancer; he writes of his beloved with the 
conscious freedom of a bethrothed. Katharine Tynan 
says: "lie has struck a blow for Sinn Fein which might 
make its fighting men envious." 



The rapid growth in our circulation, a growth surpassing the most sanguine expectations, 
necessitated an expansion in our printing department. This readjustment has been the occasion of 
the delay in delivery. Such an augury of success will, we know, be a source of satisfaction to our 
many friends. Through this improvement has entailed some inconvenience to our readers, it will 
assure for the future a more efficient service. — The Editors. 

36 




^mum 



A NATIONAL <J> CATHOLIC 
/MONTHLY MACAZINESs 



VOL. I. 


DECEMBER, 1921 








Mo. 5 




7p ttit jTT m\ ttu w irn n-j; rr- •; ■. vr i- 7 _gi ttjjt tjit tjtt ttit 


SS21Z 


I' 37 


TV W TTIT T 


5MM22E^! 32JDMDI33J £ 




Greetings! 

TKe Passionist FatKers most cordially wish tKe many friends 
and patrons of TKe Sign a Happy and Holy Christmas. 

It is owing largely to tKe unselfish co-operation of tKese tKat 
The Sign has become an efficient spokesman of Catholic 
Truth and an attractive Messenger of the Sacred Passion. 

As The Sign has for its sole purpose the extending of 
Christ's Kingdom, the Fathers trust that its friends will regard 
as a privilege the opportunity of sharing in its holy" mission. 

May the Divine Babe of Bethlehem spread His hands in 
loving benediction on all the readers, subscribers, contributors 
and well-wishers of The Sign. 



ftMftflWBftBrtfl 



iffiffiffiffiffiimvmrrKitisa^^ ^r/svtsvj* 



-^H'Tu^ni; 



\ 

The Cross in Betklekem 

A Christmas Harmon}? 

J. Martin Bowes 



■^^^■>HE Gospels furnish us with few details of 
# C] the miraculous events which transpired 
^^^^ within the hallowed precincts of the humble 
shelter in Bethlehem on the night in which 
Christ was born. 

We are told, simply, that while there Mary's 
days were accomplished that she should be deli- 
vered and that she brought forth her first-born Son 
and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes and laid 
Him in a manger. 

"It is the custom in those Southern parts to 
treat the new-born babe in a way strange to this age 
and country. The infant is swathed around with 
cloths much resembling the winding-sheet, the 
bandages and ligaments of the dead."* So was it 
with the Savior. The first fond offices rendered to 
Him by His gentle mother at His birth were strange- 
ly similar to the last sad services with which she 
parted company with Him at the tomb. And if 
we are to believe, with her great and saintly cham- 
pions, that from the time the Holy Ghost over- 
shadowed her, the life of her Divine Child lay open 
before her, how tinged with melancholy must needs 
have been her joy at having brought a Son into the 
world, by the piercing remembrance of the tragic 
events to be which the swaddling bands must in- 
evitably have brought to mind. 

Be this as it may, — and there is nothing in it 
difficult to faith — it serves to put before us a thought 
most appropriate to the time, viz., that the Divine 
Infant, the Word made Flesh, as He lay in His 
manger, was, as His name betokened, a Savior; 
that already, within the Crib, the work of redemp- 
tion had begun; that the Passion of Christ, if we 
understand by the term expiatory suffering, found 
its source within the Cave of Bethlehem. 

It was the purpose of the Savior's coming into 
the world to render to the Justice of God that in- 
finite atonement for sin which fallen man of himself 
could not make, to do penance for the long and 
vitiated line of Adam, and this mission of penance 
is marked in every feature of the Crib. 

"Mary was with the child," we are told, when 

♦Omnipotence in Bonds — Cardinal Newman. 



she and her spouse arrived in the City of David. The 
imperial enrollment had drawn so great a conflux of 
strangers to the little town that there was no room 
in the inn — mean and comfortless as such places 
are — for the two travelers from Nazareth, and so 
they sought shelter in a rude grotto attached to the 
inn as a stable. Here, "while all things were in 
quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her 
course," in circumstances so devoid of all earthly 
comfort as to make the mere imagination of a 
humbler or more cheerless nativity impossible — 
Mary's Son was born. 

Whether there were glories wrought on that 
night within the cave, we know not, for the Evange- 
lists do not disclose them, they tell us only of Mary, 
having with her own hands wrapped the Infant in 
swaddling clothes and having laid Him in a manger. 
This much we are certain of, that the abode is one 
of utter desolation and that the Babe lying upon 
the scattered straw is the Eternal Word of God, 
the Brightness of Eternal Light, and the Unspotted 
Mirror of God's Majesty. There is no overpower- 
ing immensity within these rough-hewn walls, no 
paralizing splendor, no blinding glory; just little- 
ness, feebleness, infancy. The Child speaks not, 
He is lifted in another's arms, He makes no resis- 
tence, He is seemingly, as others of His kind; yet, 
not one circumstance of His environment escapes 
Him, neither the fetid odors, nor the cold straw, nor 
the raw air, nor the herded cattle; not one circum- 
stance but is consciously experienced and eternally 
registered. He is intensely, painfully, awake to them 
all; already He has, in the words of the Apostle, 
"learned by the things he has suffered." 

Once on a time, Moses, the mightiest of God's 
prophets, he too a savior of his people, while still 
an infant and all unconscious of his plight, was made 
to suffer, as he himself tells us in the fullness of 
his years, by the harshness of a despot. In a rough 
basket, daubed with pitch and slime, he was set 
adrift among the sedges of the river whence he 
was rescued by the piteous, spontaneous cry which 
the very misery of his condition rung from him. 
Not so was it with the Child of Bethlehem. If tears 



THE 1* SIGN 



coursed down His infant cheeks, and if a sob broke 
on His baby lips, it was not because of the frailty 
of infancy or the bleakness of His dwelling. — No! — 
"His tears were drawn from Him," says St. Bernard, 
"by compassion for His brethren, by the vision of 
men's sins, and they are part of the price He must 
pay for sin's forgiveness." 



© 



HE Word was made flesh to appease the jus- 
tice of His 
Father, to 
atone for the sins 
of all mankind, 
and He chose to 
take up His heavy 
work from the 
very moment He 
began to be. 

Whence, o f 
the distress and 
suffering conse- 
quent upon His 
infancy and His 
squalid shelter, 
nothing is lost; all 
is eagerly gather- 
ed up and freely 
offered in expia- 
tion for men's 
sins. As Mary 
lays Him in the 
manger she can, 
in very truth, 
adore Him as her 
God and her suf- 
fering Savior. 
Barely has the 
Precious Blood 
yet established its 
course within His 
veins than heav- 
enly choirs are 
proclaiming H i s 

advent and commanding the shepherds to hasten 
over to Bethlehem and there to do homage to the 
new-born Babe as their Savior. Whilst they kneel 
prostrate before His crib, it is their Redeemer who 
beams upon them, and if the Justice of the A 1 - 
mighty alone had been in question, the great work 
of salvation had already been copiously accom- 
plished. 



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Here in this dark and dreary cave, offering but 
scant protection to beasts of burden, are terminated 
the sacrifices of the Old Law; here, in circumstances 
as wretched as were possible on earth, the Infant 
Savior, as the Great High Priest, inaugurates the 
Law of Grace; here, on His bed of straw, as upon 
an altar, Jesus offers to the Eternal Father, not the 
blood of sheep or goats, but His own frail body, 
the living tabernacle not made with hands, aj the 
sole pure oblation 
that can satisfy 
for man's ini- 
quities. 

Here we be- 
hold the Expected 
of Nations, the 
Lamb w it h o u t 
Spot — Him, Who 
alone taketh away 
the sins of the 
world — Him, Who 
was slain from 
the beginning, — 
the Infant Jesus, 
a victim from 
birth. Ere His 
feeble pulse had 
well begun to 
measure the term 
of his mortal life, 
the tragedy of the 
Passion was in 
progress; as His 
life ended so did 
it begin; "the im- 
molation of Cal- 
vary," says St. 
Chrysostom, "was 
but the supreme 
culmination of the 
drama, the first 
scene of which 
w a s staged in 



SHADOW OF THE CROSS 



Bethlehem." 

*"" — I'ESUS initiates on the pallet of straw what 
\\" He is to finish on the wood of the Cross. 
Within the narrow limits of the manger, He 
feels His soul consumed by that flame of divine 
zeal for the salvation of souls, which later on in 
life, He was to reveal in the words : "I have a 



THE + SIGN 



baptism wherewith I am to be baptised, and how 
am I straightened until it be accomplished;" mean- 
ing, I must submit to bitter suffering, yea even to 
the length of laying down My life; for such is the 
part I have freely chosen, but how am I straightened, 
constrained, bound down, from carrying My desire, 
at once, into effect! 

Prevented, indeed, is the new-born Savior, pre- 
vented by the dumb impotency of babyhood, by the 
encircling bands, by the pailing of the crib. Already 
He benignly hears the sinner's plea, but His tiny 
hands cannot yet be lifted in absolution, His throb- 
bing heart even now clasps to itself in one compre- 
hensive embrace all the sons of men, but His tongue 
cannot so much as lisp the sentiments which .stir 
within His breast; one day His shoulders are to 
bear the weight of a ponderous cross taken up for 
our correction, but now He is manacled and fettered 
by the solicitous hands of a creature; His divine 
intelligence sweeps the horizon of human affairs 
and the spectre of a cross looms up gaunt before 
Him, but His infant feet can not yet trudge the 
circuitous path to Calvary. Man fell from grace in 
the free exercise of mature power, he was to be 
restored to grace only by One in the full bloom of 
perfect manhood. Hence Bethlehem must remain 
but the first milestone on the divinely chartered, 
penitential road of Redemption. 

True it is, and we ought to strive hard to com- 
prehend it, the Babe that lies within the Crib in all 
the loveliness of innocent, helpless infancy — is even 
now the conscious Victim of the sins of the world. 
The joy which reigned about the cold cave on the 
first Christmas night was not without its alloy of 
sorrow. God does not change His ways nor His 
only Son His character, as the Apostle writes— 
"Jesus Christ, yesterday, today, and the same for- 
ever." With Christ there is no forgetting, no specu- 
lation; with Him, the past is ever present and the 
future is ever nigh. So that we may affirm, follow- 
ing out the thought suggested by the most penetrat- 
ing religious thinker of the last century, Cardinal 
Newman, that our Blessed Lord lived His whole 
life in every moment of it. The span which bridges 
Bethlehem and Calvary is one of conscious vicarious 
suffering. 

>—T MODERN painter, taking his inspiration 

I I from this doctrine, has left us a touching 

portrayal of it in a picture known as "The 
Shadow of Death." He depicts a domestic scene 



within the workshop at Nazareth. Mary is upon her 
knees engaged in some menial task. Shavings be- 
strew the floor; neglected tools lie at hand — the saw 
still clamped in a half-severed board. The Savior 
stands in the foreground, His arms uplifted in the 
act of relieving the strain of muscles long cramped. 
His feaures tell of sustained fatigue and extreme 
weariness. The sunlight is falling upon Him in such 
wise as to cast athwart the wall a dark shadowy 
imprint of a cross. The tense, startled attitude of 
His mother whose gaze is rivited on the ominous 
spectre, so distinctly outlined, shows that she both 
sees and understands. Thus does the artist with 
his brush, vividly bring before us an imaginative 
conception of a profound truth embedded in the 
deposit of faith; a truth formulated long centuries 
ago, by the author of the Imitation of Christ, into 
the since universally accepted canon of Catholic 
teaching, "For not even our Lord Jesus Christ was 
ever for one hour without the anguish of His 
Passion, so long as he lived, Christ's whole life was 
a cross and a martyrdom." 

If we peer into the recesses of the Cave of 
Bethlehem, with the keen eyes of a glowing faith, 
we shall see that, in very truth, the Cross of Calvary 
lies aslant the Crib. 

Apt is the saying: "there is pleasure born of 
pain." Christmas is a season of exuberant joy, a 
season when contagious gladness is a fioat on the very 
air; but he does not penetrate its true significance nor 
tap its richest vein of blessing who overlooks its 
basic constituent of sadness. Christian tradition 
teaches us to bring into God's house at Christmas, 
ever-green trees, the fir and the pine and the cedar, 
commemorative of the trees of the wood, spoken of 
by the prophet, that clapped their hands and exulted 
at the coming of the Lord, and to intersperse the 
green branches with sprigs of holly that the crimson 
berries may keep before our minds the red blood- 
drops that one day the Infant is to shed for the 
soul's eternal cleansing. 

The real Christmas spirit, a unison of the blithe 
strains of gladness rising above the minor notes of 
sadness, is the spirit which should pervade the 
Christian's life. It is the spirit which animated the 
great Apostle of the Crucified, St. Paul, in the depths 
of whose soul there brooded "a continual sorrow," 
while on its placid surface there played a perpetual 
joy. "Let us exhibit ourselves," he writes, "as 
sorrowful yet always rejoicing." 



© 



Fidelis of the Cross 

(James Kent Stone) 
Walter George Smith 



HE life of this noble priest, which closed 
at San Mateo, California, October 14, 1921, 
was so varied 



as to bear all 
the aspects of a ro- 
mance. Born in Bos- 
ton, November, 10, 
1840, he was the son 
of the Rev. John S. 
Stone, then of the 
Theological Seminary 
of Cambridge, and 
founder of the Epis- 
copal Seminary in 
Philadelphia. H i s 
mother was a daughter 
of Chancellor James 
Kent, one of the great- 
est of judges and legal 
authors that America 
has produced. He 
bore the name of this 
ancestor and gave it 
further illustration 
until in 1878 he be- 
came a Passionist and 
received a name sing- 
ularly appropriate, 
Fidelis of the Cross. 

His life may be 
readily divided into 
three periods — youth 
and young manhood, 
till he graduated at 
Harvard in the class 
of 1861; then a few 
years of travel, study 
at the University of 
Gottingen in Ger- 
many, service as a 
soldier in the Civil 
War, his ordination as 
an Episcopalian Cler- 
gyman, which occur- 
red in 1866; finally, 
from his conversion in 1870 until his death. 

He married very young to Miss Cornelia Fay 
daughter of a distinguished Boston family. At 



A Tribute 



The Mewman of Kiev? England, so I like 
to call Kim. One of those gifted beyond measure, 
yet displacing wealth rather of nature than of art. 
Fidelis, they call him, his brethren of the govCn. 
Humility his chosen state and virtue, ill according 
with the reason his talents bring him. Yet he is 
strong in action, nowhere showing signs of weak- 
ness. Full voiced and full hearted, preaching in 
tones of Vehemence the bitter and the svJeet of 
Christ's meek Gospel. 

I love him better, it may, be than I do his 
doctrine. Of old he reached my heart, not by* 
charm of Weakness. No, but fiery strength of 
love divine consuming with a breath of flame my 
soul and all my being. 

I call him Newman. It pleases me to mark 
the parity between them. He is different. He 
has more dash and verve than the Englishman, but 
lacks the quality that distinguishes our mother- 
country from this nation, at least for English taste 
we none of us have weight enough, But oh, his 
spirit is tremendous with all the finer instincts 
Ttfell developed to discern and all the qualities to 
aid and make successful the irresistible resolution 
to vCork and to accomplish, And for this I lov"e 
him, for this I place him high over all my house- 
hold gods. 

Can I but be true to the lofty ideals he has 
set before me, all may" ;9et be well in that glad 
day when we shall stand to make account of all 
the blessings Christ has gK>en me, this love of 
ours may deepen vJith Charity divine. — M. 

Note. This tribute was found among the 
papers of Theodore Dehon Smith (Father Mau- 
rice, C.P.), who died February 15, 1894, at Buenos 
Aires, while working with Father Fidelis.— Author 



thirty he found himself the widowed father of three 
daughters. He was already well known in his 
church and in the 
world of scholarship. 
He had been profes- 
sor of classics, and 
subsequently presi- 
dent successively of 
Kenyon College at 
Gambier, Ohio, and of 
Hobart College at 
Geneva, N. Y. Before 
giving a sketch of the 
third and longest 
period of his life, it 
will be well to fill up 
a few of the outlines 
of the first two peri- 
ods, and dwell upon 
his natural gifts and 
characteristics. 



Y S I CALLY, 
he was unusual- 
ly strong and 
nandsome. More than 
six feet in height, he 
was perfectly pro- 
portioned and grace- 
ful in his movements. 
His face was lighted 
up by e xpressive 
brown eyes; his smile 
was winning, his voice 
perfectly modulated, 
whether in conversa- 
tion or in oratory. He 
had a keen sense of 
humor, the concomi- 
tant of keen percep- 
tion. Born in the best 
circles of society, the 
self - restraint of a 
gentleman was as a 
second nature. His 
natural virtues would have made him an attractive 
character under any circumstances. Although he 
had the temper of a scholar, it did not dwarf his 



Q" 



THE 1* SIGN 



executive talent, as was shown by his election to 
two college presidencies, his service as a soldier 
and his whole career after he came into the Church. 

As a youth he loved the adventure of Alpine 
climbing, and in the army, where he served for six 
months in the Second Massachusetts Regiment, his 
military abilty was proved by his attaining to the 
rank of captain, after he had risen from the ranks. 
He was wounded in battle and forced to retire. 
This episode in his career was so brief as to be 
almost forgotten, but 
it was strenuous and 
left its mark upon him. 
His brother fell by his 
side at Gettysburg, and 
he lost too, an intimate 
friend in the person of 
Arthur Dehon, also a 
member of the Second 
Massachuse tts, of 
which Fletcher Web- 
ster, the son of the 
great Daniel, was 
Colonel, until he too 
was killed. 

Many years after- 
wards in a letter from 
Santa Clara, Cuba, in 
speaking of the battle 
of Santiago, he wrote : 
"I cannot resist the 
temptation of saying 
that my old regiment, 
the Second Massachu- 
setts was there with 
Roosevelt and Persh- 
ing." 




FATHER FIDELIS OF THE CROSS 



invocation of the saints was to go back promptly 
and penitently to the Ancient Church which proved 
its infallibility by being in the right after all.' No, 
he was not Ritualistic; neither was he Non-Con- 
formist. He held to the Anglican Communion as 
reproducing a primitive church, he assumed that the 
Anglican church was Apostolic both in succession 
and in creed, and he gave her the devotion of his 
soul — 'not knowing an older and better,' he said. 
He stood with confidence on this ground and thought 
himself a genuine Ca- 
tholic free from Papal 
and Puritan innovation. 
His friends at Kenyon 
were 'dissenters' and 
he came to Hobart." 

He was ordained to 
the Episcopal ministry 
in 1866 and later his 
scholarship and learn- 
ing were recognized by 
the degree of doctor of 
divinity, and he is said 
to have declined the 
bishopric of Michigan. 
Meantime his life was 
happy with congenial 
work and in the bosom 
of his family whom he 
loved devotedly. His 
cup of happiness was 
full. He had an in- 
tensely affectionate na- 
ture, and craved a re- 
turn of the love which 
he gave in full measure. 



XN a sketch, written by his close friend, Father 
Felix Ward, C.P., light is thrown upon his 
tendencies as an Episcopalian. "Kenyon was 
low church, and his own high church learnings led 
him to resign the presidency of Kenyon and to 
accept that of Geneva, N. Y. Not that he was 
'Ritualistic,' for he regarded that movement with 
impatience as illogical. 'If the Ritualists were right,' 
he said, 'the Reformers were wrong and the great 
sin of schism could never be justified by such paltry 
differences as separated them from the great Roman 
Church. The only consistent course for a man who 
believes in the Great Sacrifice of the Altar and the 



BPPARENTLY he had no full appreciation of 
the weakness of the Anglican foundation until 
they were about to crumble. In a letter to 
Father Edmund Hill, C. P. written from Buenos 
Aires in 1893, he gave some Latin verses per- 
fectly Catholic in their tone, "redolent of the 
cloister and the Middle Ages." They had been 
written in his father's library in October 1861. He 
tells his friend that after Commencement Day at 
Harvard, the year of his graduation, he wrote these 
lines and was never able to account for the inspira- 
tion.. There were no Catholic works in the library, 
except the Latin Vulgate. This he was wont to read, 
dwelling especially upon the Psalms and Isaias. 



THE 1* SIGN 



He was familiar, too, with the singing parts of 
Rossini's Stabat Mater, which gave him the metre. 
It is not too violent a presumption that, even at 
this early age, he belonged, at least in part, to the 
spirit of the Church. Indeed, it is a commonplace 
that after the lapse of four centuries of erroneous 
teachings, much yet re- 
mains of Christian truth 
among our separated bre- 
thren, which needs but 
good will and opportunity 
to develop Faith. 

It would have been 
impossible for a mind so 
open and candid as that 
of James Kent Stone, after 
pursuing a course of the- 
ology offered by any 
Christian denomination, 
not to have given, eventu- 
ally, earnest study to the 
proofs of Catholic Truth. 
Too many men seek in the 
study of religion and 
philosophy to sustain preconceived 
theories which fit in, either with 
their personal interests, or with 
ease of life. It is so much more 
comfortable to go with the stream. 

All converts from the subtle- 
minded Newman to the humble 
man who can grasp but the penny 
catechism have found the same 
difficulty. The charm and beauty 
of the English Liturgy, adopted 
by master writers in the Eliza- 
bethan age and repeated from 
childhood, have brought inspira- 
tion and consolation to many a 
soul. Even stronger than the 
association of the forms of prayer 
and church services, are the social 
and family ties, which mean much to all of us, but 
are especially strong with an affectionate and gentle 
nature. Added to these considerations is the melan- 
choly fact of four hundred years of misrepresentation 
until the very atmosphere of Catholic Truth has to 
be created among those who have inherited the 
prejudices of "far off unhappy days." 




IE AUTHOR 



:R MAURICE 




ENT Stone's easy familiarity with the Greek 
and Latin languages made it comparatively 
easy for him to read the writings of the 
Fathers, and it would seem as if he had verified 
by his own researches, or corrected where inade- 
quate quotations were made the authorities quoted 
among his favorite An- 
glican divines. Bull, An- 
drewes, Barrows, Jewell 
were mastered, and sooner 
or later his subconscious 
mind analyzed the errors 
of their reasoning in op- 
position to the Catholic 
Church. 

While this mental 
process was going on, he 
was himself speaking and 
writing quite unconscious- 
ly, but naturally enough, 
in the same vein. 

No man knows, per- 
haps, exactly how his con- 
version has come about. 
He can, perhaps, trace the first 
doubt, but the multitude of im- 
pressions and suggestions that 
have finally prepared the mind 
for the act of volition to accept, 
and then the earnest desire to 
receive the gift of Faith are hardly 
explicable. Dr. Stone tells us 
himself the steps of his progress, 
but he does not profess to under- 
stand them fully. His formal sub- 
mission to the Church followed the 
appeal of Pope Pius IX. after his 
Encyclical summoning the Ecu- 
menical Council which assembled 
in 1870 in Rome. The Pope's 
letter addressed to "Protestants 
and other Non-Catholics" was 
dated September 13, 1869. 

Father Fidelis writes: "It was early dawn, a 
dark morning in the Autumn of 1868. I had 
not yet risen, but had roused myself and lay listen- 
ing in pleased fashion, to the 'pipe of half awakened 
birds' and wondering when the college bell would 
ring, when of a sudden the thought came to me : 
What if the old Roman Church should be right after 



PAULIST 1872 



THE t* SIGN 



all? Such an idea had never before entered my 
mind. 

"I lay trembling and very still and then 

material things vanished and I seemed to see above 
me vast depths as of an unillumined sky. While 
I looked a door was opened in heaven and there 
was light there, a pale radiance, that grew in un- 
imaginable beauty, — the 'light that never was on 
sea or land,' and in a moment more I beheld far, 
far away, the vision of a great White City like unto 
the heavenly Jeursalem slowly described with 
towers and battlements, that I did not dare to gaze 
upon, for they were luminous with a splendor that 



a flash I knew that no intellectual decision was pos- 
sible in such a moment; it was my will alone which 
must act. With a voiceless cry to Heaven, I sum- 
moned all the many energies of my soul, and offered 
up blindly as in sacrifice all the possibilities of life 
and in death, I made a resolve — a simple, intense 
resolve, — to be true, true to God, true to my con- 
science, true to myself. 

"It was all I could do. 

"I looked again, but the vision had faded, and 
the room was growing bright in the light of common 
day, then a weakness came over me but my soul 
was at peace." 




FATHER FIDELIS' FIRST PASSIONIST FOUNDATION, BUENOS AIRES, THE ARGENTINE 



did not fall upon them from above nor from without 
but which came from within, and I knew the glory 
of God was there and that the Lamb was the light 
thereof., 

"Then came a voice quick and sharp with words 
inaudible to the bodily sense, yet which rang 
insistently through my startled soul, and the words 
were these : 'Shut that door, shut out that dream — 
if you look you will lose your head as others have 
before you.' The voice was not from heaven. I 
was sure of that. Was it diabolical? I thought so 
then, but I knew not. . . .1 simply knew that a great 
temptation had come, and had taken me by sur- 
prise and I must fight then and there Then in 



DOW came to his mind the word of a fellow- 
churchman — his 'beloved Richard Hooker' : 
"If truth doth anywhere manifest itself seek 
not to smother it with glossing delusions, acknow- 
ledge the features thereof; and think it your best 
victory when the same doth prevail over you." 

He experienced the same mental struggle de- 
scribed by many a convert and the same sense of 
"blank desolateness": "I was groping amongst 
ruins and wherewith should I go to build again?. . . . 
On the one hand I put aside. . . .cherished opinions; 
hallowed associations; the intellectual and social 
accumulations of my life thus far; a useful and 



THE 1* SIGN 



honorable position, fair hopes and plans long pon- 
dered; the grief of hearts more dear than hopes 
or plans or life itself. On the other hand I had to 
be on my guard against, what?. . . .On the side of 
the Church of Rome there was absolutely nothing — 
unless indeed it might be some attraction in the very 
completion of the immolation; and so I set my face 
forward with desperate earnestness and in due time 
— it may seem a very short time — I had not a trace 
of doubt left that I had all along been a vain enemy 
of the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church." 

Dr. Stone was received into the Church 
December 8, 1869, 
at Madison, N. J. 
by Dr. Wigger, 
the pastor, later 
Bishop of New- 
ark. With cha- 
racteristic zeal 
and love for those 
who had been as 
he, he gave him- 
self up to the 
work of writing 
" The Invitation 
Heeded," at once 
an apology, like 
Cardinal New- 
man's famous 
work, and an ap- 
peal to Protest- 
ants. 

"When the 
task was finish- 
ed," says Father 
Ward, "he received a letter of introduction from 
Doctor Wigger to the Rector of Fordham, where 
he wished to spend a few days in prayer. On the 
way he stopped to see Bishop Bayley and Doctor 
Doane, at Newark. They wanted him to spend the 
night with them. Doctor Stone held up the letter 
saying: 'I am due at Fordham this evening.' 
Doctor Doane took the letter, which began: My Dear 
Father Rector,' and inserted it in another envelope 
and addressed it to the Rector at West Hoboken. 
Handing it to Doctor Stone he said: 'Doctor, remain 
with us tonight. The carriage will be ready to take 
you over to the Passionist Fathers in the morning to 
begin your retreat.' Doctor Stone acquisced. Doctor 
Wigger intended that letter for the Jesuit Rector, but 
Providence intended it for the Passionist Rector." 




WITH FATHER MARK MOESLEIN, C. P., AT CORPUS CHRISTI. TKXA 



nE made his retreat under the direction of 
Father John Philip Baudinelli, who first sug- 
gested to him that he become a Passionist. 
By advice of his friends he became a Paulist, with 
the understanding that he might retire to the Pas- 
sionist Order if later the way seemed clear. Father 
Hecker, the then head of the Paulists, loved and 
admired the Passionists and did not forget Doctor 
Stone while in Rome. Cardinal McCloskey ordained 
him December 21, 1872. 

Now began formally, the third, last and longest 
period of this wonderful life. Father Stone was a 

missionary b y 

nature. As a Paul- 
ist his success was 
immediate and 
assured. Great 
c o n g r e g ations 
hung upon his 
words. Throngs 
of penitents ga- 
thered about his 
confessional. But 
the insistent call 
to a stricter rule 
was not to be put 
aside. It was 
necessary for him 
before entering 
the Passionist 
Order to make 
provision for his 
children. The 
three little girls 
were then at the 
Academy of the Sisters of Mercy, Manchester, 
N. H., where the second one died. The two surviv- 
ing daughters were then adopted by Michael J. 
O'Connor, now of San Francisco, Calif. 

The soldier of Christ stood now as an athlete 
stripped for combat. He had sacrificed all that 
was nearest and dearest to his human affections, 
though the love of his venerable mother remained 
with him until her death in her ninetieth year. He 
never faltered on the long dreary pilgrimage which 
took more than a half century to complete. Neither 
his work for souls nor the vicissitudes of travel ever 
stilled the yearning of his heart for the affection 
which was legitimately his, but which was gone 
from him irretrievably. 



THE + SIGN 



XN August 11, 1878, Father Stone was received 
into the Passionist Order at Pittsburgh, Pa. 
He took the name of Fidelis of the Cross. 
At once he became distinguished and successful as 
a preacher of missions to which he gave himself 
with all the ardor of his nature. "The Invitation 
Heeded" went through seventeen editions and was 
translated into foreign languages. It fixed his place 
as a controversial writer and has been compared 
for its strength with Cardinal Newman's great 
"Apologia". The beauty of his style was not less 
pronounced in the pulpit than on the printed page. 
He wrote no more for publication until the last year 
of his life he revised his book and republished it, 
with some fragmentary letters and descriptions, 
under the title "An Awakening and What Followed". 
It is to be regretted that he did not write more. 
His vast learning gained before his thirtieth year 
was rarely drawn upon or systematically added to 
thereafter, from the very exigencies of his life. 

He spent three years in Rome when he was 
made superior of the Passionist houses in South 
America. Then followed twelve years working, 
preaching, and founding houses in Argentina, Chile, 
and Brazil. During an epidemic of small-pox in 
Buenos Aires, with but one assistant he worked to 
the point of exhaustion. Sometimes on the Argen- 
tine pampas, sometimes in the tropical forests of 
Paraguay and Brazil, and then by the curving shores 
of Chile, where he looked on the one side across the 
Pacific, and on the other on the towering peaks 
of the Andes, he pursued his wo: k "without haste 
and without rest." 

Eight times he passed through the Straits of 
Magellan. Many times he crossed the South Ameri- 
can Continent. After twelve years of arduous 
service in South America where he left his monu- 
ments in six houses of his Order, he returned to the 
United States. Here he held the offices of Pro- 
vincial-Consultor, Master of Novices and Provincial. 
During his Provincialship he made arrangements 
for the foundation of a monastery in his native city 
of Boston. 

XN 1896 the Faculty of Harvard University 
invited him to preach and repeated the invi- 
tation in 1897, when he accepted and deli- 
vered a masterly discourse on "Fidelity to Grace 
Received." At the urgent request of President Eliot 
he took charge of the 1400 teachers who attended 
the summer school at Harvard in 1901. 



In 1908 he was recalled to South America where 
he remained until 1914 when he was assigned to 
Mexico. 

In a graphic letter he speaks of his journeying 
through Spain before taking steamer to close his 
affairs. When the steamer reached Rio the war 
had broken out and he was detained for a year 
longer than anticipated. He made farewell visits 
to the houses of Argentine, Brazil and Chile. His 
steamer was chased through the Straits of Magellan 
by the German steamer Dresden, and when he finally 
reached Panama he found his entrance to Mexico 
barred by the revolution. The monasteries of the 
Order in that unhappy country had been seized and 
desecrated. Therefore he settled for a while in 
Cuba, until permission came to take up a mission at 
Corpus Christi, Texas. It was his hope to go from 
there to Mexico when political conditions should be 
settled and recover the property of the Order. He 
was now a very old man, but his gallantry would 
have taken him into the very heart of the disturbed 
country had it been possible. Reluctantly he had 
to put the purpose by. In 1919 he retired to Nor- 
wood Park, Chicago. 

For the past two years, until May 1921, he 
rested at Norwood, as much as his growing physical 
ailments would permit. At times he suffered tor- 
tures of pain but he bore all with heroism, striving 
to make light of it when in the midst of a very 
paroxism. 

BS if in answer to a half century of yearning 
and prayer his daughter Frances came to him 
bringing the assurance of a filial affection 
that was balm to his spirit. It fell about him like 
a benediction and seemed to give him a new lease 
of life. His strength was so far returned that, with 
the permission of his superior, he yielded to her 
invitation to go with her to her sunny home in San 
Mateo. He bore the journey well through the high 
altitudes of the Rocky Mountains, notwithstanding 
high blood-pressure, and after a brief rest was able 
to say Mass on Pentecost Sunday and thereafter 
every day until within two days of his death. This 
was in his daughter's private chapel, with herself, 
her sister Mary, (Madame de Cazotte), and his 
grandson, Mary's son Michael, as the congregation. 
Such a consummation gave him, no doubt, a fore- 
taste of his eternal reward. It was beyond his hopes 
of earthly happiness. Notwithstanding his gradual- 
ly declining strength he was well enough to realize 



THE + SIGN 



in full measure his crowning earthly blessing. And 
then the end came quickly. Conscious until his 
last breath, praying his favorite ejaculations, and 
the while holding in his hands his little crucifix, and 
having about his neck his rosary, he died in the 
arms of his daughter Frances, with Mary and 
Michael present, and a priest reciting the Office 
of the dying. And so the great summons came. 
He had been waiting for it long. 

nE closes the last chapter of "An Awakening" 
with an apostrophe which shows his perfect 
peace : "And now what can we do, my soul, 
but wait, watching for that knocking at the gate 
of which our Lord speaks, and which St. Gregory 
interprets as the kindly warning of one who comes 
and bids us open. Wouldst thou have him tarry? 
Nay, thou hast little to gain and much to lose; or 
wouldst thou linger to parley with thy friends? They 
are gone long since, those friends of thy youth; 
and those of later years, they too are going one by 



one; they have outstripped thee. Wouldst thou 
not enter with them into that City of God which 
once thou didst behold so far away? Oh! Blessed 
mission of peace: Beata pads visio, have I forgot- 
ten thee, nay, he will be my friend indeed who shall 
bring to me the message; 'The Master is come and 
calleth for thee.' " 

At Normandy, Mo. his mortal remains are in- 
terred with his brethren at the monastery of Our 
Lady of Good Counsel. The last obsequies were 
celebrated in the church erected by another great 
missionary, the Jesuit Father de Smet, not far from 
the beautiful Florissant Valley hallowed by the work 
of that great man and his companions and by 
Mother Duquesne, the saintly foundress of the 
Sacred Heart in America. 

That fair country will ever be blessed by the 
works of these great servants of God. It is a fitting 
resting place for the mortal remains of one, whose 
every thought was given, as were theirs, to the 
greater glory of God. 



T 



ree or 



Crib? 



A Parent' 
"iir^ELL, Bob, I suppose you have your Xmas 
\\J tree bought by this time," said I. 

"No sir!" he replied, smiling; "no more 
Xmas trees for me." 

"Man dear!" I cried, aghast; "no Xmas tree for 
the children? Where is your Xmas spirit?" 

Bob's smile only grew wider. "The children 
don't want any, "he said. "They have something 
better than all the Xmas trees in the world; and if 
your kiddies saw it, they would be as green as your 
old tree, with longing for it." 

"Talk is cheap," said I, sneering. 

"Come home with me, if you wish to be con- 
vinced," was his final retort. 

At the door his boys met us with glad shouts. 
"We were waiting for you, Dad," they cried, leading 
the way into the cellar. There the three took off 
their coats, and seized hammer and nails and paint 
and brush. Then they set to work on something 
resembling a miniature cave, cut out neatly in a mass 
of papier mache rocks, which stretched up and back 
from the opening. 

"What is it, anyway?" I asked. 

ll 



; Parable 

The little fellows stared up at me with surprise, 
and, I thought, pity. 

"What do you think it might be?" returned 
Bob. 

"It looks to me like a little cave, — or stable," 
I replied. 

"Well," he said quietly, "did you never hear of 
Anybody being born in a stable — on Xmas day? 

Suddenly my face burned. 

Bob kept on gently. "Tom," he said, "what on 
earth is the sense of dressing up the old tree, like 
the pagan Druid priests used to do ? Instead of buy- 
ing a lot of cheap tinsel and gaudy colored Xmas 
balls, to hang on a dead tree, why not spend your 
money in making a little shelter in your home for 
the One Who started Xmas. Come around with the 
children on Xmas morning, and see who has the 
real Xmas spirit. Every year we get some new ideas 
in fixing up His little home; and now we have the 
prettiest crib " 

But I had gone, to get my own boys, to make 
a Xmas crib, that would beat Bob's, "all hollow." 



The Christmas Mass of Pope Gregory 

(Anno Domini 1075.) 



Gabriel Francis Powers 



^^^^HE crowd was breaking up. The speaker 
# £j who had been addressing them, a man of 
^^^^ noble mien and of an earnest, spiritual 
cast of countenance, left the position he 
had taken upon the steps of the Basilica of the 
Apostle and made his way through the old portico 
and atrium to the interior of the church. There he 
knelt humbly on the marble floor before the shrine 
of Our Lady with its mosaics on gold ground, close 
to the Porta Santa. Outside, the last words flung 
down in that sonorous voice seemed to be ringing 
still: "My people, remember Christ Crucified.... 
Remember Christ Crucified, and that sorrowful 
Mother at the foot of the Cross, and you will certain- 
ly sin no more." 

Awed, in spite of themselves, and wondering, 
his hearers dispersed, some into the basilica to pray, 
others hurrying off to their business, the numerous 
small vendors on the steps and in the paradisus, 
back to their wares of silk goods, leaden images 
and food stuffs. "Well, well, well," quoth one old 
dame as she returned to her dusty figs and nuts, 
"many a time have I heard that before, but never 
from the likes of him! Time was when only church- 
men preached." 

"Who is the orator?" enquired a prospective 
customer. . 

"Who? You may well ask that! No less a 
person than the Prefect of the city himself, the 
noble Cinthius. He has got it into his head that 
the people of Rome are going to the dogs, and he 
is going to help save them by preaching himself. 
Lackaday, but this world is turned around!" 

The Prefect having finished his devotions, 
mounted his horse which an attendant held by the 
bridle at the foot of the steps, and came slowly 
by the Borgo, past the Mausoleum of Hadrian, still 
admirably preserved, to the Bridge once known as 
AElius and then as Santo Pietro. He crossed it 
toward the city side, forgetting the blue sky over- 
head and the golden water flowing in the December 
sunshine under the ancient arches, as he approached 
that dread eyescore, the tower which the rebellious 
Cencio, the head of all the malcontents in the city 
and constant opposer of the Pontiff Gregory, had 
dared to erect, amost like a defiance at the entrance 
to the bridge. Cinthius knew very well that the 
tower should not be there. A year ago he had 



endeavored to have it seized and its builder pun- 
ished, but Cencio's party was too powerful and 
Cinthius himself had been obliged to release his 
prisoner, lest a revolution break out. 

^^^HERE was some trouble at the tower now. 
^^J A group had formed, the idle were running 
to see, and shouts and a calling for the 
guard rang out upon the air. "Here! Here is the 
Lord Prefect himself! Now will you let them 
pass?" Cinthius took the scene in at a glance. 
A group of seven men, evidently poor pilgrims, 
stood at the entrance to the bridge, held back by 
the spears of Cencio's soldiery, and the assembled 
crowd, loudly vociferous, took part — here for the 
strangers, and there for the men at arms. Cinthius 
enquired the cause of the disturbance but so many 
voices imparted the desired information that the 
words were confused. He addressed himself to 
the foreigners and, in bad Latin, their spokesman 
replied: "We have no money, Sir; indeed we would 
pay if we could. We have come all the way from 
Canterbury afoot, begging our way through the land 
of the Franks and Lombards. We cannot break 
bread until we come to the shrine of the Most 
Blessed Apostle." 

The Prefect turned to the Captain of Cencio's 
ruffianly mercenaries. "Do you understand? They 
are poor pilgrims going to the Shrine of Blessed 
Peter. They have no money." 

"That is no concern of mine. My orders are 
to see that no man, woman or child passes this 
bourne without paying toll for the bridge." 

Again the blue-eyed Saxon spoke up: "Sir, 
if he would let us pass to the hospice of our nation 
across the river, no doubt we could get money and 
come back and pay." 

"You will pass for once without paying, friend, 
or I will know the reason why. Stand back there, 
men, and let these poor strangers through in the 
name of Our Lord Jesus Christ." 

"That may be a friend of your master's, Sir 
Prefect; not of mine. I have my orders, and that 
is enough." 

"Let them pass, do you hear, or you will rue 
it! Here, strangers, pass".... 

"How dare you! How dare you, you dastardly 
Cinthius? Is not this my tower, and have not I. ." 



THE + SIGN 



The Prefect drew his sword. This was Cencio in 
person, come down from the upper chamber, mad 
with fury, his evil eyes rolling in his head. "Take 
your hand off my bridle!" the Prefect commanded. 
He was alone, but for the groom behind him, while 
Cencio had a swarm of men-at-arms at his command, 
and he knew his peril, but he had the advantage 
of being mounted. 

"You were warned a year ago that His Holiness 
would not endure this holding up of peaceful citizens 
and visitors coming from afar to the Tomb of the 
Apostle. It is a disgrace to our city of Rome that 
you should take it upon yourself to close a highway 
and the bridge of St. Peter to levy toll upon the 
passers-by." 

"The tower is mine, I built it; and I have a 
right to say who shall pass through this gateway." 

"You have no right to build a tower at the 
entrance to a public bridge; you have no right to 
interfere with the traffic; you have no right to 
extort payment forcibly from persons over whom 
you have no authority. This was all made plain 
to you a year ago." 

"Go and complain to your Pope if you are not 
satisfied, dog of a Prefect! You have done me 
harm enough already by stealing from me the 
office which now is yours and which should have 
been mine! Do you think I can forget so easily? 
Cinthius is Prefect, and better men than he must 
make their living as they can. You would stop me, 
would you? Watch lest I make your master too 
pay for your insolence. Here, men, lock these fool 
pilgrims in the dungeon. They shall not pass now. 
They shall not pass if that mockery of a prince, 
thy Pope, come in person to beg for them. Cinthius 
hath crossed me, and woe betide the man who 
crosses Cencio!" 

> f" SHARP scuffle followed. The mercenaries 

J I seized the poor pilgrims and dragged them 

within the tower; partizans of the Prefect 
took stones to throw at Cencio; others, partisans of 
Cencio, rallied around the soldiers; blows began 
to rain; the cries of the Saxons who, being unarmed, 
resorted to fighting their captors with their fists, 
mingled with the cries of the Roman populace, 
only too familiar with street brawls. Cinthius 
groaned aloud, and set his horse at a gallop in the 
direction of the guards' quarters. How many men 
can you let me have, now, at once?" "Eight. . . . 
perhaps ten...." — Again Cinthius groaned. — "My 



faith! Ten Men to protect the city of Rome! Call 
together any citizens who will stand by you. Arm 
them in any way you can! That tower of Cencio 
on the bridge is coming down now, today, before 
the sun sets. This city has too many masters by far!" 
It was done as he said. Before sunset the 
captives had been set free, Cencio arrested, and the 
tower demolished. And in many secret places of the 
city, the followers of the arrogant citizen who con- 
sidered himself the equal of the Pontiff and of the 
noblest men in the state, gathered to consider what 
they would do. 

Cinthius betook himself to the palace to 
render an account in person of what had taken place 
in the city that day. 

Dusk was falling, but the great Pontiff bowed 
still over his writing, in his room that the sfndcws 
were invading. 

He would receive the Lord Prefect at once. 

GINTHIUS, entering noiselessly, bowed over 
the sacred foot. Gregory raised him quickly. 
A man of indifferent stature, not commanding 
in appearance, but with marvellous eyes, full of 
intense light, and with more concentrated vigor and 
energy of life in those eyes than is commonly seen 
in one hundred gifted men. — "Ah, Sir Prefect, you 
are the very person we wished to see. Christmas 
draws near. We must not forget the annual bounty, 
corn, oil, and some small largesse, that the poor 
who ever suffer most should suffer a little less, 
when He comes who chose to take their state." 
"It shall be done as Your Holiness commands." 
"The diaconie will attend to most of the needy, 
but we give you special charge to see that none is 
neglected in the city at this time. . .Now another 
matter, good Cinthius, it has been reported to us 
that you are preaching to the people, that you have 
even preached at St. Peter's; and though we com- 
mend your zeal — highly — and could desire that 
some who have the obligation would discharge it 
as earnestly, yet, for the sake of order in all ranks 
of the Church, henceforth you will desist from 
preaching. We express this wish with all deference 
and benevolence toward our true and loyal son, 
the Prefect of our city of Rome." 

"I thank your Holiness. If I have done wrong 
I beg Your Holiness to pardon me. Evil is rife 
and souls go to perdition. They will not listen to 
churchmen. I had hoped they might, perhaps, 
listen to me." 



13 



THE 



SIGN 



"The hope is worthy of you, Cinthius. But 
yours, I need not remind you, is a different task. 
Justice, the sword, has been placed in your hands. 
Watch over the city, hear causes, render righteously 
to every man, punish 
the evil doer — as you 
have power to do — I 
need not say these 
things to you, my 
Lord Prefect, you 
know them well; but 
we remind you that 
the rendering of jus- 
tice is a sacred action 
and imitates the 
divine office of the 
Godhead." 

"I am not worthy 
of the honor Your 
Holiness has seen fit 
to put upon me but I 
will fulfill the obliga- 
tions it carries with it. 
This very day, my 
Lord, I endeavored to 
right a galling wrong; 
and yet fear that I 
have exasperated one 
of Your Holiness's 
most formidable 
enemies." 

"My e n em ie s , 
Cinthius, are as the 
sands of the sea. For 
two "years now, from 
the day it pleased God 
to place this heavy 
burden of the Papacy 
upon us, they have 
been active in their 
machinations. More, 
we have been con- 
tradicted and mocked, 
even as Christ was. 
What enemy is 
against us anew 
today?" 

"A very bitter one, my Lord; he who contended 
the office of the city with me and never forgave 
Your Holiness's choice — Cencio." 

"Ah!" one of those lightnings that might have 



Christmas Carol 

J. Corson Miller 

As Joseph opened wide the door, 

To let the Shepherds in; 

The Ox and Ass did raise their heads, 

And made a welcome-din. 

These simple folk were guests the night 

Of little Jesukin. 

The wind blew hitter chill; the Star 

Burned brightly overhead; 

The Shepherds sang a silver song 

Before his stable-bed. 

Kind folk, let songs go forth this night, 

And let the Poor be fed! 

The Mother looked upon her Child, 

And held Him to her breast; 

Then through the night a great light streamed 

North, South, and East, and West. 

'T v?as Law of Love, and born through Christ 

A Babe — for earth's distressed. 

The Ox and Ass did keep him vJarm 

And Joseph watched beside; 

His bed Was laid with roughened straw, 

But He v?as satisfied. 

The Poor, the Weak, the Halt, the Blind — 

Help them at Christmastide! 

Make ye dear songs of joy* on earth, 

This night that He was born; 

With every brother's hand-clasp out 

To brothers all forlorn. 

Then shall your hearts be glad, indeed, 

Come merry" Christmas-morn. 



been anger, repressed as swiftly as it flashed, or 
understanding only, lit the vivid eyes one second. 
"Cencio," the voice said quietly, "your enemy and 
ours. What fresh plot has he trammeled now?" 

"Holy Father, this 
morning as I came 
from the Tomb of the 
Apostle, the street on 
the city side was 
crowded, all the traffic 
held up, and Cencio's 
ruffianly soldiers, with 
arms in their hands, 
Eorbade the passage of 
the bridge to seven 
poor pilgrims who had 
no money to pay the 
toll." 

eREGORY start- 
ed so violently 
in his chair that 
it was pushed back- 
ward. His hand 
struck the arm of it. 
"An outrage ! A n 
abomination! If there 
is one road in this 
world that shall be 
free, free to every 
man born anywhere, 
free to every comer 
from the uttermost 
parts of the earth, it 
shall be the road to 
Blessed Peter. Why 
was this not stopped, 
Sir Prefect? A year 
ago we gave orders 
that this disgrace to 
Rome should cease." 

"He was arrested 
and warned, Your 
Holiness, but he was 
bold, knowing his 
strength; and, sad to 
say, many nobles of 
the city who are doing 
the same thing on the highroads around their castles 
sided with him. But he will collect no more tolls 
on the bridge to St. Peter: I had the tower torn 
down this day." 



THE 1* SIGN 



"Good, good! Excellent. .. .the only way to 
stop it! And guard the bridge now, Cinthius. Do 
not let him return to it. What of Cencio himself?" 

"That is the knot, Your Holiness. I had him 
locked in the Castle until I could learn the wishes 
of Your Holiness. Unfortunately, he has an im- 
mense number of followers, and I do not feel that 
the affair is ended." 

"There will be fighting in the streets, and others 
who do not love Gregory will rally to him and 
sustain him, if we hold him — . 

Yet if we let him go free, he will but stir up 
more hatred against Your Holiness." 

"Magnanimity becomes the high office of the 
Bishop, Cinthius; and we have ever endeavored to 
forgive, for the love of Christ, what enmity and the 
ambitions of the world have turbulently raised 
against us." 

"Am I then to release him?" 

"Fine him as a just punishment and a caution 
to him. And the day before the Vigil of Christmas, 
say to him that Gregory desires all Christian people 
to be glad that day, and to celebrate in their homes 
and among their dear ones, the sacred rites of the 
Birth of Our Saviour. ..." 

Cinthius looked up, wondering; the voice had 
trailed a little on the last words, and the dusk, com- 
ing, robbed him of the expression on the Pontiff's 
face. But he saw his head turned to one side, and 
followed the direction of the glance in which he 
had grown silent. It met the ivory Figure hanging 
upon a cross on the wall. 



CHRISTMAS Eve, with weird pipings of moun- 
tain shepherds in the streets; with piles of 
honey-cakes and spice-bread on the market 
stalls; and dancing of children, in artless rythms 
of gladness before the brightly illuminated houses, 
for that Christ the Child was born. 

Strangely, at eventide there was a clap of 
thunder; most strange where the Christmas nights 
are a marvel of clear blue, sprinkled with diamonds. 
Women crossed themselves, and drew the little ones 
into shelter, with some unspoken fear of a portent 
of evil. Clouds continued to gather, and, at the hour 
when the faithful were leaving their homes to 
assist at the Midnight Office, a storm, almost a 
hurricane, broke loose over the city. 

In spite of the beating rain, Gregory came in 



solemn procession to the Basilica of S. Maria 
Maggiore, for the festival was one of the four annual 
occasions on which the Pontiff celebrated Mass 
with great pomp in the major church of Our Lady. 
All had been prepared for the celebration of the Holy 
Sacrifice at the altar where the relics of the Crib 
were specially venerated that day. Many lights, and 
the hanging lamps of silver before the shrine, filled 
the crypt with a soft radiance; small sprigs of box- 
wood and laurel, scattered on the marble floor and 
trodden by the feet of the worshippers, made a 
faint, garden-like scent in the mild air; the splendid 
altar vessels of gold, and the pontifical vestments 
of dark blue velvet embroidered with silver thread 
and adorned with the image of the Holy Mother of 
God bearing the Divine Child in her arms, lay ready 
for the Pontiff's use. 

The basilica itself was fairly well filled, and the 
disorder of the elements was forgotten in the solemn 
stillness, the deep, sweet joy of the Christmas Night. 
A crash of thunder burst just overhead as the Pope 
stood at the foot of the altar, but Gregory, with 
folded hands and living eyes upturned to the "ever 
lasting tabernacles," did not seem to hear it. The 
seven great white candles, borne by the acolytes 
of the deacons in the procession, now lighted the 
table and the Pontiff's face. Gravely and yet 
joyously, his voice intoned the Gloria, and a strong 
current of religious emotion ran through the kneel- 
ing crowds as sweet-tongued choristers took up the 
full volume of the strain, almost like those angelical 
choirs which had first floated, in white wreaths of 
melody, above the stable roof. 

There was a slight, unaccountable stir among 
the people at the foot of the stairways, as the 
Offerings of bread and wine were carried into the 
sanctuary. And some turned their heads involun- 
tarily, because it seemed that new, unwelcome 
presences had somehow stolen into the midst of 
those who prayed. Yet not a sound was heard. 
Gregory, moving as it were in a cloud of gold, and 
wholly rapt in the awe of the Mysteries he was 
celebrating, proceeded with the Consecration. As 
he set down the chalice, a rush was made toward 
the altar. Women screamed without understanding 
what thing had happened. The stately robed figures 
around the sanctuary flew to the assistance of their 
Chief. 

Armed bandits had seized the Pontiff, torn the 
sacred ornaments from him, and enveloping him ir. 
a cape that made him unrecognizable, forced him 



THE *f SIGN 



roughly through the crowd and toward the door. 
His own attendants struggled to hold him back, and 
many a loyal man sprang out to defend the Pope. 
The greater number were at sea, not knowing what 
thing had occurred. 

A cry, awe-striking in its horror, went up: 
"Romans, arm! Arm! The Pope is being taken!" 
.... Long moans, and shouts of rage responded. 
At the door, men had drawn their swords, even in the 
holy place, and the runners, with that cloaked bulk 
in their midst, had to fight their way. Steel flashed, 
blade struck sharply against blade, and cries of 
sudden biting pain rang out. But the robbers 
reached the door. In the confusion inside the church, 
women and children were trampled, and men fought 
one another, not knowing themselves if this were 
friend or foe. The Pope was thrown upon a waiting 
horse, panting men mounted around him, and closed 
in as they went, and at a mad gallop through the 
wet streets and the storm, the cavalcade headed 
westward. 

Those who had horses, noblemen and officials 
in the congregation, flung into their saddles and 
started in pursuit. As the first group raced through 
the Forum of Trajan, and past the historic column, 
the advanced pursuers drew so near that two or 
three of the pursued turned and barred the way. 
The others, still tearing in the direction of the Tiber, 
swerved abruptly south in the Parrione quarter, and 
came to that ancient, hoary palace, fortified like a 
castle, where Cencio and his clan dwelt. 

Shouting and beating the great portal, one 
raucous voice was lifted above the others to cry: 
"Open, dogs, open! Haste! It is I, your Lord!" 
The gates flew wide, and banged again heavily 
behind the riders. "Secure the doors. Make a 
barricade.." gasping, "We are pursued". .. .The 
man was no longer young and he had ridden hard. 
But he tumbled quickly from the saddle in the 
inner court, where his ruffians were dragging the 
half-smothered Pontiff from his mount. 

With rude hands they plucked the cloak away, 
and that majestic figure stood revealed, his white 
alb making the figure almost luminous in the dark. 
The pallium of his supreme Bishopric still circled 
his shoulders, and hung down in one long band 
marked with black crosses, from chest to knees. 
The face of Gregory was inscrutable, but he was not 
afraid, neither was he intimidated. Some of the 
men, less hardened than the others, saw with dread 



that, from a wound in the head, blood was slowly 
trickling and stained the white garment on the 
breast. More than one recoiled at the sight. 

DOT so their master. Striding forward, with 
horrible fury, he struck the Pontiff full in the 
cheek. "Ha, Sir Pope, you wished that I 
should spend Christmas with my family? Well, 
you are bidden, too. You shall keep it with us, far 
from church mummeries. You had not quite finished 
your Mass, had you? Pity we should have had to 
interrupt you, but there are too many old scores 
that require settling between us. You thought you 
were lord of Rome, did you not? Well learn now 
who is your lord!" 

"Brutally, and with concentrated rage, he struck 
the silent Pontiff again and again, on the head, on 
the neck, on the chest, with a lust of fury. And, 
as if this were not enough, women added their 
taunts and insults to the violence of the men. Trip- 
ping down from their quarters in gaudy finery, 
Cencio's sisters, veritable harpies, shook their 
hideous shrivelled fists, and hissed out their in- 
vectives in the Pontiff's face. 

"You have felled our tower, have you? We, 
patricians of Rome, are to be beggared to please 
you! Wait and see what Cencio has in store for 
you! To the dungeon with him, to the underground 
dungeon. . . .Cencio, what are you waiting for? He 
must never leave this house alive." 

"Get out, you hussies, I can take care of my 
own affairs! Here, men, bring him up. I want 
him in the great hall for trial. He shall not say 
he has not had a fair show!" 

A dozen of them, pushing, pulling, and striking 
him as they went, ushered the prisoner into the vast 
room, on the upper floor. Gregory had not spoken 
once; only, under their blows, he raised his eyes 
to some Presence of which they wot not, and which 
to him was near. 

"So! You do not choose to answer me? Per- 
haps we can find the means of coaxing you a little . . 
a couple of turns of the rope might help. ..." 

Gregory was standing in the middle of the hall, 
white in face and in vesture under the fitful light 
of the torches. Cencio took one step toward him: 
"Where are your friends now, would-be master of 
Rome ? Why don't they come to your assistance ? . . 
You low monk Hildebrand, I will abase you so 
that " 



THE 1* SIGN 



B FLASH of lightning, so vivid that it blinded 
him, cut the unfinished words. Gregory 
lifted his head high, looking out through the 
tall windows, heavenward. It was as though he had 
seen or heard something. Cencio put his hand over 
his eyes, while the thunder crashed; and, as he 
groped, blind indeed for the moment, and moving 
his arms convulsively, he heard, muffled by the 
storm and yet ■ distinct, a bell in the far distance 
ring the tocsin. 

Another, nearer, answered it with that same 
short, insistent, distressful note; and then another, 
like bronze voices lifted in alarm. Cencio cowered 
perceptibly. Gregory gave no sign, but he too had 
heard, and the great soul in him struggled with the 
emotion flooding it. The Church was calling for 
him! 

In the same moment, as if in answer to the 
bells, a roar went up beneath the palace windows: 
"The Pope ! Yield up the Pope !...." Cencio reeled. 
The eyes of Gregory had fixed themselves intently 
upon him and seemed to pierce him. He moved 
away, and looked down into the street. Even in the 
darkness, he could see that it was black with crowd- 
ing, swarming humanity. The low, ominous mur- 
muring, heavy with anger as they gathered, was like 
the threat of a stormy sea. The narrow street was 
packed, and still they came pouring; and once more, 
and with increasing volume, the shout went up : 
"Death to Cencio! To death with him! We want 
the Pope!" And then a volley of cries together: 
"Give him up! Give him up! We want the Pope!" 

Cencio gnashed his teeth and flung out of the 
door. Down to the court he ran, and out to the 
gateway, sword in hand : "No surrender," he kept 
crying, "no surrender! The Pope is ours. Just hold 
the doors." 

/ f^VARALYZED with fear at what might be hap- 
K^r pening to their Pastor and Father behind 
those dread, impregnable walls, the plebs, 
the poor, the nameless swarm of the lowly, pressed 
against the gates. And here and there, mingled 
with the populace, the nobles who were faithful 
threw out their rally cries : "Gather, gather ! Orsini ! 
Orsini to the rescue!" Answered by: "Colonna, 
Colonna, Colonna!" And the shout of the ecclesi- 
astics: "Chiesa! Chiesa!" A sudden red glow 
broke out, illuminating all the walls, and the crowd 
cheered: "Fire! Fire! Burn them out! Deliver 
our Pope!" 



But the brave blaze died in wet wood and 
smoke. Then beams were brought, and the besieged 
heard the dull, ominous thuds of battering at the 
gates. Those great portals of solid oak and iron 
would hold out a while — but how long? Archers 
manned the ramparts and began to shoot down 
arrows into the crowd, but there was no moving 
it; a few cries, a few imprecations; but that relent- 
less pound, pound upon the doors did not cease for 
one moment, and a preliminary crash foretold the 
end. 

Cencio ran hither and thither, his hands trem- 
bling, his mind a blank. Should he kill him? 
Would it be best to kill him, or to use him as a 
shield? Some fear he could not account for, or 
master, kept him from the presence of his victim. 
The guards still stood at the doors of the great hall. 
Gregory, in the midst of the confusion and turmoil, 
was silently praying. He heard the battering rams : 
it meant the end for him, too — they would never 
yield him up alive! 

And suddenly, with a crash of rent, splintering 
wood, a terrific roar from the multitude, the gates 
gave and the mob poured in, clambering over the 
barricade, beating down the soldiers and henchmen, 
filling the castle like a flood. 

Cencio fled up the stairs, to the hall which his 
mercenaries had deserted, and fell prostrate at the 
Pontiff's feet: "Save me, pardon me. .have pity. . 
they will kill me". . . . 

"Gregory pardons; but you will go to the spot 
where Christ was struck and buffeted to implore 
His pardon there". . . . 

HIKE a torrent, and with cries that rang to the 
very rafters "The Pope! Where is the 
Pope?" the human tide swirled in. At their 
head Cinthius, the blade of his sword bent and 
stained. When he saw the Pontiff, a sob broke 
from him, and the tears ran down his face: "Thank 
God! Thank God!" With shouts of joy the people 
threw themselves down and kissed the sandaled 
feet, the hands, the garments, as though they could 
never tear themselves away from him again. It 
was Cinthius who recognized the figure crouching 
in the shadow behind Gregory, and he endeavored 
to pull him forth, none too gently. Gregory stretch- 
ed his arm over the miserable coward : "Do not 
touch him, Cinthius. The presence of the Pope is 
sanctuary. He will go to Jerusalem." The people 



THE + SIGN 



recognized him then, too, and yelled: "Kill him! 
Kill him! Rid the earth of the scoundrel!" — "Nay," 
Gregory answered, "nay, good folks; God wills 
that the sinner should repent and live . . . Who will 
find us a horse that we may go back to S. Maria 
Maggiore and finish our Christmas Mass?" Like 
children they went, happy, eager, every man deter- 
mined to bring the horse for the Pope. 

Cinthius, with mute horror, was gazing at the 
Pontiff's torn vesture, the bruises upon his face, 
those dark, tell-tale stains upon the breast of the 
alb. He knelt down before him, too overcome to 
speak his sorrow, and the great tears ran down his 
cheeks again. Gregory laid a gentle hand upon the 
stooping shoulder : "Cinthius, with the help of God, 
let us so raise up the Throne of Peter that scenes 
like the scenes of this night may never be repeated 
in our city of Rome again." — "God be with Your 
Holiness, my Lord Pope, and crush His enemies and 
yours beneath your feet." 

"Come, let us go. The night is almost over. 
Christmas, oh, my God!. .. .Christmas". .. . He 
turned and motioned Cencio to follow him ; Cinthius 
surprised the expression on the guilty man's face: 
"My Lord, I beseech Your Holiness, let him remain." 

Gregory bowed his head and passed on. 

Not one horse but a dozen were in waiting; 
the court was filled with torches moving as the 
crowd made ready to escort the Pontiff; the air 
was murmurous with happy voices lowered through 
reverence, and yet ready, on the smallest provoca- 
tion, to burst out into cheers. Ecclesiastics and 
acolytes who had followed from S. Maria on foot 
and mingled with men-at-arms in the storming of 
the fortress, gathered around their Bishop, and 
Gregory perceived how all the best blood in Rome 



drew in a close ring around him: there were to be 
more surprises! 

As he attempted to mount, there was indeed a 
rush in his direction, held strongly back by the self- 
constituted guard around him, but it came from his 
lowly saviors, the rank and file of the people of 
Rome. Gregory raised his hand to stop their accla- 
mations, and, instinctively, the action changed to a 
blessing. He smiled at the young man who bent 
the knee, and his fair proud head, to hold the 
Pontiff's stirrup. "Ah, Gelasius". . . . 

So they brought him back in triumph to Santa 
Maria Maggiore. At the door they flung down their 
cloaks that he might walk upon them. There was 
a hush, solemn as death, when he stood again before 
that altar from which he had been torn, and then a 
soft sound of women weeping in the distance. 

Pallid and with sunken eyes, but with that same 
unquenchable brightness of the glance, Gregory 
folded his hands and ascended unassisted to the 
altar. One moment he stood with humbly bowed 
head before the Cross, then turned to the Missal 
where it lay open, as he had left it, and completed 
the Canon. Presently his clear voice, not very 
strong but full of an exalted faith, intoned: "Pater 
Noster qui es in coelis". . . . 

At the Communion he returned to the Pontifical 
Throne and the assistants brought him the Sacred 
Cup and Bread. 

So Pope Gregory finished his Midnight Mass 
in the Basilica of Our Lady. As he did, the first 
light, dim still and faint, struggled in through the 
clerestory windows. Outside, over the blue Alban 
hills the day was breaking in cloudless splendor 
after the hurricane, and Rome awakened, a new 
Rome as it were, to the rutilant joy of Christmas 
morning. 



Motker of Christ 

Placidus M. Endler 
She hungered" for the heights above, 

The Highest heard her longing love; 
But Heaven unwilling vJould not wait, 

And hastened to anticipate. 



Current Fact and Comment 



O 1 



ST. PAUL ON 

HE public eye is focussed on one spot these 
days, — and that spot is Washington, D. C, 
where the nations are met to discuss the prac- 
ticability of disarmament, and the public ear is 
strained in that direction to catch the news of any 
real decisions which will have a real effect in pre- 
venting real wars. All affect on admiration for 
disarmament, but nobody likes to disarm. 

While it is the sincere wish of every humane 
person that war and its attendant horrors be pre- 
vented in the future by a holiday of disarmament, 
there is one kind of warfare which, instead of admit- 
ting reduction of the weapons of war, rather lays 
down as a first principle their absolute necessity, 
and, moreover, commands their constant use. That 
warfare is the world-old conflict between the individ- 
ual soul and the powers of darkness. St. Paul, the 
accredited representative of the Prince of True 
Peace, writing to the first Christian soldiers at 
Ephesus, tells them not to disarm, — not so much as 
entertain the thought. No reduction of war strength 
for Paul. He, rather, tells those Christians to put 
on more armor, to be covered with it from head to 
foot, for their fighting was not against flesh and 
blood. No ! Their battling was with "principalities 
and powers, against the rulers of the world of this 



DISARMAMENT 

darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in high 
places." And in order to prepare for an attack at 
any moment from these formidable and unseen 
enemies, they must have their loins girt about with 
truth, have on the breast plate of justice, have their 
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of 
peace, on their head the helmet of salvation, one arm 
holding the shield of faith, while the other is ready 
to strike with the sword of the spirit. 

Diplomats may continue to speak honeyed 
words; covenants may be entered into, circuitously 
arrived at; armaments may really be reduced (per- 
haps), and, in the end, we hope that war will be no 
more. One thing however, we are certain of, War 
with capital ships, submarines, machine-guns and 
poison gas may know a lull on account of disarma- 
ment, but the war that St. Paul speaks of shall never 
cease. There can be no parley, no covenant, no 
truce with the enemy. Arms must be increased rather 
than reduced, for our enemies are powerful and we 
are weak. They — the wicked spirits — are always 
our enemies; — never more so than when they seem 
friends. 

Therefore, be armed, be strongly armed, be 
completely armed, for in this war there can be no 
truce — only victory. 



ANOTHER ASPECT 

gPASSIONIST Father who has recently been 
conducting a series of missions in the South 
writes us the following interesting and hope- 
ful account of his impressions, which well deserves 
to be quoted at length. 

"Frequent and recent outbursts of bigotry and 
outrages against Catholics in Georgia may mislead 
those who do not know our southern states, and 
make them judge other states by what they hear and 
read of Georgia. Most of the southern states are 
very predominantly Protestant, but few are so pre- 
dominantly bigoted as the state represented by Mr. 
Watson. Some missions this year among Catholics 
and Non-Catholics in North Carolina gave me my 
first experience in the South, and revealed to me a 
better class of Protestants. That state, with a popu- 
lation of 2,500,000 of whom only 8,000 are Catholics, 
is both the most Protestant and the most tolerant of 
the southern Protestant states. 



OF THE SOUTH 

"A strong spirit of Methodism, Freemasonry 
and human respect blinds many to the claims of the 
Catholic Church, or keeps them out when convinced 
of those claims; but it does not tolerate bitter 
bigotry. Cardinal Gibbons, who was once Vicar- 
Apostolic in North Carolina, did much by his noble 
priestly life, public spirit, and sermons to foster that 
spirit of tolerance. He died whilst I was giving 
missions there, and I was much impressed by the 
manner in which Protestants read the papers to get 
news of his death and burial. Many of them went 
to Baltimore to pay their respects to his dead body, 
and on their return eagerly told their friends of what 
they had seen at his obsequies. 

"A proof of the great difference between 
Georgia and North Carolina was given at Durham 
some years ago. That town including East and West 
Durham has a population of over 30,000 with about 
120 Catholics. At the time mentioned Mr. Ham, a 



THE + SIGN 



bigoted Protestant minister from Georgia, gave a 
mission for the Rev. Mr. Smith in his Baptist Church. 
During the mission he made the usual vile and bitter 
charges against the Catholic Church, priests, and 
nuns. The local Protestant papers published Mr. 
Ham's sermons, but they also gave Father O'Brien, 
the local priest, an opportunity to refute the slan- 
derer. The sympathy of the town was with Fr. 
O'Brien and against the parson from Georgia. His 
stay was shortened, and his mission went far beyond 
his intentions. Two sons of Mr. Smith, who were 
going to finish their education at Philadelphia, 
questioned Mr. Ham about the charges he had made 
against Catholics. He told them that a little experi- 
ence among the Catholics of Philadelphia would 
soon convince them of the truth. They became 
acquainted with Catholics in that city, and were in- 



deed soon convinced of the truth, — a truth that 
proved the falsehood of the bigoted parson, and 
led them both into the Catholic Church." 

The above will help to correct a false idea too 
commonly entertained by persons ill-acquainted with 
the facts. Bigotry and the South are not synonim- 
ous terms. Every state below the Mason-Dixon line 
is not to be classed with Georgia and Alabama. 
These two states may be the noisiest, they may beat 
loudest on their tom-toms of intolerance so that their 
sound goes forth to the farthest ends of the nation, 
but they do not represent — for which may God be 
praised! — the widest sentiment of the South. Too 
often is it the black side of the Southern shield 
which is held up to view, but we ought not to forget 
that there is yet another side, a side which reflects 
what is best and noblest in our Republic. 



TERCENTENARY OF JOHN BERCHMANS 



^^^HIS year marks the Tercentenary of the death 

V^ J of Saint John Berchmans. The event is one 

of interest to the whole Catholic world. 

A glory to God, a glory to Christ, and a glory 
to his Society, the ife of this Servant of God, is a 
wonderful inspiration to every Catholic, particularly 
to our Catholic youth. 

John Berchmans was born at Diest, March 13, 
1599. His parents were humble, poor, and God- 
fearing. From his tenderest years, they impressed 
upon the child's mind and heart the simple lesson 
of holy religion. These impressions were deep and 
lasting. 

At school, John showed uncommon talent. But 
his religious progress always ran far in advance of 
secular knowledge. 

Called to the religious state, he entered the 
Society of Jesus. As a novice and student, no singu- 
larity of conduct distinguished him from his fel- 
lows. He walked the common ordinary paths. 
His contemporaries esteemed him just a good faith- 
ful religious. 

So he lived, faithful to routine duties until in 
his twenty-second year, he was called to his reward. 
Short was the span of his years; but before heaven, 
long were they in grace and merit.. 

This is the career which occasions a world wide 
commemoration. It offers a practical lesson to all. 

Like John Berchmans, every Christian is called 
to be a saint. In the mad rush of the modern world, 
this fundamental truth is lost sight of. The false 



notion is abroad that sanctity is only for the religious 
and the priest; — a thing, whose home is in the 
cloister and not in the world.. Nothing better illus- 
trates the tenor of the day. 

Still, sanctity is as much a duty as patriotism. 
"This is the will of God, your sanctification," 
declares Saint Paul, and thus he addresses himself 
to his converts, "To all.... the beloved of God, 
called to the saints." 

The life of John Berchmans demonstrates how 
practical saintliness is in the every day life of the 
Christian. 

In vain, do we look in that life for ectasies, 
miracles, or other startling manifestations of divine 
omnipotence. There are no heroic actions, in the 
ordinary sense of the word; no frightful austerities, 
inspired by the holy follies of penance; no great 
works of the apostolate. His life ran on in the. com- 
mon course of ordinary mortals. 

The secret of his saintliness lies in this, that 
he was a clever spiritual financier. He learned how 
to get rich quick. He saw his opportunities. He 
grasped them. Like Midas, everything, at his touch, 
turned into gold, not the corruptible gold of this 
world, but the incorruptible gold of the kingdom of 
heaven. To him, even the least of his thousands 
of little every-day duties, was an opportunity of 
amassing new wealth. In a short time, he became 
a spiritual millionaire. 

He took Saint Paul at his word, "Whatsoever 



THE f SIGN 



you do, do it from your heart, as to the Lord, and 
not to men; all whatsoever you do in word or work, 
do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ; whether 
you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all 
to the glory of God." 



Here is the lesson of his life. God, Whose 
glory John Berchmans constantly sought in all that 
he did, drew aside the veil, and revealed him to us, 
clothed in everlasting glory — to be our model and 
inspiration. 



CHRISTMAS AND THE WORLD PROBLEM 



XN our busy, selfish, material, and commer- 
cial world, Christmas day comes as a bright 

spot in an otherwise dreary landscape. Admist 
the grinding, selfish struggle for advantage, "good- 
will" reigns supreme. The brief change is a 
refreshing tonic. Few can be insensible to the 
emotions this most appealing of all Christian festi- 
vals inspires. The day brings its memories of 
childish hopes and dreams; its simple decorations 
of holly and ivy and mistletoe, the fragant boughs 
of the pine woods, bright with tinsel and many 
colored lights the homely gathering together of the 
family around the fireside hearth; the scattering of 
good cheer, the special thoughtfulness for the poor; 
the exchange of Christmas greetings and gifts; — 
in a word, the day, with all its hallowed associations, 
makes us forget, for the nonce, the vexing and 
sordid cares of every day life. The world would 
be a much drearier place than it is if it were not 
for the annual visit of the Infant Saviour. The 
cheery greeting of "Merry Christmas," goes a great 
way to heartening us for the unknown vicissitudes 
of another year. 

If we seek the reason of the peculiar fascination 
this most beautiful ,of all Christmas festivals exerts 
over us, we will find it in a very elementary fact in 



tn AR 



FOCH THE 

[ARSHAL FOCH, Generalissimo of the Allied 
irmies in the World War, has visited the 
United States. His tour of the United States 
has been a continual triumph such as no conqueror 
in the heyday of Roman might ever surpassed. The 
acclamation has been spontaneous and unlimited. 
Universities, civil organizations, patriotic societies, 
labor unions, religious bodies have all vied with one 
another in showering honors, complimentary mem- 
berships, golden keys, substantial gifts on the man 
who has taken a place in the imagination of the 
American people equal to that of his brother in 
arms, Lafayette. 

Marshal Foch is a distinguished soldier, the 
profoundest strategist of his time. His niche in 
the annals of fame will be with the world's great 
commanders. The Marshal is more than a soldier. 



human nature. The appeal of innocent childhood 
is one against which the human heart can never 
successfully steel itself. The hard knocks of life, 
and contact with an unfeeling world, may sear and 
callous the heart, and put the sneer of cynicism on 
the lip, and the scowl of sulleness on the brow, — but 
the callousness and the cynicism and the scowl will 
melt away, before the smile in the eye of an innocent 
babe. For these little ones have a way of their own 
of stealing into our hearts. Christ manifested His 
infinite wisdom in a most unexpected manner when 
He came as a helpless child. 

It is a sad day for any man when he is not 
moved by the tenderness of Christ's cradle. There 
are those who do not experience the blessed peace 
Christmas day brings — because there is no room 
for Christ in their lives any more than there was 
room for Him in the inn. The world at large is torn 
by strife and unrest and disorder because it has cast 
Christ out of its life. Nations know not peace be- 
cause they have closed their doors against Him who 
from His humble manger preaches the emptiness and 
worthlessness of mere worldly glory and ambition, 
because rulers and statesmen have no room for Christ 
in their deliberations of schemes of government. 

CATHOLIC 

He is a practical and devoted son of the Catholic 
Church. Even when the colossal responsibilities of 
his exalted office weighed heaviest upon him he 
could yet find time each day to spend an hour at 
prayer. Marshal Foch is a worthy successor of the 
warrior saint of France, Louis IX. 

No other foreign dignitary who has visited 
America since the close of hostilities has received 
a reception like to that tendered the Allied Gene- 
ralissimo, with the one exception of Cardinal Mer- 
cier, whose coming to American shores was a na- 
tional event of lasting significance. 

It is something for Catholics to remember and 
in this remembrance be proud, that these two tower- 
ing personalities in the world's greatest cataclysm 
were members of the One, True, Holy and Apostolic 
Catholic Church. 



21 



Tke Union Jack Afloat Over Sion 

Tke Politico-Religious Status of Palestine 
The Very Rev. Cyprian Jourdin, C. P., St. Martha's Retreat, Bethany, Palestine. 



eREAT was the joy of the Christian world 
at the announcement that Jerusalem was 
free. The victory which liberated the Holy 
City from Turkish dominion came as a ray 
of sunshine in the midst of the gloomy winter of 
1917, a winter especially gloomy for the people 
of Palestine who had experienced for three long 
years all the miseries of war. Yet these same 
people who knew better than anyone else the true 
state of affairs in Palestine, felt a sense of uneasi- 
ness at the terms of the British manifesto, in which 
Mr. Balfour, on November 2, 1917, promised that 
Palestine was to be a national hearth to all Jews. 
This promise of the Modern Moses, prostrate before 
the golden calf, was the beginning of that extra- 
ordinary movement which, has drawn to Jerusalem 
from all quarters of the globe a motley gathering 
of most undesirable elements. This imported popu- 
lation is already a grave menace to the future peace 
of the Holy City. 

Passing over the supposed necessity compelling 
England to assume the protectorate of Palestine, the 
traditional liberality of British administration (out- 
side of Ireland) gave promise that a wise and con- 
ciliatory government would be assured to the Holy 
Land, and, likewise, that the communities long 
established in Judea would be confirmed in the 
peaceful enjoyment of their acquired rights, tradi- 
tions and customs. Before the war Christian, 
Mussulman and Jew had finally come to accomodate 
themselves to Turkish rule. No one imagined that 
the English could be less tolerant, still less that 
their victory, which was in fact an Allied victory, 
would inaugurate an era of anxious unrest. Yet, 
it is not without reason that Our Holy Father, the 
Pope, and with him all right-minded Christians, 
demand to know if Jerusalem has been snatched 
from Turkish domination only to fall under the 
galling yoke of provoking and aggressive Judaism 
championed by Great Britain. 

At the close of hostilities the Allies, conforming 
to one of Mr. Wilson's Fourteen Points, acknow- 
ledged the right of small nations to determine their 
own form of government. An American Commission 
was sent to the Near East to ascertain the wishes 
of the people. All declared in favor of a national 



government. But the Statesmen at Versailles seem 
to have had other designs; they created for the 
case the new system of Mandates. 

Q Mandate as understood in Article 22 of the 
pact of the League of Nations, recognizes 
certain rights of small nations. These rights 
are divided into three classes following the degree 
of civilization and capacity for self-government of 
each nation. The nations of the first class are entitl- 
ed to an autonomous government. The Mandatary 
Power proffer helpful counsel and protection. Man- 
dates of the second class give to the Mandatary 
Power the right to interfere in the internal adminis- 
tration of the nation subject to the Mandate. The 
Mandates of the third class go much further, their 
effect is little short of annexation. 

The Mandate for Palestine which Turkey re- 
nounced in favor of the principal Allied Powers 
according to the tenor of article 132 of the treaty 
signed at Sevres on August 10, 1920, has been 
conferred on Great Britain by Article 95 of the 
same treaty. 

In what class of Mandate does Palestine find 
herself? The Mandate itself is silent on this point. 
But the terms of the Mandate and their application, 
show but too clearly, that the Palestinians have 
been radically excluded from the first and second 
class only to be put in the third class. 

In effect the Mandate after having inserted in 
its preamble "that the Mandatary shall be responsi- 
ble for the execution of the declaration made on 
November 2, 1917, by the British Government in 
favor of establishing in Palestine a national home 
for the Jews, stipulates in the first article that His 
Britanic Majesty shall have the right as Mandatary 
to exercise in Palestine all the powers of a sovereign 
state. 

^^=^HE exercise of this sovereignty is along the 
L^ line marked out in articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11 of 
the Mandate. These articles, which are silent 
on the participation of the natives in the government 
of the country, make provision for the organizing 
in the country of a political regime, administrative 
as well as economical, which will render possible the 
establishment of a national home for the Jews. 
(Art. 2). 



THE + SIGN 



A Jewish Bureau shall be established, consti- 
tuted for the purpose of aiding the administration of 
Palestine. The Bureau shall be Zionist in organi- 
zation as long as the Mandatory shall think its 
functions and its constitution conduce to the desired 
end. (Art. 4). 

The Administration of Palestine shall be bound 
to faciliate Jewish immigration by holding out com- 
paratively easy 



but Palestine is for all practical purposes already 
a Jewish state under the sovereignty of England. 




terms, and shall 
be bound also to 
encourage inten- 
sive colonization 
of the country 
by Jews, and this 
to be especially 
applied to those 
lands belonging to 
the state and also 
to the uninhabited 
districts which are 
of no present 
public value. 
(Art. 6). To this 
end a law regard- 
ing nationaliza- 
tion shall be 
drawn up to facili- 
tate the attain- 
ment of citizen- 
ship by such Jews 
as intend to make 
Palestine their 
permanent home. 
(Art. 7). All 
these articles, not- 
withstanding the 
constant reitera- 
tion that the civil 
and religious 
rights of all the 

inhabitants without distinction of race or religion 
shall be safeguarded, treat the native Arabs as 
enemies and Palestine as a conquered land. This 
is purely and simply an overt seizure of Palestine 
by the Jews. England by virtue of her mandatary 
rights is handing over to the Jews a country to which 
they have no right. 

Not only is every inducement offered to those 
Jews who wish to establish themslves in Palestine, 



The Governor, Sir Herbert Samuel, is an Israelite. 
He has established his office of administration in 
view of the Holy City on the Mount of Olives in 
the ancient convent known as "Victoria," formerly 
the abode of the German Protestant Deaconesses. 

In the Governing Council, the more important 

offices are held by Jews. Saturday is become the 

official day of rest, and a Hebrew dialect called "Yddasch" 

is, together with English and Abrabian, the language of the 

courts and of official acts. 

The Mandatary Power endeavors to justify this pre- 
eminence given to the Jews by avowing that they constitute 
the native population of the land and that to establish for 
them a national home is but remaining faithful to one of Mr. 
Wilson's Fourteen Points. 

If such be the case, the application of the principle, 

'that small na- 
tions have the 
right to determine 
their own form of 
government," is a 
farce. The Jewish 
element in Pales- 
tine is but a very 
small minority 
and . hardly sur- 
passes the number 
of Christians. The 
great majority of 
the population is 
of Arabian ex- 
traction. The 
total population of 
Palestine is about 
700,000; 100,000 
are Jews; 100,000 
are Christians ; 
& Underwood the remaining 

CITADEL OF SION AND THE JOFFA GATE mm afe Arabs 

Then too, it must further be noted that the greater 
part of this one hundred thousand Jews is not native. 
It is made up of immigrants which Jewish enterprise 
has brought to the farming sections of Palestine or 
to the Holy City itself. The Jews who are today 
invading the country come from the Ghettos of the 
entire world. They are so far from being Palestin- 
ians that their native co-religionists consider them 
as strangers and are but half-heartedly concerned 
at their arrival. 
23 



THE + SIGN 



ON the other hand, the Arabs and Christians 
form the overwhelming majority of the popu- 
lation. In order to rob these of their rights, 
history is made to bear false witness. Some pre- 
tend that the successors of Mohammed took posses- 
sion of Palestine unlawfully in the seventh century 
and consequently that the present occupation is but 
a usurpation. What a puerile contention! If the 
world must go back to the state in which it was 
thirteen centuries ago, what nation today could 
establish a claim to occupied territory ? And further- 
more, no one has yet convincingly proved that 
the Arab-Mussulmen of Palestine are the descend- 
ants of invaders. 
The soldiers of 
the Caliphs who, 
setting out from 
Mecca, in less 
than one hundred 
years conquered 
a great part of 
Asia, North Afri- 
ca, Spain and 
Southern Gaul, 
until Charles Mar- 
tel, the Grand 
Duke of the 
Franks crushed 
them at Poitiers, 
were comparative- 
ly few. So that 
in Palestine the 
greater part of the 
Arab population 
could not be the descendants of the invaders from 
Mecca and therefore they must be of the native 
population of Syria and Chaldea who have occupied 
the land from time immemorial. The predominance 
which the British Mandate gives to the Jews is an 
act of flagrant injustice and gives the lie to the 
"Treaty of Versailles" which says: "Palestine for 
the Palestinians." Reflexively Arabs, Mussulmen 
and Christians have solidly united against this 
menace to their interests. 

Unanimously and with unswerving firmness the 
delegates and chiefs of the most important localities 
in Palestine reject the Jewish rule which the British 
Mandate has imposed upon them and they have 
not ceased to appeal to the considerate judgment 
of the world. Zionism, favored as it is in high 
diplomatic circles, is offensive to Arab, to Christian 




and to Mussulman; in fine, to the great majority 
of the population. The favors of which the Jews 
have been the recipients from the English Govern- 
ment have only augmented the antipathy of the 
Islamo-Christians against that Government which, 
on the taking of Jerusalem, was hailed as a liberator. 
This hatred has been shown by violent mani- 
festations on the public streets. The first mas- 
sacre of Jews took place at Jerusalem on Easter 
1920. This great Christian feast happened to coin- 
cide with the feast of "Nebe Mouca" (Prophet 
Moses) of the Mussulmen, who, at the time, go 
solemnly in pilgrimage to the so-called tomb of 
Moses. The 
morning after the 
massacre these 
same Mussulmen 
when passing the 
Catholic convents 
shouted : "Down 
with the Jew, 
Long live the 
Cross, Long live 
the Pope." 



& Underwood 

READING THE BRITISH 



TILL more 
serious 
trouble 
broke out at Joffa 
on May 2, 1921, 
when 30 Jews and 
10 Arabs were 
killed and 142 
proclamation Jews were wound- 

ed. These tumults show the grave problem which 
confronts the British Mandate — Arabian resistance 
and the Jewish predominance. 

Following these troubles, the Governor of Pales- 
tine, Sir Herbert Samuel, assured the natives that 
the "Jewish National Home" did not mean "Pales- 
tine for the Jews" and that Jewish immigration would 
be limited, and that a constitution was being drawn 
up by the British Government whereby public opin- 
ion could freely express itself, and that the people 
would have duly authorized representatives to 
guard their interests. 

These fair words have not yet materialized and 
the country is still in a ferment. The least spark 
suffices to create a new conflagration. May God 
forbid that civilized nations make of Palestine — 
"that cradle of revelation and the land of the pro- 



THE 1* SIGN 



phets," — the tomb of Justice and right! Surely they 
cannot permit that the Holy Land which was recon- 
quered by all Christian nations, and where before 
the present immigration, the Jewish element figured 
as only one seventh of the native population, should 
be placed exclusively in the hands of those who 
crucified Christ. If this comes to pass, then that 
land from which have radiated the sublime princi- 
ples of brotherly love and peace, will be the scene 
of revolution and of new carnage, and the fanaticism 
of the Mohammedans throughout the world will be 
aroused to the great prejudice of Jews and Chris- 
tians alike. 

*y*HAT then 
\I/ are we to 

think of the 
f uture of Catholic- 
ism in Jerusalem 
and throughout 
Palestine? 

The follow- 
ing are the Arti- 
cles of the British 
Mandate from 
which we may 
gauge the status 
of Catholics. 
Art. 8. 

The immuni- 
ties and privileges 
o f foreigners ; 
u n d e r s tanding ( 
thereby the right 

of Consular protection such as was formerly enjoyed 
through treaty or by customs of the Ottoman Empire, 
are definitely abrogated in Palestine. 
Art. 15.. 

The Mandatary shall see that complete liberty 
of conscience and free exercise of all forms of 
religious worship be guaranteed to all; subject to 
requirements of public order and morality. No 
distinction among the inhabitants of Palestine 
whether as regards race, religion or tongue, is to be 
recognized. 
Art. 16. 

The Mandatary shall be charged with the 
exercises of such surveillance of the conduct of mis- 
sionaries in Palestine as is necessary to order and 
good government. By virtue of this surveillance 
no one shall hamper the liberty of action of the 



missionaries or put any obstacles in their way 
either by making distinctions or stirring up pre- 
judices against them, whatever be their religion or 
nationality. 

These articles of the Mandate do away with all 
those immunities and privilges which the Catholics 
missionaries, especially, enjoyed under the Ottoman 
Government. By this act members of religious 
orders and missionaries are less free to carry this 
work, now, under the British, than they were under 
the Ottoman Government. And this, despite the 
fact that the greater part of them, French and Ialians, 
cooperated effectively in the conquest of Palestine; 
and despite the 
fact also that it 
was owing to their 
influence and the 
confidence which 
the nation had in 
them, that the 
conquest of Pales- 
tine and Syria was 
made compara- 
tively easy for the 
English and the 
Allies. 

None ques- 
tion that the 
former relations 
between the peo- 
ple and their 
ruler, were incom- 
patible with the 

THE JEWS CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF ALLENBY'S ENTRANCE exercise of a 

sovereign power such as England; but if this sove- 
reign power is to be exercised by the Jews alone as 
is the case of Palestine today, then what is to 
become of the civil rights of Catholic citizens! 

During the Turkisk regime, the different ele- 
ments lived side by side in quarters circumscribed 
by age-long tradition. Since the Crusades, Catholics 
and especially the Religious of St. Francis — so 
highly esteemed in the Church and throughout the 
secular world — following the example of the early 
Christians, have maintained the rights of Catholic- 
ism in the Holy Land. 

Since the time of Charlemagne, France has 
exercised her protection over all Catholics living in 
Palestine, irrespective of nationality, so much so, 
that the Arabs call all Catholics indiscriminately 
"French." The Religious of St. Francis called the 



i| 


* 


m^M 


f "J 


, v. .JH. TrfW « 




f 

■ v a 


W immf 


r.lg&C 



25 



THE 1* SIGN 



"Guardians of the Holy Places" have often proved 
their title by the shedding of their blood. They it 
was who opened the first schools, who built the first 
hospices wherein lodging and shelter were assured 
to all Catholic pilgrims to the Holy Land. 

1NCE 1847 Palestine, together with the Isle 
of Cyprus, has formed a diocese under the 
jurisdiction of a Patriarch. His Excellency, 
Monsignor Barlissina is the present titular. Since 
that date numerous religious congregations of men 
and women, the greater majority being French, have 
established themselves in Palestine. Before the war 
there were about thirty such. 

The impor- 
tance of the works 
of charity under- 
taken by these 
zealous religious 
without distinc- 
tion for Jew, 
Arab, or Chris- 
•ian, could not bet- 
ter be set .forth 
than by a few 
figures, eloquently 
testifying to Ca- 
tholic activities in 
the Holy Land. 

In Palestine ( 
there are 1200 



centuries they have regarded as their traditional 
enemy that they will not fail to take revenge in the 
very country where Christianity was born. They 
will not hesitate to attack the principal moral power 
in Palestine, Catholicism, certain that in expelling 
the Catholic missionaries and religious and in clos- 
ing the monasteries and convents, they will effectu- 
ally extinguish all Christianity in the Holy Land. 
Then shall the Catholic world behold with awe the 
catastrophe predicted by Benedict XV. in his allocu- 
tion of March 10,1919, when he conjured up the 
dreadful prospect of "The Holy Land in the hands 
of the Jews." 





^^^gj ^^^ 




p 


- - wiJr^x ^Rk^' "?*^POB tz\ i 


EH 

It 



u 



\— Underwood & 



priests and religious men and 500 nuns : 6500 pupils 
are taught, and 8000 orphans are cared for. The 
average number of patients yearly treated in the 
hospitals is 7000, while 35,000 patronize the dispen- 
saries. Besides this, countless sick are visited in 
their homes. The point worthy of note is that all 
is done gratuitously. 

After the deliverance of Jerusalem the self- 
sacrificing work of these devoted men and women, 
was actually thwarted by a liberal Protestant or 
Jewish administration which regards the Christ of 
the Christians either as a stranger or as an enemy. 
And if, which may God forbid, the British Mandate, 
as it is at present exercised, receives the formal 
approbation of the League of Nations, the Jewish 
state will automatically be released from British 
control and persecution will inevitably follow. 

The Jewish immigrants are so imbued with 
hatred towards Christianity which for so many 



'NFO RTU- 
N A TELY, 
the Schis- 
matic Church, be- 
ing without au- 
thority and with- 
out a head, is not 
likely to accept 
the challenge. 
Until the Patri- 
arch of the Schis- 
matic Church of- 
ficially opened the 
Holy Sepulchre 
to the Jewish 
underwood Governor, a Jew 

Palestine being modernized by Zionists ^ad never dared 

to enter therein. The Greek Schismatic Church is 
becoming little by little domesticated through the 
constant pressure of the present ruling power which 
has already begun to interfere in its internal admini- 
stration and which of course always favors its puppet 
to the great detriment of Catholics. There are other 
facts more serious which already show the open 
hostility of the new Mandatary towards all that is 
Catholic. 

The following weighty words pronounced by 
the Sovereign Pontiff in the consistory of June 13, 
1921, on the subject of Palestine, were the occasion 
of a significant incident in the Holy Land. The 
Holy Father said in substance : "When the Chris- 
tian soldiers of the Allies recovered the Holy Land 
we shared the joy of all the faithful. But we do 
not disguise the fear of seeing an event so important 
and so joyous in itself, end in assembling the Jews 
in Palestine and giving them a predominance and 
a privileged status. 
26 



THE 1" SIGN 






"Events have shown that our fear was not a vain 
one. So far in fact from being ameliorated, the 
condition of Christians in Palestine has become 
worse than that of old. On account of the new laws 
and constitutions, which, we will not say by the aim 
of the authors, but certainly in fact, tend to destroy 
Christian influence to the advantage of the Jews. 
We see further that many are endeavoring to deprive 
the Holy Places of their sacred character and to 
transform them into pleasure resorts where license 
is given full rein, all of which, if deplorable any- 
where, is especially so in that country where at 
every step one is confronted with the most sacred 
religious memories." 

Although an arbitrary unprincipled censorship 
forbade the Catho- 
lic Papers to pub- 
lish the words of 
the the Pope, a 
Jewish Journal 
"L'Arez" of Jeru- 
salem, on June 20, 
was at liberty to 
put an entirely dif- 
ferent interpreta- 
tion on them. This 
same paper on June 
28, in an article, 
headed "The Pope 
and Palestine" fal- 
sified the words of 
Our Holy Father in 
which he treated 
of the moral condi- 
tion of Palestine. Other Jewish papers published 
the same article. An article in the "Pm Pas," a 
Jewish journal published at Jaffa on June 30, printed 
the following: "The word Justice has become the 
pet word of the Popes, serving to hide their evil 
deeds and to deceive the people." Further on it 
adds: "The Holy Ones of God preach in their 
churches a national movement, incititive to murder 
and pillage, and plot with the devil and the Pope." 
This accusation is as false as it is absurd for not 
only has no priest or religious encouraged active 
resistance, but, during the disturbances in Joffa last 
May, a massacre of Jews by Mussulmen was pre- 
vented by the sole intervention of the Latin 
Patriarch, Monsig. Barlassina who hurried to the 
scene at the first alarm. 




FORMER HOMES OF THE GERMAN PROTESTANT DEACONESSES NOW 1 
RESIDENCE OF SIR HERBERT SAMUEL 



nOW then are we to explain the conduct of the 
Mandatary Power towards Catholics? It 
allows full liberty for the publication of such 
inflammatory articles as above against the Pope and 
yet forbids the diocesan authorities to defend the 
Holy Father by means of their own papers. The 
Latin Patriarch protested energetically against this 
attitude of the British Government in a Pastoral 
Letter dated July 7, 1921. 

To sum up, Palestine is actually a closed 
country, wherein the opposing parties are ready to 
come to blows at the first provocation if the terms 
of the British Mandate meet with the approval of 
the League of Nations. 

Jewry wishes to restore the ancient kingdom of 
David and Solo- 
mon in Palestine 
and to exercise un- 
controlled sover- 
eign power. The 
Mandatary played 
into its hands in 
naming a Jewish 
governor in Pales- 
tine, when expedi- 
ency and even pru- 
dence, demanded 
either a Mussulman 
or a Christian 
Governor in the 
midst of such rival 
factions. 

The Chris- 
tians and Mussul- 
men and Arabs base their contention on their 
numerical strength. "No Jewish rule," they say. 
"The Jews are but a small minority and hence their 
participation in the government ought to be in 
relative proporation to their numbers." Since 
neither the Christian nor the Mussulman can hold 
his own in the financial field by matching capital 
with capital or even shrewdness with shrewdness, 
continued recourse will be had to violence. In such 
case the Mandatary power will bring into play 
its full war equipment, machine guns, armored cars, 
and fighting planes, and coerce submission. This 
condition will obtain so long as the natives do not 
allow themselves to be bought by gold, a thing so 
easy in the Near East. 

The Land of Christ is to be a flag-stone on the 
English imperial road between Egypt and India. 



27 



THE f SIGN 



As she passes over this road she will crush Justice 
and Right in the very land of their birth. She is 
indifferent to the fact that she is creating a centre 
of Moslem agitation which will be linked with the 
two other spheres of unrest, Egypt and India, thus 
adding to the force of the storm which is gathering 
in the East against the British Empire. 

As Caholics we favor neither the agitation of 
the Arabs nor the triumph of Judaism. The two are 
equally a menace to the peace of the Orient and 
a danger to Catholicism. There is no question of 
depriving England of the Mandate. She will not 
give up her hold. But England is bound in justice 
to exercise her power in a way which will safeguard 
the rights of both Christian and Musselman. The 
Palestine question is not an affair of politics; neither 
is it a mere English colonial problem. It affects 
Catholics the world over. The Holy Places consti- 
tute a sacred patrimony, about the preservation of 
which all the faithful are concerned. These are 
the sentiments which Pope Benedict has so elo- 
quently voiced in the allocution above referred to. 

It is for Catholic opinion to support the appeal 
of the Sovereign Pontiff, and in all effective ways to 
bring his point of view before the Executives of the 



great nations and the accredited representatives in 
the council of the League of Nations, So that im- 
mediate and efficacious steps may be taken to put an 
end to the transformation of Palestine into a Jewish 
state.. 

^^s^HE proclamation of the Governor of Palestine, 
y *J Sir Herbert Samuel, after the massacre at 
Joffa, gives the broad outlines of a policy 
replete with wisdom, and it is only necessary to con- 
firm and apply it should the League of Nations 
underwrite the British Mandate. 

If Sir Herbert's wise words are not listened to, 
then, not only shall we see the Holy Land lost to 
Christianity and the rights of the non-Jewish ma- 
jority trampled under foot, but we shall see two 
thousand years of history annihilated in the land 
where history first had birth, in that land where 
stands the most ancient of momuments, in that land 
about which the Christian's most hallowed memories 
cling; we shall witness the amazing spectacle of so 
called Christian Nations, under color of replacing 
the Ottoman dominion with their own much vaunted 
ideal of liberty, in reality setting up a new and more 
galling tyranny in the Land of Christ's Birth. 



A Christmas Nocturne 



Murtagh Moore 



Sleep, Jesu mine! 

Thy" Father is out where the stars cleave the night; 

He'll guide them a while; now close thine ey"es tight; 

Rest Thou, betime. 

Sleep! 



Sleep — thine eyes beguile! 

For the wild sparrows no care to thee take; 

Thy Father vJill guard them, asleep or awake : 

Forget them awhile; 

Sleep! 



Slumber in peace! 

Men are asleep in the mumerous town ? 

Angels keep vigil the night's shadows dovJn; 

Give thy heart ease. 

Sleep! 



The White Rose of Lucca 

Trie Stor;9 of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
4 — The Marks of tke Lord Jesus — (continued) 



gN arrangement such as this was pleasing 
to Gemma, because it delivered her from 
prying neighbors' vulgar curiosity, and 
from the misunderstandings that arose 
from time to time in her own. home because of the 
unusual ways of her spiritual life. 

In the meantime Gemma went to her confessor, 
Monsignor Volpi, and informed him modestly, 
simply, and sincerely, of all the details concerning 
the reception of the miraculous wounds. The Bishop 
received her very kindly, listened to her narrative 
without any expression either of wonder or of sur- 
prise, and without giving any decision on so im- 
portant a matter, merely bade her to pray very hard 
and then dismissed her. 

While the Bishop could not believe that a soul 
of such eminent virtue was the victim of self- 
deception and hallucination, still he was much per- 
plexed to think that his humble penitent was the 
recipient of spiritual favors that had not been vouch- 
safed even to many of the greatest saints of the 
Church. The formal statements of the Passionists, 
as they did not relieve the prudent Bishop of his 
responsibility, so they did not dispel his anxiety to 
know certainly the origin of the marvels that had 
become ordinary incidents in Gemma's life. 

To ascertain whether or not these things were 
the results of natural causes, Monsignor Volpi en- 
listed the service of a worthy and competent phy- 
sician, but the attempt to subject these heavenly 
things to the judgment of science proved abortive. 
For our Lord warned the Bishop through Gemma 
that the course that he had proposed to take was not 
pleasing to Him ; that if he came alone to see Gemma 
he should be convinced; but that otherwise he should 
see nothing. Nevertheless, the Bishop did not think 
it right to abandon his purpose; so that although he 
visited the house at a time which otherwise would 
have been most opportune, Gemma's wounds, seen 
only a moment before by the members of the house- 
hold, immediately disappeared, when the doctor 



accompanying the Bishop approached to examine 
them. Painful in the extreme was the effect of this 
incident on the Bishop's mind, and he was not 
entirely re-assured, when Gemma went to show him 
alone the wounds that he had not been permitted 
to see in company with the physician an hour or two 
before. 

y^^HE Bishop was a very busy prelate, and al- 
y_ J though he kept himself informed about Gem- 
ma's affairs by members of the household he 
could not give to the important question the attention 
it demanded, and therefore, the responsibility of 
Gemma's direction weighed upon him heavily. 
While he was in Rome at this time he sought to 
interview one Father Germanus about the matter, 
but that learned and holy priest was out of the city, 
and subsequent efforts on both sides for a meeting 
were equally unsuccessful. 

Afterwards there was an interchange of cor- 
respondence between them, in which Monsignor 
Volpi told the distinguished priest all about Gemma 
and asked for suggestions in the matter of her 
direction; while Father Germanus, in turn, advised 
that Gemma be placed on the ordinary path of virtue 
followed by the majority of the faithful. Later, in 
reply to further details the Bishop furnished, he 
suggested that recourse he had to the exorcisms of 
the Church. 

Sometime after, on the 1st of September, 1900, 
to be precise, at the Bishop's request Father 
Germanus was sent by his superiors to Lucca. Then 
it was that he met Gemma for the first time, and 
that in accord with the Bishop's desire, he undertook 
her spiritual direction; and until her death three 
years later he remained her spiritual guide. 

Father Germanus tells us that as soon as he 
met Gemma he was filled with veneration for her, 
and that even from the beginning he felt that she 
was no ordinary soul. Nevertheless he applied him- 



29 



THE f SIGN 



self industriously to discover whether or not Gem- 
ma's spirit was from God. 

For a long time Gemma was kept in suspense 
as to what she should understand by the extraordin- 
ary things that she experienced. But at last, after 
a long and searching investigation the prudent 
priest's first impression became his settled con- 
viction, namely, that Gemma was a soul of rare 
sanctity and endowed with marvelous supernatural 
gifts. 

Conformably with this decision he announced 
to Gemma, much to her relief, that her extraordinary 
spiritual experiences were operations of the Spirit 
of God, and that she could surrender herself to 
their leading without hesitation, misgiving, or fear. 
It was beyond her ability to express her joy at this 
announcement, for no one could have felt its need 
more than she; and no one could have been more 
grateful for the decision when it came. 

5 — Sweetness and Strength 

XN the preceding chapters of this story a 
fairly well-defined outline was traced, it 
is hoped, of Gemma Galgani's beautiful 
personality; a personality of which narra- 
tive order does not permit or require the full por- 
trayal. Hence it will be well to pause before narrat- 
ing the closing chapter of this short but saintly life, 
and fill in the picture with a little more detail. 

The phrase, "sweetness and strength," aptly 
sums up the spiritual beauty and perfection of our 
saintly subject. This touching sweetness was the 
result of Gemma's wonderfully childlike simplicity, 
which was always her principal charm. But as this 
simplicity was quite supernatural, it carried with 
it no element of weakness; for, she was endowed 
in a high degree with the opposite virtue of heroic 
strength. One virtue did not weaken or destroy 
the other; rather they were a mutual support. All 
her life Gemma drank deep at the fountains of 
strength — the five Wounds of Christ: she knew 
by personal and voluntary participation all the 
bitterness of His chalice; hence it was that while 
heroically strong, she was at the same time adorned 
with somewhat of that magnetic appeal by which 
Christ Crucified draws all things to Himself. Gem- 
ma's sweetness and strength were the sweetness and 
strength of the Man of Sorrows. 

Although Gemma died in the flower of young 
womanhood, she retained to the last the childlike 
simplicity which was her characteristic virtue as 



well as the form, the color, and the savor of her 
spiritual perfection. She entered the path of 
Christian holiness when as yet a child, and after a 
type of sanctity the most sublime had been realized 
in her, she ceased not to be a child in heart and mind 
and soul. 

The pictures that we have of the saintly girl 
display one of those rare countenances that never 
outgrow the sweet charm of childhood. The expres- 
sion of her face with its soft roundness of line and 
feature and its serene openness of gaze, indicates 
the lucid candor of a soul that has not learned the 
art of concealing its sentiments, because unconscious 
of aught of which to be ashamed. Such a reading 
of Gemma's countenance is. entirely consistent with 
her saintly character. Her mind's eye was always 
fixed upon God, — an attitude which begot an un- 
alterable serenity that was like the placid surface 
of clear water, which mirrors all that falls within 
its compass but upon which nothing is able to make 
an impression. Hers, too, was the heart of an 
innocent love, a heart in which calm rectitude and 
perfect order reigned, and hence one that was 
immune from the canker of vain-glory, of pride, or 
of disorderly affections of any kind. 

^TRANSPARENT candor, an outgrowth of Gem- 
y_ J ma's simplicity, was enshrined in her whole 
person and shone with a bright effulgence 
in her every word and action. It has already been 
noted how straightforward she was in speech, and 
how this trait was sometimes misunderstood for 
rudeness and pride. The truth is, she always endeav- 
ored to put in practise the Gospel precept of 
absolute sincerity, of which idle talk is the greatest 
foe. In her letters she avoided the conventional 
preambles, no matter how high of station was the 
persons addressed, and went straight to the point. 
The only introductions she used was certain ex- 
pressions peculiar to her and full of ineffable sim- 
plicity. "Monsignor," she would begin, "stay and 
listen; so and so has happened." Or again: "My 
Father, listen to the curious thing I am going to tell 
you." Then immediately followed what she had to 
say, without thought for style, but just as her heart 
dictated. Yet how charming are those letters in 
their spiritual unction and in the noble simplicity 
of their untutored eloquence! 

When Gemma had to treat personally with 
others about any matter, she did so with an unre- 
strained cordiality and ingenuous affabiliy. Fre- 



THE 1*SIGN 



quently, distinguished persons, attracted by her repu- 
tation for holiness, called to see her, and not rarely 
to consult her on important affairs. In such cases 
she was always very brief; gave her answers with 
evident grasp and insight, and then withdrew as 
quickly as she could. Yet she always inspired with 
affectionate confidence those who met her, and only 
a brief acquaintanceship was all that was necessary 
to fill them with veneration. This regard she returned 
with much tenderness, yet with no show of effusion 
or compliment. 

In a word, she was in everything the same 
simple girl, natural, unassuming, hating and avoiding 
all singularity. True it is that she must of necessity 
attract attention by the severe plainness of her dress, 
by her dignity of bearing, and by her uncommon 
modesty. Of such attention however she was quite 
unconscious. When in church nothing distinguished 
her from other devout worshippers except, perhaps, 
a somewhat more rapt devotion in her prayers. 
She was accustomed each day to hear two Masses, 
at the first of which she communicated, and during 
the other she made her thanksgiving. At the first 
sign by her adopted mother, who in later years al- 
ways was her companion, Gemma would at once 
interrupt 'her devotions and prepare to start her 
home, as if she had been waiting all the while to be 
called away. She would not return to church again 
until evening, when she would visit the Blessed 
Sacrament and assist at Benediction. 

©UT it was in the practise of virtue that Gem- 
ma's simplicity shone with truly divine 
beauty. It will be sufficient to speak here 
only of her obedience and humility, for these bore 
most deeply the stamp of her sweet childlikeness. 

It was her perfect obedience that lead Gemma 
to abandon her will and judgment, not only in the 
mere commonplaces of life, but in all spiritual mat- 
ters, especially extraordinary ones. She would un- 
dertake nothing without the approval and permission 
of her spiritual director. Thus in regard to certain 
excruciating pains in her head she wrote: "Provided 
you approve, Father, I should like to ask Jesus to 
calm my head a little." "Give me leave, Father," 
she wrote again, "to ask Jesus to take me quickly 
out of this life, to be with Him in glory." To such 
a degree had she attained in this virtue, that even 
when favored with visions of Our Lord, she did not 
consider herself at liberty to disregard the directions 
of her confessor. The latter imposed on her a time 



limit in which to treat with her Savior; thereafter, 
even though she was consumed with love and com- 
passion at His feet, when the striking of the clock 
announced the expiration of the allotted time, full 
of distress she would exclaim: "Jesus, go away I 
don't want you any longer." "Poor Jesus," she once 
said, "how often have I not been rude to Him in 
obedience to the confessor. And He stood there, so 
good, so good." 

In the practise of humility she was equally 
childlike and perfect. So deeply was she convinced 
of the need of humility in God's service, so strenu- 
ously did she strive to acquire this virtue, that in the 
end her lowliness of heart became so profound that 
she felt herself to be the most sinful among all God's 
creatures. 

In every word and action this sense of her 
spiritual wretchedness and misery is revealed. 
Hence her repeated lamentations over her ingrati- 
tude and the multitude of her sins; hence her remon- 
strances when others requested her prayers, and her 
appeals to their supposed knowledge of her sinful- 
ness as a sufficient proof that no good could be 
expected from her; hence her dread of being deceiv- 
ed by Satan and in turn of deceiving others; hence 
her repugnance to speak of her great graces : for 
her anxious care to keep secret, "the things of Jesus," 
as she called them, was equalled only by her dread 
of their becoming known. 

No wonder that the dear child was filled with 
shame when before her Lord; no wonder that she 
was wont to beg Him to reserve His gifts for those 
who were more worthy, and to warn Him to beware 
lest He soil His hands with a creature as wretched 
as she. How touching are the epithets she applied 
to herself, especially in prayer! She styled herself 
"foolish virgin," "miserable being," "useless ser- 
vant." "Dear Mother," she would pray, "dear Lord, 
this miserable being has to be lifted up." She used 
to say that whoever prayed for "poor Gemma" 
would do a really great act of charity. 

We are not surprised to learn that Heaven, 
without fear that its bounty would be abused, lavish- 
ed its gifts upon this blessed child so deeply ground- 
ded in simplicity and lowliness of heart. In fact, 
Gemma's sweet childlikeness was the 'open sesame' 
that unbarred the gates of heaven, almost at her 
bidding, for she was favored with countless visions 
and apparitions of Our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin 
and of the Angels. 

To be continued 



31 



Archconfraternit}) of 




the Sacred P 



Relations to Other Societies 

^-— ^HATEVER inspires and encourages virtue 
W I ^ and religion receives the sanction and 
\ ^\J support of the Church. This is true of the 
different societies which bring the faithful 
together to honor some mystery of our divine 
Savior's life, or of His immaculate Mother, or of 
some one of His wonderful saints. The value of 
confraternities consists in keeping the truths of faith 
always vivid and active, while at the same time 
affording numerous opportunities to practice Chris- 
tian charity. Such societies serve as an antidote to 
individual selfishness, greed, and pride, and develope 
in social life that spirit of "love one another, as I 
have loved you," which distinguishes the true fol- 
lower of Christ. Today the world is filled with 
fraternal organizations, but only in the sodalities 
of the Church may be found that kindness, sympa- 
thy, mutual help, and potent influence, which exact 
denial of self for the sake of others, the sacrifice of 
personal interests to promote the spiritual welfare 
and true happiness of the neighbor. The Church 
urges her children to form sodalities, or to unite 
with societies she had approved, because they truly 
advance the kingdom of Christ on earth, accomplish 
much in saving souls, and day by day increase the 
number of the saints. Like a display of beautiful 
flowers, here and there exhibiting clusters of violets 
or lilies, of carnations or roses, of peonies or chry- 
santhemums, so the varied sodalities of the Church 
enhance her grandeur, exalt her teaching, and every- 
where diffuse her ardent love of sincere piety and 
solid virtue. 

The difference between societies is not merely 
a matter of name, but is to be sought in the purpose 
they endeavor to accomplish. Some societies are 
devoted to works of charity, such as the care of the 
sick, or the relief of the poor, or the conversion of 
pagans and the spread of the faith. Others, again, 
have aims that are purely devotional, — that so by 
constant recollection of some divine mystery, or 
the veneration and imitation of some saint, the 
members will be able to make their lives more con- 
formable to the faith they profess. Distinctions 
may also arise on the account of age, sex, state in 



assion 



life, the means to be employed, and the manner of 
direction. Some have a regular election of officers, 
and others are governed by prefects or promotors 
under the leadership of a Director or Moderator. 
Moreover, some sodalities confine their sphere of 
action to their immediate vicinity, while others 
radiate their influences throughout the universal 
Church. 

In many respects, however, the societies of the 
Church are alike. They make the same public pro- 
fession of faith. They consider the Holy Sacrifice 
of the Mass and the regular reception of the Holy 
Sacraments as their main sources of spiritual 
strength. They seek the approval and blessing of 
the Church for the devotional exercises they prac- 
tice, or the works of mercy and charity they under- 
take. It is the purpose of all to give greater honor 
and glory to God, to proclaim and defend His 
Church on earth, to combat error and vice, to afford 
encouragement by good example, and to assist as 
much as possible in the conversion of sinners and 
the salvation of souls. Such is the harmony be- 
tween the societies that often persons become 
members of three or more of them, and successfully 
promote the interest of all. While each society 
strives to attain a definite purpose, they support 
each other and move together to the great end point- 
ed out to them by the Church. 



xs 



HE Archconfraternity of the Passion aims to 
enlist every man, woman, and child, in its 
world-wide mission of preaching Christ 
Crucified. To succeed in this exalted purpose, it 
requires nothing that would interfere or conflict 
with the duties of any other society. On the con- 
trary, it chooses many devout practices for its own 
great work, which are regarded by other sodali- 
ties as rules. To promote devotion to the Sacred 
Passion, the members of the Archconfraternity 
assist at Holy Mass, receive regularly the Holy 
Sacraments and pray daily that Jesus Crucified 
may become more generally known and venerated. 
Even assisting at the meetings of other societies 
and following their devotional exercises may be done 




A NATIONAL Sj> CATHOLIC 
/MONTMLY MAGAZINES 



| VOL. I. 



JANUARY, 1922 



No. 6 



d, 1922 



rorwar 

XT Will be of interest to SIGN readers to learn tkat THE SIGM begins its first 
New Year with a reading circle of 60,000. This is its growth since August, 
1 92 I . This gratifying result has been achieved in strict adherence to its original 
policy) of appealing to the public through accredited solicitors who are responsible 
directly to the Editors of THE SIGN, and for Whose thorough trustworthiness THE SIGN 
is read;9 to vouch. No agency has been, or will be, authorized to represent THE 
SIGN. This policy^ THE SIGN is determined in future to maintain. 

Such a phenomenal growth, has not been attained without a number of unavoidable 
inconveniences. These Will diminish as THE SIGN Waxes stronger. 

THE SIGN thanks- its readers for their patronage, and at the same time it asks 
their active cooperation in helping to Widen the sphere of its influence, to bring it into 
every Catholic home, to sustain it in its avoWed mission of making Christ Crucified better 
known in the land. 

The better to attain this end, it will continue to feature both devotional and 
instructional articles on the Sacred Passion. These will be contributed by various Passionist 
Fathers in different parts of the world. Among these articles Will be a number of new 
illustrated studies of the Holy Places written from the Holy Land. 

To numerous inquirers THE SIGN is pleased to announce that materials are being 
gathered for a biography^, shortly to appear, of Father Fidelis of the Cross — James Kent Stone. 

Father Felix Ward, C.P. in lieu of special articles, Will contribute a number of 
advanced chapters from the book on which he has been engaged during the past four 
))ears — "Passionists in America, Sketches Historical and Personal". 

The department of fiction Will be cohered by such Well-knoWn authors as Padre 
Coloma, S. J., John Ay^scough, Gabriel Francis Powers and others. 

The monthly publication of letters from the Passionist Fathers who have recently 
set out for China will enable SIGN readers to keep themselves informally in touch with 
latest developments in the present day movement in the Catholic Church of America 
towards the Chinese Mission Fields. 

To the instructional pages already featured will be added neW columns succinctly 
treating of Church History; also, of sociological and economical topics along lines 
mapped out by the N.C.W.C. These will be conducted by accredited specialists in 
these departments. 

THE SIGN, in conclusion, wishes its many patrons a happy and prosperous NeW Year. 



2 



I MMM5Z 



v ^ffsftrSfiEi 



The Epipharpj) of the Passion 



Tke Savior King 
Herbert McDevitt, C. P. 



ON two occasions our Divine Savior Jesus 
Christ was publicly proclaimed King of 
the Jews. Soon after His birth, the Wise 
Men from the East journeyed to Jerusalem 
inquiring: "Where is He that is born King of the 
Jews?" The manifestation of Christ to these three 
pilgrim Gentiles is now commemorated under the 
title of the Epiphany. After many years, Our Lord 
carried His cross through the streets of Jerusalem 
and was crucified on the hill of Calvary. Then 
Pontius Pilate wrote a title, we are told, in Hebrew, 
Greek, and Latin, so none would fail to understand 
the superscription : "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the 
Jews." This was the Epiphany of the Passion, the 
second manifestation of Christ the Savior to the 
world. 

In both events Our Blessed Lord is called the 
King of the Jews. With some knowledge of the 
Sacred Passion, one may go to Bethlehem with 
the Wise Men and adore the Son of God in the arms 
of His immaculate Mother and offer Him gifts. 
With the incidents of the Epiphany in mind, one 
may ascend the slope of Golgotha and like the Wise 
Men kneel in adoration before Christ Crucified and 
present gifts to Him. In the Epiphany of the Pas- 
sion as in the Epiphany of the Crib, it is Christ 
the King and Savior of the world, Who commands 
the reverence of mankind. 

The circumstances of the Epiphany of the 
Infant Redeemer are thus related by St. Matthew 
in the second chapter of his Gospel. "When Jesus 
was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King 
Herod, behold there came Wise Men from the East 
to Jerusalem, saying : 'Where is He that is born King 
of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the 
East, and have come to adore Him." The Evangelist 
tells us that King Herod was troubled and all 
Jerusalem with him on hearing of the birth of a 
king. 

Calling together the chief priests and scribes 
of the people, the king anxiously inquired where the 
expected Messias should be born. They replied in 
the words of the Prophet Micheas that Bethlehem 
of Juda would be the place. Herod asked the three 
Wise Men privately about the wonderful star, which 



had guided them thither, and failing to glean the 
information he coveted as to the whereabouts of the 
the Child, craftily instructed them to continue their 
journey to Bethlehem. Seek diligently for the child, 
he said, and when you have found Him, return that 
I may also go and see Him. 

The Wise Men quitted the presence of Herod 
and his court to resume their journey to Bethlehem. 
Once more the star shining brightly went before them 
until it stood above the place where the Child was. 
Entering the grotto, they found the Infant Jesus, 
nestling on a bed of straw, His immaculate Mother 
kneeling over Him, and by her side the silent 
Joseph. Falling down they adored the Child King, 
Whom faith had told them was the Messias, God 
Incarnate. Thereupon opening their treasures they 
spread before Him costly gifts of gold, frankincense, 
and myrrh. 

Admonished from on high that they should not 
return to Herod the Wise Men followed a different 
route back to their own country. An Angel then 
appeared to Joseph whilst he was asleep, warning 
him of impending danger to the Holy family. With 
all haste Joseph took the Child and His Mother and 
fled into Egypt; for as he knew, Herod was seeking 
the Child to destroy Him. In truth, the cruel 
tyrant sent a company of soldiers to Bethlehem with 
instructions to slaughter every male child under two 
years of age. Thus, amid scenes of blood, lamenta- 
tion, and death, ended the first Epiphany. 

XT may be truly said that the Sacred Passion 
of Christ was graphically foreshadowed in 
the Epiphany of Bethlehem. His own people, 
the Jews, that one day would cry out: "Away with 
Him! Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!" 
even at the time of His birth, ignored Him; whilst 
three Strangers from afar must needs travel perilous 
roads to welcome and to worship Him. All Jerusa- 
lem indeed was troubled at the time of the Savior's 
birth, but no man accompanied the Wise Men to 
find the King of the Jews. As the Apostle St. John 
well expresses it: "He came unto His own, and His 
own received Him not." 

When the Wise Men discovered the Child and 



THE 1* SIGN 



His Mother, did they ask the question, which in after 
years would be heard in Pilate's Hall: "Art Thou 
a king?" Did they read in the helplessness, 
poverty, and humility of the Holy Child, the truth 
which He in the fullness of His years would enunci- 
ate for future ages: "My kingdom is not of this 
world?'' The Wise Men beheld His Sacred Body 
trembling from weakness and from cold, as one day 
It was destined to trem- 
ble beneath the cutting 
lash. They, blessed with 
wisdom and with wealth, 
blushed not to prostrate 
themselves before Him; 
but a day would come, 
alas! when the meanest 
among men would dare 
to crown Him with a 
crown of thorns, and 
bending the knee in moc- 
kery would raucously 
shout: "Hail, king of the 
Jews!" The Wise Men 
opened their treasures 
and offered gifts of gold, 
frankincense, and myrrh 
to their Infant King. 
How different, on a time, 
it would be when heart- 
less men would make 
ready for Him the cross, 
the nails, and the sponge 
soaked with vinegar and 
gall! 

To flee the danger 
of King Herod's mad 
jealousy, Joseph sped 
into Egypt with the 
Child and His Mother; 
an hour would come 
when the frenzied jeal- 
ousy of His own fellow-citizens would nail this 
same sweet Babe to the Cross of shame. The Wise 
Men did not ask: "Where is He that will be the 
king of the Jews?" But they demanded to know, 
with a confidence accounted for only by supernatural 
inspiration "Where is He that is born King of the 
Jews?" Thus in no uncertain terms did they pro- 
claim the royal blood of the Babe of Bethlehem; 
thus they were the first to declare the truth, which 
Pilate was to publicly flaunt before the eyes of the 



Ingratitude 

"K" 

Those fools in garbs of scarlet d^es, 
Poor sinners flashing lustful e$es, 
Incant a prayer of Kate and glee: 
"Wkat have we to do witk Thee, 
TKou wkite robed Christ?" 

But let ill-fortune freeze their lust, 
They seek the hem that skirts the dust 
Where sinners slouch and beggers grcpe 
They" snatch at Him, their passing hope, 
Their White robed Christ. 

They take from Him the cure implored, 
They revel in their strength restored; 
They 1 slink away, for they are free: 
"What further need have we of Thee, 
Thou white robed Christ?" 

They strip Him of His seamless dress, 
They mock His modest nakedness, 
And shrieking nail him to the tree: 
"What have w>e to do with Thee, 
Thou pale faced Christ?" 



world, against the protest of the chief priests, by 
affixing to the Cross the official sign : "Jesus of 
Nazareth, King of the Jews." 

^^=^HE Strangers from the East came to Judea, 
^SJ seeking the King of the Jews; because, said 
they, "we have seen His star in the East, 
and are come to adore Him." A star is the recog- 
nized symbol of Judaism 
and is displayed above 
every synagogue, i n 
much the same manner 
as the cross surmounts 
every true Christian 
church. Judaism is the 
religion of the Old Tes- 
tament, the worship of 
God as commanded in 
the Law, the Psalms, and 
the Prophets. Now, St. 
Luke tells us in the last 
chapter of his Gospel 
that these were the very 
books which Christ Him- 
self quoted, when in- 
structing His Apostles 
concerning His Passion 
and Death. 

The Jews, therefore, 
were not without a star 
of heavenly origin, a star 
which, had it been heed- 
ed, would have led them 
to the Cave of Bethle- 
hem. This star was none 
other than the luminous 
testament of their own 
holy books — the Law, 
the Psalms, and the Pro- 
phets. This star vouch- 
safed to the Jews would 
not have forsaken them at Bethlehem ; it would have 
guided them on through all the stages of the Savior's 
life, even to His death upon the cross. In the light 
of this star, they would have seen the truth of the 
Governor's proclamation: "Jesus of Nazareth, King 
of the Jews." They would have beheld in the riven 
form of the Nazarene the Descendant of the royal 
house of David, the Desired of the Prophets, the 
Expected of Nations, the Savior of the World. 

Epiphany denotes a revelation of the attributes 



THE + SIGN 



of Christ's Divinity. Such there was in Bethlehem; 
for when the Wise Men found the Child, they knelt 
before Him in adoration and worshiped Him. Such 
there is, but in a larger measure, in His Sacred 
Passion. Here the Divinity of Christ shines in full 
effulgence. His silence, His patience, His modesty, 
His meekness, His humility, His obedience, His 
whole demeanor, proclaim Him more than man, and 
so superior, in sooth, that the pagan governor Pontius 
Pilate is constrained to ask: "Whence art Thou?" 
So strong is the suffering Christ's manifestation of 
His Divinity that even in the midst of His dereliction 
on Calvary, His Eternal Sonship is declared by the 
voice of the centurion: "Truly this was a Just Man. 
He was indeed the son of God!" 

Tradition pictures the Wise Men, who adored 
the Divine Child in Bethlehem, as Kings, who 
returned to their domains to preach the salvation and 
peace, which the Savior brought to earth. Like unto 
them, three men were privileged to stand on Calvary 
and by openly professing their belief in the Man of 
Sorrows attained to the kingship of Christ. Dismas, 
the Good Thief, who was crucified with Him, spoke 
out in defense of His innocence and prayed: "Lord, 
remember me, when Thou shalt come into Thy 
kingdom." Thus did he offer to his Savior the 
incense of his prayer. When the dying Jesus cried 
out with a loud voice, with a cry such as might 
have gone forth from a man in the full vigor of 
strength : "It is finished" the Roman centurion, 
amazed, exclaimed: "Indeed, this was the Son of 
God!" Thus did he proffer his Redeemer the gold 
of a generous faith. The wealthy Jew, Joseph of 



Arimaihea, went boldly to Pilate and demanded 
the Sacred Body of Christ and reverently taking it 
from the Cross, placed it in his own newly hewn 
monument. Thus did Joseph of Arimathea truly 
give to his Crucified Lord the gift of myrrh. 

HAITH teaches that for the Wise Men, who 
Raveled to Bethlehem, as well as for the 
staunch disciples, who stood beneath the 
Cross, there took place yet another Epiphany — an 
Epiphany, which shall be never-ending — the glorious 
fruition of God, "face to face," in Heaven. 

Their mission of faith accomplished, the Wise 
Men evaded the enemies of the Child, going back 
to their own country by unfamiliar but less hazard- 
ous roads. Many there were, who in idle apathetic 
mood swelled the throng on Calvary, and who 
returned to their homes shrinking contact with the 
ribald mob to live their lives anew. No man can 
witness Christ's manifestation of Himself either in 
the Crib or on the Cross and withstand the appeal, 
without being endued with a new spirit of aloofness 
from the sordid things of time. 

Close not your eyes, ye who yearn for light and 
peace, to the Epiphany which Christ Jesus vouch- 
safes at every step of His earthly sojourn. Would 
you be wise ? Ponder much the counsels which 
radiate from the Person of the Word Made Flesh. 
Flee the old, accustomed haunts of sin. Seek out 
the new and safer paths, which upward lead to the 
ecstatic joy of the beatific vision of The Eternal — 
the Epiphany of "The King of Kings, and Lord of 
Lords." 



Violets 

Placidus M. Endler, C. P. 

Tkis is the history, and it is true, 

Of the sweet little Violets' heavenly 1 hue: 
Blithe Baby Jesus once placed hide — and — seek, 

— This was at Nazareth xtfhen He could speak. - 
Played vJith His playmates small, — O it was fun 

Hiding in corners avJay from the sun! 
Each time He waited His bright ej)es of blue 

Laughed tiny tears and they fell and they grew. 



Hilaire Belloc 

Defender of the Faith 
Louis H. Wetmore 



^^^^HE stout and magnificent Gilbert Chester- 
m C} ton, Hilaire Belloc's boon companion of 
^^^V the old fighting days in London, those 
days which brought the two into promi- 
nence and touched them in the eyes of the British 
public with the unfading light of high romance, has 
said that when he first met Belloc, the friend who 
introduced them remarked that Belloc was in low 
spirits. But Belloc's low spirits were and are much 
more uproarious and enlivening than anybody else's 
high spirits. He talked to Chesterton far into the 
night and left behind in it a glowing track of good 
things "When I have said that," comments 
'G. K. C.,' "I mean things that are really good 
and certainly not merely bons mots. I have said 
all that can be said in the most serious aspect about 
the man who has made the greatest fight for good 
things of all the men of my time.." 

My own experience in meeting Belloc was the 
same as Chesterton's. Whenever one meets Belloc 
one stands on the brink of high adventure. With 
him the unexpected always happens. Theologically 
speaking, it would not be correct to say that with 
him the miraculous always happens; but certainly 
things extraordinary occur to him and to you when- 
ever you are in his company. 

As Gilbert Chesterton is the laziest man on earth, 
so Belloc is the most active. He does not simply 
go from place to place. He flies from one place to 
another. I have suspected him of a power like unto 
that wielded by Joseph of Copertino in getting rapid- 
ly from place to place. He is always where he 
isn't expected. He often turns up when you do not 
expect him. And, be it said in mild criticism, often 
does not turn up when you do expect him. There is 
no doubt that he has walked over most of Europe 
and part of Africa — proof of this is in his books, 
"The Path to Rome," "Esto Perpetua," "The Pyre- 
nees," "The Four Men," etc. Yet in all my experi- 
ence of him, I never saw him walk anywhere. 
Whenever I saw him outside the four walls of a 
house he was taxi-ing at reckless speed hither and 
thither. Chesterton professes love of the hansom- 
cab, and the leisurely gait of the cab-horse; though 
since the morning he was hurled into space from 



one of these doubtful vehicles, his devotion for them 
has waned. Belloc has written feelingly of the 
virtues of hansom cabs. But he moves in taxis. I 
suspect at times that he lives in taxis. If I had not 
with mine own eyes seen him in his house in Sussex, 
I would believe that delightful mansion a mere myth. 

XHAVE said that Belloc always moves "in" 
a taxi. I should, perhaps, have said "out" 
of a taxi. He is always out of a taxi in the 
sense that he is always hanging out of the window 
urging the driver to greater speed or advising him 
expertly as to shorter cuts through the twisted ways 
of London. He is an expert in finding short cuts, 
through the twisted ways of London. He is an 
expert in finding short cuts, through philosophical 
tangles as well as through the streets of the English 
metropolis. There is driving force in the man that 
gets him to a place while others are painfully strug- 
gling on the way. 

Now what is this Belloc, this half of that weird 
Catholic animal dubbed The Chesterbelloc by 
Bernard Shaw (to indicate the inseparableness of 
the two friends and their continued agreement 
through long years on most fundamentals and acci- 
dentals of thought) ? He is a poet. He is an 
historian. He is an artist in black and white. He 
is an essayist. He is a critic of wars and military 
tactics and affairs. He is or has been a soldier, a 
Member of the British Parliament, editor of the 
daily and weekly press, a University professor, 
lecturer on private and public platforms, writer of 
books of history, biography, travel, pilgrimage, art 
criticism, literary criticism, books for children in 
verse and prose, etc., etc. There is hardly a field 
of human endeavor he has not touched and, in the 
touching, glorified. 

Let me sketch briefly his origins and career. His 
career is the story of a swift, dogmatic and intense 
life. 

There is a plentiful amount of soldierly blood in 
Belloc's veins. Four of his great-uncles were 
generals under Napoleon I. One of them was lost 
on the retreat from Moscow. Another died at the 
age of thirty-three at Waterloo. To turn back to 



THE + SIGN 



the father of his grandmother, we find an interesting 
person in Colonel Swanton of the Irish brigade in 
the service of France. Belloc thus has Irish blood 
in him as well as English and French, though even 
Swanton 's Irish descent must have been remote at 
the time he fought with Marshal Soult at Corunna, 
and secured as "spoil" after the battle the two 
pistols of Sir John Moore (immortalized in English 
verse through Charles Wolfe's poem). This inter- 
esting man was 
certainly unique 
in this : that while 
he wore the red 
coat of the Brit- 
ish army (which, 
oddly enough, the 
Irish brigade in 
French service al- 
ways clung to), 
he wore also the 
Croix de S. Louis 
which he had won 
under the Bour- 
bons, as well as 
the Legion of 
Honor which he 
had won under 
Napoleon as Em- 
peror! His son, 
by name Armand, 
was wounded as a 
captain at Water- 
loo fighting Prus- 
sians and English. 
His daughter in 
turn, Louise Marie 
Swanton, was well 
known in Anglo- 
French society, 
and her great ling- 
ual gifts made her 
the natural trans- 
later into French 

of Moore's "Life of Byron," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 
and some of Dickens' novels. Louise Marie Swan- 
ton's husband was an artist, Hilaire Belloc the 
elder, son of a planter of Martinique. There is 
a portrait of him in the Louvre, and there is a bust 
of him as artist and curator in the Luxembourg 
gallery. 

At the age of nine this elder Hilaire saw 




HILAIRE BELLOC 



Robespierre on the way to the guillotine! Their 
sori, Louis Swanton Belloc, a lawyer by profession, 
married at the famous Catholic church in Spanish 
Place, London, in 1867, the very year of her conver- 
sion to the Faith, Bessie Raynor Parkes, daughter 
of Joseph Parkes, a well known figure among the 
group of philosophic Radicals of the time of Lord 
John Russell and John Stuart Mill. As grand- 
daughter of the famous Joseph Priestly, the dis- 
coverer of oxygen, 
she was welcomed 
by a high circle 
of literary and 
Catholic culture, 
and was the friend 
of Montalembert 
and Dupanloup on 
the one hand, and 
of Browning and 
Rossetti on the 
other. A great 
part of her life 
was spent travel- 
ling in Europe 
seeking health for 
her husband, who 
died when 
Belloc was 
years old. 

"Hilary 1 
jilbert Chesterton 
always calls him, 
insisting on the 
Anglicization of 
his name), was 
born at Marly-le- 
Roi, a little town 
near Paris, on 
July 27th, 1870. 
Thus he was born 
in the year of 
French degrada- 
tion and defeat. 
One of the greatest consolations of his life, as I 
well know, is the fact that he has lived to see that 
year's disgrace fade into the glorious victory of 
1918. His mother was forty-two years old when he 
was born, and after her husband's death two years 
later, she moved herself and her son and family to 
England, where she settled in Sussex, the county of 
all beautiful English counties which Belloc loves 



our 
two 

(as 



THE 1* SIGN 



best, and where he still lives; the county of which 
he has sung so rhapsodically in many of his poems. 
(I quote but one verse from many: 

"But the men that live in the South country 

Are the kindest and most wise. 

They get their laughter from the loud surf, 

And the faith in their happy eyes 

Comes surely from our Sister, the Spring 

When over the sea she flies; 

The violets suddenly bloom at her feet, 

She blesses us with surprise." 

aBSORBED in the beauties of Sussex during 
his youth, when Belloc became of age for 
schooling, he was sent to the Oratory School 
at Edgbaston over which Cardinal Newman paternal- 
ly "presided" and whom Belloc well remembers. 
When he left the Oratory School, it was a moot 
question whether he would announce the retention 
of his French citizenship by serving his three years 
in the French army, in which so many of his an- 
cestors had fought. This was not of obligation. 
Being the only son of a widow, the French law on 
military service did not bind in his case. But there 
was little hesitation. That interest in and instinct 
for military affairs, which had been one of the 
supreme canalizers of his life, sent him across the 
Channel to serve under the Tricolor. He served his 
three years in the Gallic military machine as a 
gunner, and not a very good gunner at that according 
to his own confession; years wherein he lived rough 
and had for companionship but his nine companion 
gunners and the gun. He was free in 1890; yet 
his military experience tinged his whole life. What 
man who has served three years under military 
discipline and in the companionship of arms can ever 
live the same life as before or be the same man? 
With his discharge of 'service rendered' in his hand, 
the ink but dry, he went up to Oxford to complete 
his education, where he gained by way of entrance 
examinations the greatest of scholastic prizes, a 
Balliol Brackenbury Scholarship. 

There was nothing of the wan, pale, aesthetic 
bespectacled student about Belloc. This man, whose 
scholarship ranks with the ripest of our time, rode, 
walked, sang, fought, debated, made a great deal 
of unnecessary noise and indulged in many unneces- 
sary pranks; expressed admiration for crowds of 
friends, a good dinner, good wine, and especially 
Washington ale. He also expressed an extreme 
dislike of Dons. He was the most prominent of 



Balliol men; that is, the most prominent undergradu- 
ate in Oxford. His sharp criticisms of his teachers 
and his fellow students — he fought the redoubtable 
Jewett in his lair — his witticisms, were tossed with 
delight from one college to another and were the 
intellectual stimulus of the undergraduates and the 
pain of the Dons of his four student years. Yet 
amid all this popularity and clamor he found time 
to carry off a "First in History" and other important 
prizes and scholastic awards. 

ON graduating he devoted himself to putting 
to immediate use the historical knowledge 
he had gleaned at the University, coupled 
with that extraordinary knowledge and appreciation 
of European topography, culled while tramping over 
all Europe and part of Africa. He sprang historical 
"surprises" such as explaining adequately for the 
first time the real reason for the French Revolution- 
ary armies at Valmy. He wrote his great bio- 
graphies of "Danton," "Robespierre," and later 
"Marie Antonette," the quintessence of which is 
concentrated and wonderfully composed in his suc- 
cessful and ever popular history of the French Rev- 
lution IE the Home University Library. He became 
in time literary editor of the "Morning Post," the 
great Conservative and later "Unionist" and Ulster- 
supporting daily of London. (An odd place to find 
this democrat and staunch defender of Irish republi- 
canism) ! He contributed to that journal in great 
part those gay and irrepressible essays that were 
later gathered together in such volumes as "First 
and Last Things," "On Nothing," "On Everything," 
"On Something," etc. He published satirical novels 
on the corruption in English political life — such as 
"Mr. Clutterbuck's Election," "Emanuel Burden," 
and "Pongo and the Bull." He was later on to 
become Member of Parliament from Salford and 
to denounce the politicians in brief but pithy 
speeches in the Mother of Parliaments itself. 

I cannot dwell on all his books — space and 
the editors forbid — but in passing, I must mention 
those wonderful little historical vignettes gathered 
under the title of "The Eye-Witness," which no 
other historian in England could have given us. Nor 
must I omit those delightful books of travel and 
pilgrimage, by which he is most popularly known, 
the exquisite and gay "Path to Rome," "The Four 
Men," "Esto Perpetua," "Hills and the Sea," and 
"The Pyrenees." There are also his series on the 
historic landways and waterways of England, "The 



THE 1* SIGN 



Historic Thames," "The Old Road," and "Stane 
Street." Not to pass over lightly (for how can one 
omit anything since all are important?) his volumes 
on Paris and other cities, mingled with his study 
of the Bayeaux Tapestry and his volume of critical 
essays on the poetry of the early French Renais- 
sance. In this country he is now, perhaps, best 
known by his recently published volume "Europe 
and the Faith" in which the gift of historical detail 
and perspective, coupled with a militant Catholicism, 
are best shown, especially in the ending to the 
volume: "Europe is the Faith and the Faith is 
Europe. Europe will return to the Faith or Europe 
will perish." 

^^=^HE post-University and pre-marital period of 
K ^J his life ended in his voyage to America, and 
out to California, at the age of twenty-five, 
where he met the charming Californian lady who 
became his wife; and his settling in the parish of 
Shipley, near Horsham, Sussex. From this home 
he has planned and executed those fierce raids 
against the atheist and Protestant Dons of the 
Universities, against the politicians and literary 
quacks and perverters of European history; raids 
and a warfare which have aroused the bitter ire of 
the "authorities" in schools and press and the bull- 
ring of politics, and led to frequent attempts to 
suppress him. But Belloc is irrepressible. He 
waved aside their conspiracies and attacks and 
raided their territories again. (Certainly he deserves 
the title of Fidei Defensor more than the present 
King of England!) He has brought the Ages of 
Faith, their creed and philosophy, into the Twentieth 
Century — an unpardonable affront to modern jacka- 
nape learning! He attacked in book and in the 
columns of his weekly paper "The Eye-Witness" 
(later "The New Witness" under the editorship of 
the late Cecil Chesterton, "G. K. C.'s" younger 
brother) religious quacks and professorial blunder- 
ers in the science of history, corrupters of politics 
and still more corrupt newspaper editors, the nou- 
veau riches (his particular bete noir) and others of 
the like ilk. The men and women in power— 
these suicidal modern thinkers and would-be states- 
men who pervert the past, corrupt the present and 
endanger the future — did all within their power to 
destroy his reputation with the public as historian, 
editor, and economist. Yet he swept them all aside 
and himself into a still more public fame and popu- 
larity in 1914, when he appeared on public platforms 



throughout all of England, and in the columns of 
"Land and Water," as the premier military critic 
of the late war. 

He did not want to be a mere critic of the war. 
He wished to take part in the war. He tried to be 
sent to the front as a combatant, though above 
serviceable age. But "they" would not have him 
there. He knew too much ; had too sharp eyes and 
too sharp a tongue. Those in authority love only 
the blind and the lame around them. I have in my 
possession a letter of his in which he says : "I am 
trying to be sent to the front. But some enemy is 
preventing it. But I may be able to go through 
the French Embassy here." That wish was never 
granted 

The first time I met Belloc he arrived in a taxi. 
I believe that he had taken that taxi all the way 
from his house in Sussex up to London — a matter 
of a mere forty or fifty miles, you know! He came 
into my room at a London hotel. The door flew open 
and he was there. He was (this in 1914) strongly 
built, almost stout (he has lost in later middle age 
the handsome features and the slim figure of the 
early days) — with the forward lunge of the orator, 
full of gesture and animation. He has a round 
French head pillared on a thick neck, denoting 
energy. His expression is open, generous, serious 
and determined. The mouth has evidently been 
closed with a snap. Wide eyes, of the type that are 
called "direct." In his dress there is a certain 
negligence, yet it fully indicates his social position. 
Nothing "Bohemian" about him or of that picturesque 
sloppiness manifest in the portly Chesterton; a 
man of the upper middle class or the lower upper 
class, as you will. Cavalierly but decently dressed. 
He looks better in morning dress. In the high hat of 
fashion and the striped trousers and long coat of 
London afternoon teas, Sunday mornings in Hyde 
Park or luncheons at the Ritz, he is unimpressive. 
(I once saw him dressed in this manner, and irresis- 
tably yet oddly enough he reminded me of an 
undertaker!) He gives the impression of mature 
self-respect, which appears also in his conversation, 
though at times he gives way to irritation and bit- 
ternesses in talk, end even vulgar phraseology when 
aroused by sham or hypocrisy or anger. Save 
when suppressing an adversary in debate, public 
or private, which he does with an irony that hurts, 
his speech has little violence, though much anima- 
tion and vigor. There is a tang as of salt in his 
character. He cannot hide his vigor, his opinions 



THE 1* SIGN 






or his determination. He gives no sense of repose. 
His voice is loud even when he himself is subdued. 
It is of the kind that fills great halls, deep and 
almost hostile. 

His faults are manifestly on the surface. He 
is at times too idealistic (though fundamentally a 
pessimist in mental make-up), too much absorbed 
in the immediate matter on hand. Being an idealist 
he is naturally intolerant, especially of stupidity 
(a great many people are d — fools, apparently!). 
He is too full of an emphasis and energy that 
produce sudden oaths, over-strained action, a 
rhetoric filled with ferocious adjectives. Nervous, 
high strung, splendidly witty and amusing, full of 
laughter and fun, loyal to friends and with intense 
love of them and their company. Who can doubt 
that latter statement who knows him or who has 
read his poem to the Balliol men in Africa during 
the Boer War? 

At that meeting we grasped hands, expressed 
mutual pleasure at being acquainted, and arranged 
to meet again in a few days time at his country 
house at Horsham. He was out of the room a 
moment later — downstairs : a few seconds later a 
taxicab whirred away from the hotel door. 

(That man's taxi bills must be enormous!) 

X VISITED him in due course at his country 
house. I went much in the spirit of a pil- 
grimage. I owe much to Belloc. To him 
and to Gilbert Chesterton I really owe my conver- 
sion to the Faith. I wondered what this Bellocian 
home would be like. I could not imagine. I was 
not disappointed. A low-lying house hidden in trees 
yet rather abruptly on the road. A hard house to 
get to — miles away from any railroad station. I 
had to taxi some ten miles from the nearest station 
to reach it. It is different in all respects from 
Chesterton's house at Beaconsfield, Buckingham- 
shire, which is but a few hundred yards from his 
station. But then Chesterton would never reach 
his station from his house if any distance away. 
He would be too lazy to start, or if he did start for 
it, he would lose his way. Fortunately for Chester- 
ton, one merely rolls down a hill from his back door 
and one hits the station. (The station at Beacons- 
field shows splendid dents where "G. K. C." has 
literally rolled down from his back door in gigantic 
haste to catch a train for which he was, as always, 
very late.) The Chestertons' house is a brick house, 
too small for him (possibly because he dwarfs the 



rooms thereof by his great size.) Belloc's is an 
old Elizabethan house — at least in appearance — and 
just the right size. 

ON arrival one tumbles out of a taxi and into 
the "hall" by way of the front door. (At 
Chesterton's house I always went in through 
the back door: it was the first door I came to.) 
Here mine host greets one with an offer of "a glass 
of really good wine — bottle it myself — from France." 
The wine is good. The "hall", a large square room, 
is also the library, filled from ceiling to floor with 
books. There are hundreds of books. Belloc lives 
on books and with books, makes his living writing 
books; yet is in no way a bookish person in the 
bookwormy sense. 

We pass into the study, a small room on the left 
of the hall, in which a woman typist is very busy 
typewriting. There is a profusion of papers and 
manuscripts all over the desk. Belloc offers me the 
services of his stenographer should I care to write 
an article or so during the few hours I shall be with 
him! But I am not there for work; and articles do 
not "happen" to me so spontaneously and inspira- 
tionally as they do to Belloc, who will dash off a 
few by dictation before breakfast. I refuse the 
offer. We go upstairs, and he shows me his wife's 
room, untouched since her death. (There is a tragedy 
here.) Next comes the quaint chapel with Our 
Blessed Lord present in His Tabernacle; for Belloc 
has the great privlege of reservation of the Blessed 
Sacrament in his home. Belloc is above all else a 
Catholic — a thorough-going, militant, devout Catho- 
lic. And his home is a Catholic home, blessed with 
children. (His boy was away at school at Down- 
side Abbey, but two charming daughters of nine or 
ten were there.) The whole house with its Elizabe- 
than architecture and Jacobean touches reminded me 
instinctively of the homes of the Catholic squires of 
the times of bad Queen Bess, when Catholic men 
and women lived in terror of pursuivants and where 
hunted priests sought refuge. There may not be 
priests' hiding holes in Belloc's house — I saw none. 
But the whole atmosphere of the place suggests 

them emphatically 

I have not space in this article to do more than 
give this brief personal sketch of "H. B.", with a 
resume of his antecedents and his surroundings. I 
cannot delve into criticism and appreciations of his 
literary style or his economic and philosophic views. 
One could easily write a volume of five hundred 



THE t SIGN 



pages about Belloc and still leave much unsaid. Nor 
can I here narrate some of the adventures I have had 
with him and brother Chesterton — such as the extra- 
ordinary adventure of Chesterton's hat, which was 
lost and searched for all over London, only to be 
found at last on its owner's head! 

The difficulty is : to sum up Belloc in a phrase. 
To sum up in a phrase is to emphasize the dominant 
note in a man's work: it is to select the salient 
point of his philosophy. When you say that Belloc 
is a Catholic in all his writings and in all his doings, 
you say much and explain much. But you can say 
the same thing of many writers. Belloc's work is 
too diversified to be expressed in a few concise 
words. To attempt to appreciate him at all 
adequately, it is necessary to analyze every one of 
his writings. 

^tt^ITH this warning, I shall attempt to find — if 
\ll it can be found — the central and dominating 
interest of his life, the prime key to his 
activity. I think that this can be found, with 
modifications, in the fact that he is primarily an 
historian. History is his dominant passion and the 
most important field for his work. To him history 
is the touchstone to life. If one knows the history 
of the world, one knows the way out of present 
difficulties through judging the experiences of men 
in the past under more or less similar circumstances. 
History does not repeat itself. But a sufficent 
number of almost similar occurances recur through- 
out the historic ages to warrant using them as a 
criterion of present conduct. The impartial historian 
is the great democrat. He allows the dead to vote 
with the living on every question that occurs for 
modern solution. 

The guideposts of modern men are all too often 
but question marks. Too many modern philosophers, 
like William James, Bergson, and Balfour ask more 
questions than they give answers, and suggest more 
difficulties than they give solutions. God to the 
Modern remains mute to Man's queries, and assumes 
fantastic shapes in the writings of Shaw and Wells. 
Tradition and authority, which are based on true 
historical knowledge, and which are respectively the 
taking of the ballots of the dead and of the living, 
are ignored in modern philosophical and historical 
writings. But Belloc has complete Catholicity of 
outlook. His reverence for tradition and authority 



are cardinal points in all his approaches to the 
troublesome problems of the day. By way of 
history Belloc stands on the mountains of the great 
achievements of the past and sees and criticizes the 
molehills of present day achievements. He is no 
friend of "re-action" in the vulgar sense. But he 
maintains solidly that the future must contain the 
results of the great achievements of the Roman and 
Middle Ages, which achievements can be judged and 
applied to present wants only through the medium 
and use of history. 

Even a casual glance through a book of his 
essays will reveal what I am here emphasizing. In 
his collection of essays entitled "On Anything" 
appear these lines : 

"History may be called the test of true philoso- 
phy, or it may be called in a very modern and not 
very dignified metaphor the object-lesson of political 
science, or it may be called the great story whose 
interest is upon another plane from all other stories 
because its irony, its tragedy and its moral are real, 
were acted by real men, and were the manifestation 
of God." 

The Catholic historian in Britain has always 
lived under intense suspicion. Lingard is not read 
in Protestant Universities, and is ignored by the 
mass of educated Protestant people. Even poor old 
Acton, that pathetic figure, who secured much of his 
historic learning through Protestant and especially 
Lutheran folios, is vaguely suspected of being in 
some dark manner allied with the Jesuits. Acton 
was partially admitted into Protestant intellectual 
circles because of his smug Whig bias and the sus- 
picion that he wasn't a very good Catholic after all. 
Lingard, as I have said, was ignored. Belloc they 
have tried to ignore, these Protestant and atheist 
Dons and Professors. But the real triumph of the 
man has been this: that in spite of their effort to 
ignore him, they have been unable to keep silence 
about him. He has forced them into the open and 
has forced recognition of his historic genius from 
the darkest dens of Oxford "learning." He says 
frankly on every page of his writings: "I am a 
Catholic. I believe in the dogmas of the Church of 
Rome." This would have killed enthusiasm and 
reverence among the English public for any other 
historic writer. Belloc almost alone among modern 
English Catholic writers has caught the attention of 
Protestant England and America and held it. 



Saints and Sinners 



Luis Coloma, S. J. 



Copyrighted 1921, by The Sign 



Chapter 1 



"^^^>HE two towers of the College were like 
d (T\ arrows piercing the serene sky, of that blue 
^l J which spreads over Madrid during the first 
^^^days of the 



month of June. The 
greenness of the Col- 
lege garden made it 
seem an emerald fal- 
len in the sand of a 
desert, an oasis of li- 
lacs starting to wither 
and of lilies commenc- 
ing their bloom, all 
lost in the arid plain 
that stretches on all 
sides around the Col- 
lege to the Court of 
Spain. One could 
hear the happy voices 
of the children inside 
the buildings, and the 
chirping of the linnets 
in the trees, mingling 
with the sound of soft 
fountains playing. 
Outside the College 
gates there was nei- 
ther water nor chil- 
dren; only the bleak 
plain and, far away on 
the horizon, Madrid 
and the Court of 
Spain, the towers of 
the city just appear- 
ing in that faint mist 
which gathers on dis- 
tant horizons, a vapor 
which arises from 
great cities like the 
haze that comes from 
a stagnant pool. 



JI/ITH this issue of THE SIGN begins 
yy the first installment of SAINTS 
AND SINNERS, a novel by the dis- 
tinguished Spanish lesuit, Father Luis 
Coloma.. In SAINTSAND SINNERS, the 
author draws for us a picture of contempor- 
ary Spanish life. It is the peculiar merit of 
this novel, a merit which stamps it at once as 
one of the great works of the period, that in 
giving a picture of social conditions in Spain, 
it is accurately mirroring conditions that 
exist in the whole of Western Civilization. 

The scene might have been set in New 
York or London, as well as in the Spanish 
metropolis. Beneath Spanish features and 
Spanish names are to be found both Saints 
and Sinners, such as we meet at our own 
door. Father Luis Coloma, S. J., is a mem- 
ber of the Royal Spanish Academy. He, 
not Ibanez, is Spain's greatest novelist. He 
is something more than a romancer. He is 
pre-eminently the missionary, whose know- 
ledge of the human heart is such as is had 
only by the priest. He writes not merely to 
entertain, much less to debase, but to con- 
vey a wholesome lesson, which will save 
the unwary from the many snares that are 
set for their feet. 

The singular charm of the original 
Spanish has been retained in the English 
translation, owing to the good fortune of 
THE SIGN in having Thomas Walsh as 
translator. Mr. Walsh is the official trans- 
lator of the Spanish-American Society. 
Mr. Louis H. Wetmore, former literary 
editor of The New York TIMES, is editing 
the translation. 



J^rllS day the Col- 
IJ lege was clos- 
^■"^ ing. The distri- 
bution of the school prizes had taken place, and the 
time had now come for leave taking. On every side 
were heard gay good-byes, congratulations and mess- 
ages; mothers and fathers and children moving 



hither and thither in great confusion, invading all 

the rooms of the College; everything mingling in 

that tumultuous delight gathered into the magic 

word " Vacation" wh ich 

awakens joy in the 

student of all ages. 

The Commence- 
ment had been most 
brilliant. A platform, 
set at the lower end of 
a long hall, was occu- 
pied by some hundred 
students of the Col- 
lege, in their blue and 
silver uniforms; they 
were searching with 
bright eyes and red 
cheeks for fathers, 
mothers, sisters, bro- 
thers, who were in 
other parts of the hall 
as witnesses of their 
triumphs. The plat- 
form was dominated 
by a splendid picture 
of the Mater Dolorosa, 
Our Lady of Sorrow- 
ful Remembrance, pa- 
troness of the College. 
Presiding over the 
ceremonies, the Car- 
dinal Archbishop of 
Toledo sat at the right 
surrounded by the 
Rector and teachers of 
the College. 

The rest of the 
hall was filled with 
parents and relatives 
of the children, Gran- 
dees of Spain next to 
the merchant's wife, 
all contented and hap- 
py and taking in the 
scene with manifest 
enjoyment. The orchestra opened the ceremonies 
with the overture from "Semiramis." The Rector 
of the College, the glory and honor of the Society 
to which he belonged, commenced a short speech, 



THE *f SIGN 



which he could not conclude. Looking at the mass 
of little brown and light haired boys, crowded to- 
gether like the angels of a Murillo masterpiece, 
he began to stammer. Tears broke in upon his 
speech : — 

"I am not crying because you are leaving but 
because so very many of you will never return," 
he said. 

The little heads shook vigorous negatives, and 
spontaneous applause came from two hundred little 
hands, as a protest against his words, which forced 
the old man to smile through his tears. The Prefect 
of the College now read the list of the pupils who 
had received the coveted prizes. These, bashful, 
blushing, yet proud, rose and went forward to 
receive their medals and diplomas from the hands 
of the Archbishop, while their companions applaud- 
ed loudly, and fathers' and mothers' eyes lighted 
up with love and pride in the triumph of their 
children. 

DOW the exercises seemed to have reached a 
logical conclusion and the Archbishop was 
about to rise to give the blessing, when a 
child as exquisite and fair as one of Fra Angelico's 
angels, came forward to the center of the platform. 
In the splendor of his youth and innocence was 
achieved that aristocratic and delicately shaded 
quality which in the children of fine families attracts 
and subjugates. 

Amid a profound silence all movement ceased. 
The boy then turned toward the picture of Our 
Lady of Sorrows and in an angel's voice commenced 
to recite: 

sweet remembrance of the past, 
Thy blessing on thy sons departing; 
O Virgin Sorrowful, at last 
Receive our farewell tear-drops starting, 
And pray remember me! 

A movement as of applause came from the 
group of children as though they would give assent 
to these sentiments. The parents did not applaud: 
they listened immovable. The boy took two steps 
forward and lifting his little hands before his 
breast, continued quietly: 

The world, they say, a garden fair, 
Conceals an asp beneath each flower; 
In sweetest fruit lurks poison there; 
Mid earthly tides the sharp rocks glower. 
And why should such things be? 

They say for gold and idle fame 
Men's hearts grown faithless, cold and mean, 
Dry up their springs of love, in blame 
To God and country traitors seen, — 
And why should such things be ? 

They say that for life's painful thorn 
They would embrace but joy and feast : 



That hence thy sorrow there are born 
The tears thy lovely eyes released — 
And why should such things be ? 

QMONG the mothers some blushed as though 
their consciences spoke through the boy's 
lips. Several men bowed their heads, and 
one old man said to another: "Quite true! Yes, 
yes!" The child himself seemed moved as an angel 
might be stirred at the sight of so much human 
misery. He shooked his head, folded his hands and 
continued slowly: 

The while I turn unto thy call, 
Ennobled in the love I bear, 
The burning love that holds my all, 
The love so often I declare, — 
Thou wilt remember me! 

Yea, thou, Sweet Mother, when the hour 
Shall call me to thy fond embrace, 
Within the heavenly lighted bower, 
Keep me forever at thy face, 
Forever in the heart of thee! 

The child stopped. There was no applause, 
only a sob as though from a thousand breasts 
through a single throat, expressing mingled feelings 
of shame, tenderness, love, repentance, which the 
sweet voice of the boy had stirred in those hearts. 

At a signal from the Father Rector all the boys 
on the platform rushed down to their parents, and 
a confusion of cries and kisses was heard. Only 
the lad who had recited the poem remained quietly 
in his seat, without mother or father to welcome him. 
He cast a short glance at the happy groups of 
parents and of children, slipped from the platform 
with the prizes in his hands, and went down the long 
hall slowly, out to where the servants and carriages 
of the children leaving for home were already 
gathering. 

On top of a large globe marked with the 
initials "F. L.", the boy sat down, silent, cap in 
hand. As the happy clamor of the crowd in the 
great hall reached his ears, his throat swelled with 
sorrow, and he wept bitterly and tragically without 
sound, as cry those who weep from the bottom of 
their hearts. Groups of parents and children ad- 
vanced moving down the hall amid a joyous clamor 
and confusion. None noticed the lonely child; 
although now and again a boy companion in passing 
smiled at him as the lad smiled back through his 
tears. 

a LADY, large and good-humored, found her- 
self near the child in the crowd. She held 
the hand of a small, plump boy who carried 
a prize for athletics. Her boy noticed the silent 
tears of the lad, and pulling at his mother's skirts, 
whispered to her: "Mother, Luis is crying!" 

"Why are you crying, child, "asked the lady. 



THE 1* SIGN 



"You recited so well. Didn't you get any prizes?" 

Luis blushed; then looking at her proudly, he 
showed the prizes he had with him: "Five, and 
two excellents." 

"Five prizes, and yet you cry!" 

The lad did not answer, but hung his head and 
began to cry again. 

"What is the matter, child?" cried the lady. 
"Are you ill? Tell me why you are crying so." 

With clenched teeth, with eyes filled with tears 
of bitterness, the boy at length replied : "I am alone. 
My mother did not come to see my prizes." 

The lady understood then all the bitterness 
hidden in the boy's heart. Tears came to her eyes 
also; stroking the fair head of the lad, she said: 
"My poor boy! Maybe your mother was unable to 
come to see you, or perhaps she is waiting outside. 
What is your mother's name?" 

"The Countess of Albornoz," he answered. 

A quick expression of horror passed over the 
lady's face on hearing this name. She turned 
round hurriedly to the woman who stood behind her, 
and cried with more impetuosity than common sense : 
"Did you hear that name? What a mother! While 
this angel is crying here, she is there scandalizing 
the whole of Madrid." 

"Be careful! Be careful!" answered the other 
warningly, glancing at the boy Luis. 

"But what a mother for such a son!" Then the 
lady, noticing that the boy had understood nothing 
of what had been said, spoke to him: "Take these 
chocolates, little one, one for you, and the other box 
for your brothers and sisters. You have brothers 
and sisters?" 

"I have Lili." 

"Take one to Lili, and take this, too," and the 
good woman gave the lad two loud kisses in which 
she tried in vain to put a mother's warmth and love. 

A groom in green livery with the crest of a noble 
on the buttons, advanced and joined the group. 
"When the little master is ready, the carriage is 
ready," he said respectfully. The lad sprang up 
with a bound, and with a hurried embrace to his 
friend lan to the door. At the gate the Rector, who 
was there bidding farewell to his boys, stopped him. 
Luis kissed the old Father's hand, who embraced 
him in return and whispered something in his ear. 
The boy blushed and his tears came again while he 
affectionately kissed the priest's hand a second time. 

The carriage moved slowly away, and at last 
the cries of good-bye ceased. 

"Good-bye! Good-bye!" cried the old man 
again. 

A few small hands appeared out of carriage 
windows in the distance: "Good-bye! Good-bye!" 

At last all had disappeared around a corner of 
the road and the College was left silent and solitary, 
while in a distance lay Madrid, that stagnant pool, 
in its evil haze. The old man let his arms fall 
heavily to his side, and with bowed head entered 
the Chapel murmuring sadly: "Ah! Virgin of Sor- 



rowful Remembrance, how long will they remember 
thee?" 



CHAPTER II. 

HEW people were present that same afternoon 
in the drawing room of the Duchess of Bara. 
The Duchess herself lay languidly upon a 
sofa smoking a cigarette. She complained that she 
had a headache. Carmen Tagle sat not far away 
also smoking a cigarette, which proved somewhat 
rebellious in the handling. 

The fat wife of the banker Lopez Moreno, as 
heavy and majestic as the money bags of her hus- 
band, was likewise indulging in a cigarette, and 
laughing now and again with a maternal air over 
the efforts of her daughter Lucy, who had recently 
returned from school, to take small puffs from the 
cigarette of Angelis Caspardo. The girl coughed 
and made wry efforts, while Angelis encouraged her 
by himself indulging in vast puffs. 

The young girl seemed to find the pastime 
amusing, and was manifestly pleased at having a 
Grandee of Spain as her teacher in the gentle art of 
smoking, while she attentively studied the chic ways 
of these great ladies, whom her mother had impressed 
upon her as models upon which to form herself. 
But her innocent schoolgirl eyes saw in them many 
odd things. Even the Duchess seemed irritated at 
the raucous mirth of the banker's wife, though she 
maintained a cautious patience and amiability in her 
attitude toward her, which was wise, considering 
that Senora Moreno held mortgages amounting to 
over two million reals upon the Duchess's broad 
acres. 

Leopoldina Pastor, a lively old maid of over 
forty, with a smattering of cleverness and learning, 
was eating a goodly portion of sugared toast, arguing 
violently the while with Don Casimir, a literary 
celebrity and a former minister of public instruction. 
Studying her and joining in her arguments stood the 
Marquis of Butron, who had a very hairy face, which 
had caused the ex-Queen Isabella to give him the 
name of Robinson Crusoe, since, she claimed, that 
were it not for having seen the face of her dear 
Minister Plenipotentiary, she would never have been 
able to guess the appearance of that famous explorer 
clad in his skins of wild animals on his desert island. 

iy^HEN arguments lapsed for a moment, Butron 
vl/ irowne d in a majestic manner and said, as 
^*s though pronouncing ex cathedra "The situa- 
tion is going to pieces. We should have had the 
Restoration six months ago."* 

Butron's remark touched a sore spot in the con- 
science of his audience. To be-little the possibility 

* To understand this Spanish nobleman's remark. 
the reader must know something of the strange state of 
Spanish politics of that day. A few years hefore our 
story opened, Queen Isahella II had so scandalized her 
countrymen that she had heen forced to flee to Paris with 
her family. 



13 



THE + SIGN 



of the Restoration of Alfonso and the Bourbons 
to the Spanish throne was rank treason in the eyes 
of the great ladies of Madrid, since they lived in 
continual expectation of this restoration which would 
restore them their form- 
er power in the country 
and former prestige in 
the Spanish court. So 
the dear women were 
excessively indignant at 
Butron, and to tease 
them, the Marquis who 
was the prime director 
of the efforts to restore 
Alfonso to the throne, 
continued his speech. 

This hairy diplo- 
mat knew full well that 
there was no question 
but that all the ladies 
present that afternoon 
were in favor of the 
Restoration, and it was 
his work to keep their 
party feelings inflamed 
and to direct their zeal 
into those channels 
which would give the 
greatest return to the 
Alfonsist cause. For 
these women with their 
social power as scions 
of Spain's oldest fami- 
lies and their devotion 
to the Bourbon house, 
had practically succeed- 
ed in isolating the un- 
fortunate Italian Ama- 
deo in his Spanish 
palace, where he lived 
surrounded by "rich 
shop-keepers" as the 
Duchess of Bara called 
his followers, or by 
"arrant good-for-noth- 
ings" as the facetious 
Leopoldina Pastor in- 
sisted on calling them. 



There she renounced all claims to the Spanish 
throne. Confusion fell upon her unhappy country when 
she went into exile, and finally the dominant political party 
chose a foreignling in the person of Amadeo, Duke 
of Aosta and relative of Victor Emanuel of Savoy. This 
Italian "usurper," as he was generally known in Spain, 
received scant homage from the Spanish aristocrats, who 
clung tenaciously to the idea of Restoration of the Bour- 
bon Royal family in the person of Alfonsa, son of Queen 
Isabella. 

To add to the complication of this already compli- 
cated political situation, there were some Spanish noble 
houses and many of the Spanish people, especially in the 
northern part of the kingdom, who clung loyally to the 



Whenever the Alfonsist ladies assem- 
bled in public they always wore conspicuously the 
Alfonsist symbol of the fleur-delis, whether at 
opera, dance, or driving through the boulevards 
of the city. Even at 

this little gathering 

at the Duchess of 



Testament 

J. Corson Miller 

When I ha^e come to that far gate, 
Wkere every man at last must wend, 
I shall rejoice, and count it great 
That I made every foe my friend. 

I shall look up with frankest face 
To those great stars that may" endure, 
Knowing that in my" humble place 
I held respect for all God's poor, 

And when the Vast doors open v?ide, 
Where Judgment sits on right and vJrong, 
Be sure it shall not be denied 
I drank of love, and courted song. 

Then shall I speak with all my power, 
If power of voice be left to me, 
That in life's desolation-hour, 
I praised God's magnanimity. 

Before His judgment-seat I'll stand, 

Nor fear to meet His steadfast gaze, 

For I have touched a babe's hand, 

And walked down evening's still, green ways. 

For that I spurned earth's pride and shov?, 
And kept my soul from lust and strife, 
Perhaps the Lord-God shall bestow 
On me His gift — Eternal Life. 



Bara's the banker's 
wife, Moreno, wore an 
enormous one, set in 
great diamonds, while 
Leopoldina Pastor and 
the others wore less 
conspicuous ones of 
solid gold. 



© 



'HE Marquis drew 
a dark picture. 
Spain was in 
a ghastly condition. 
Ministerial crisis after 
ministerial crisis played 
havoc with the plans of 
King Amadeo. In the 
provinces, many of the 
troops and of the peas- 
a n t s had rebelled 
against the government. 
Even the shopkeepers 
of Madrid had revolted, 
and but five days be- 
fore, a mob had rushed 
through the streets of 
the city, throwing 
stones at windows and 
shattering the beauti- 
fully illuminated lamps, 
hung in celebration of 
the anniversary of Pius 
IX. 

"The Restoration is 
a certainty," said the 
Marquis sententiously. 
"But, my dear ladies, 
it can be secured only 
at the cost of much 
blood. It would not 
surprise me to see 
another French Revolution enacted in this unhappy 
country." 

The ladies were shocked at this outburst, and 
discussed among themselves the possibility of Revo- 
lution as though they were Marie Antoinettes, gazing 
through her prison windows at the heads fresh from 
the guillotine carried past her on the revolutionary 
pikes. The idea of death terrified them. Did they 
know how to die? Death to them was only some- 
restoration of the Pretender to the throne, Don Carlos, 
descendant of the brother of Ferdinand VII, father of 
Isabella, who had prevented Carlos from his succession 
at his death and placed his daughter on the throne. 



THE t SIGN 






thing they had seen acted by great artists in tragic 
scenes at the Royal Theatre. 

The Duchess of Bara in a low voice said that 
she herself had seen in Madame Tussaud's famous 
museum in London the very guillotine upon which 
the unfortunate French King had been beheaded. 
The fat wife of the banker Moreno cautiously 
smoothed her large neck as though she already felt 
the cold steel upon it. Leopoldina Pastor cried out 
that she was not frightened; on the contrary she 
would die like Charlotte Corday assassinating a 
dozen worthless Marats. Carmen Tagle sighed 
heavily, and asked if the guillotine would hurt much. 

"You would feel but a slight coldness," came 
a gloomy voice from the distance. 

All jumped to their feet frightened, expecting 
to see Robespierre's ghost behind them. But they 
saw only Don Casimir smilingly squeezing with one 
hand the windpipe and with his other breaking the 
tail off a small china rabbit which adorned with 
hundreds of other china knick-knacks the little tables 
scattered throughout the room. This good gentle- 
man had the unfortunate habit of being so absent 
minded that he constantly picked up and broke 
whatever came within reach of his long and agile 
fingers, and from these raids of his upon the bric-a- 
brac he had secured the nickname of "the literary 
cyclone." 

Recovering their composure, everyone laughed, 
and the joke of the literary cyclone brightened the 
somewhat dreary note of the assemblage. Isabel 
Mazacan with her most impertinent air appeared 
like a whirlwind in the doorway, and kissing the 
Duchess, pulled off her gloves and helped herself to 
some tea. Then, with a quick glance at the ladies 
and gentlemen around her, she said explosively: 
"The first lady-in-waiting to the Queen has been 
appointed." 

All, men as well as women, started in surprise, 
while the headache of the Duchess instantly disap- 
peared. 

"Who is it? Who can it be?" 

Who indeed could it be? The chief idea of 
those noble ladies of Spain had been to insult the 
Italian King and his wife Maria Victoria, and there- 
fore to leave unfilled the great position of first lady- 
in-waiting to the Queen, a position which requires 
the wife of a great Grandee of Spain, and which is a 
post so high and delicate that it gives rather than 
receives authority to the Queen herself. 

"Ugh!" cried the Duchess, "some shop- 
keeper's wife from Alcolea." 

"Or perhaps some distinguished circus-artist," 
cried Carmen Tagle. 

"Both wrong," said the imperturbable. "She is 
a great lady of Spain." 

"But that is impossible," cried the hairy diplo- 
mat Butron. 

"Some provincial little noble," guessed Leo- 
poldina Pastor. 



"Wrong again," said Senora Mazacan. "She 
is a lady of the former court, of the old stock. 
Indeed, I am rather surprised not to find her here." 

"Here," shrieked the Duchess threateningly. 

"Who is it? Who is it?" cried all those present, 
searching suspiciously in all directions, as though 
the newly appointed lady-in-waiting was hidden 
beneath a nearby sofa or chair. 

Isabel Mazacan smiled maliciously, handed her 
tea cup to Peter Velez to refill, emptied it at one 
swallow, and threw the name like a bomb into the 
center of the assemblage. 

"The Countess Albornoz." 

a CRY of absolute unbelief came from all, while 
the Duchess sank back on her sofa, crying 
that the very idea was absurd. 

"It is utterly ridiculous," exclaimed Butron. 

"But I know this on the best authority." 

"I do not care who told you, I do not believe it," 
said the Duchess. "I will have to see her in the 
Queen's carriage before I can believe such a thing." 

"Well, you will see her there soon enough," 
retorted Isabel Mazacan sharply. "Don't you re- 
member that Curra Alborijoz was in Paris when 
Queen Isabella abdicated? Don't you remember 
that no one thought of inviting her to the ceremony? 
There is the whole thing in a nutshell! She, and 
that husband of hers, Villamelon, never forgot that 
slight and have decided on a fitting revenge. So 
prepare for the worst, my friends! For I know that 
the Usurper did not merely offer her the position, 
she even went so far as to ask for it herself!" 

"Outrageous!" cried Leopoldina Pastor; while 
the hairy one muttered in his beard words that 
sounded like treason. 

"The position will pay her well, for she will 
receive six thousand dollars a year for it — " 

"That is pure nonsense : there is not a post in 
the paiace that pays more than three thousand 
dollars." 

But Isabel insisted. "Curra will get six thous- 
and, for she has asked — " ■ 

Here the narrator gave a malicious smile and 
continued slowly: "She has also asked that her dear 
friend John Velarde receive the post of private 
secretary to the King." 

"Velarde?" asked a voice in surprise. "Why 
I did not know — " 

"You people know nothing," said Isabel. 

"But, my dear," said the Duchess, "I have often 
seen John Velarde with Curra's husband Villamelon. 
Still, I had no idea — " 

"What better sign do you need than that? 
Isn't Curra's confidant of the moment always Vil- 
lamelon's best friend?" 

All laughed maliciously at Isabel's sarcasm, 
while the fat wife of the banker Moreno said graci- 
ously: "How sweet little Isabel is! She always 
crucifies everyone so delicately!" 



15 



THE + SIGN 



The hairy Marquis, who had remained silent 
during the last few remarks, here intervened fearing 
a feminine dispute: "Be careful, dear ladies; we 
are playing with fire." Then cautiously looking 
round, he continued: "We are all friends here, are 
we not? If what Isabel says is true, we are in the 
midst of great complications. It is true that there 
was an oversight in the matter of inviting Curra to 
the ceremony of the Queen's abdication. The Queen 
herself was sorry about it. For that very reason, 
and noticing Curra's anger, I wrote to the Queen and 
advised her to make some kind of reparation. Only 
recently I heard from Her Majesty that she had 
written Curra asking her to attend the first Com- 
munion of Prince Alfonso in Rome. Imagine now, 
dear friends, what a position I am in! Imagine if 
as first lady-in-waiting to the Italian usurper she 
attends the ceremony in Rome. I shall be ruined. 
I must speak to Curra at once. This must be stopped 
immediately." 

"She will be here soon," ventured Isabel softly. 

"Here?" queried the Duchess. 

"Yes, here. I have asked her to meet me to 
go to visit the patients at the Foundling Hospital. 
She is on the committee." 

"Ah, yes," said Carmen Tagle devoutly, "Curra 
always has such a great affection for those poor little 
children." 

"Maternal affection," said someone sarcastically. 

Burton threw himself headlong into the conver- 
sation to restore peace to troubled seas. "Please be 
sensible, dear ladies. I beg you let no one say as 
much as a word to her until I have myself spoken 
to her." 

"Never," said the Countess Mazacan. "Noth- 
ing in the world would make me give up the pleasure 
of making her lose her temper." 

"But," protested Butron, "you will spoil every- 
thing — " 

"All right, you arrange your affairs, but do let 
us enjoy ourselves." 

/g^VUTRON wished to expostulate further, but at 
vlfTj that moment there came through the door a 
^*-^ slender lady who walked with careful steps 
on her high heels, tapping the floor as she advanced 
with the end of a lace parasol. She had conspicu- 
ously beautiful red hair and her eyes of light grey 
were indeed so light in color that they seemed to see 
but a short distance and gave at times the impression 
of being like the dead eyes of a marble statue. 

Seeing this dainty vision approaching the irre- 
pressible Leopoldina Pastor ran to the piano, and 
began to play the hymn of the Italian Queen of 
Spain, while certain gentlemen of the party leaped 
upon sofas and chairs, and as Curra approached 
bowed to her slowly and stiffly, without a movement 
of the head, thus making a pretty imitation of the 
Italian-Spanish king's method of salutation. 

Curra hesitated a moment in the doorway with 
that timid school-girl air which she always displayed 



in public. She took in with a quick glance the 
ironic salutes of the gentlemen, the sarcastic play- 
ing of the hymn. Then she suddenly bowed with 
an air of complete distinction and gave in return 
to the salute of the usurper King, yet another salu- 
tation, a long deliberate bow to the right, left and 
center, playing in turn a most clever caricature of 
the Court ceremony common to the King's wife, 
Dona Maria Victoria. 

CHAPTER III 

ON the twenty-first day of June, Anno Domini 
1832 some years before our story opened, 
Ferdinand VII, King of Spain, and his wife 
Maria Christina, were respectively godfather and 
godmother of a baby named Fernando Christian 
Robustiano Carlos Luis Gonzaga Alfonso de la 
Santisima Trinidad Anacleto Vincente, in the local 
church of the regal country-seat at San Ildefonso. 

This baby was the first son of the Marquis of 
Villamelon, one of the greatest grandees of Spain. 
He was also the last baby for whom King Ferdinand 
was godfather on this earth. Fifteen months after 
this event the King was carried to his tomb in the 
palace in Madrid, carefully living up to the simile 
of the bottle of beer to which he had slily compared 
his subjects, himself representing the cork which 
popped out; the revolution which followed him, the 
foaming beer which spread down the bottle on all 
sides. 

The afternoon of the baptism Ferdinand desired 
to inspect his godson more closely, and taking the 
baby to his room, he placed himself comfortably in 
a chair and complacently surveyed the boy lying 
on his knees. He opened the child's mouth with 
his finger and thrust his large Bourbon nose inside, 
as though he wished to examine the little one's 
throat. What he saw was marvellous and Ferdinand 
withdrew his nose promptly. The baby Villamelon 
had been born with a complete set of teeth. 

It is said that Henry IV of France was born 
with two front teeth and that Mirabeau had two 
molars at birth, and it was evident that anyone 
who so far surpassed these two famous personages 
was destined for great things. The Queen also 
desired to examine the infant prodigy and placed 
the tip of one of her little fingers in Baby Villame- 
lon's mouth; while Don Calomarde, who had entered 
the room, wished also to examine the phenomenon. 
He placed an ink-stained finger in the infant's 
mouth which the baby promptly nipped, causing 
the King's Minister to cry with anguish. 

"That baby is no fool," quoth the King. 

The King's remark caused much laughter and 
passed through the Royal Court; while all, very 
much astonished, commented on the phenomenon, 
and later made bold to declare that when he was 
but three days old the baby had recited to his royal 
godparent the Our Father, Hail Mary, the Litany 
of Loretto, and a fable from Don Tomas Iriarte. 

All this was most extraordinary and doubtless 



THE 1* SIGN 



gave rise to the reputation for great cleverness and 
precocity which the future Marquis of Villamelon 
was always to enjoy until his continual absurdities 
destroyed that reputation forever. 

y?<E entered the Military Academy at the age 
J I of twenty, and in '59 went to the African War 
■^~^ J under General Herrera. He was eager to 
land on African soil and dye his virgin sword in 
Moorish blood. He landed at the Black Cape with 
sufficent courage to travel through all the lands of 
the Moor to the gates of Tunis itself, where his 
grandfather had achieved fame by capturing the 
Alcazaba under John of Austria. 

But as he landed there suddenly appeared from 
among the dense brambles by the shore a band of 
natives who commenced firing on the Spaniards. 
Villamelon did not hesitate a second. He turned 
rapidly round, and forgetful of anticipated deeds 
of valor, of the heroism of his ancestor, he flew 
back to his boat, where he hid himself under the 
bed in his room and did not appear again till the 
boat sailed back to Spain, pleading excessive sea- 
sickness as an excuse. 

On his return he promptly asked to be retired 
from the Army, and then he entered Madrid in as 
triumphant a manner as Napolean entered Paris after 
his Egyptian campaign, with the fame of his martial 
achievements in the great battle of the Black Cape 
preceeding him. 

During the next few years the Marquis, without 
becoming a spendthrift by any means, became a sort 
of libertine, not with that aristocratic libertinage 
which sets gracefully upon the shoulders of the 
Lauzuns and the Frousacs, who were gentlemanly 
even in their infamy. His libertinage was that 
libertinage all too common in Spain among the 
younger men of good family, a hybrid mixture of 
sportsman and low gypsy. At last fatigued by the 
unceasing round of bull-fights, of champagne and 
pate-de-foie-gras suppers, he determined that he 
would end it all, and at once — namely, that he would 
marry ! 

The selection of a fitting bride was not at all 
a difficult feat for Villamelon, for he was not at 
all particular in his choice or ideas. He believed 
vaguely that God was doubtless a good person for 
whom he discharged all necessary duties by now 
and again leaving a card on Him in His Church. 
To him Man was but a superior species of digestive 
tubing; life but a pilgrimage which could be made 
conveniently provided one had a full stomach and a 
well-lined purse; marriage was but the amalgama- 
tion of two incomes and for the prolongation of the 
great family which bore his honored name. 

It was surprising that Villamelon, who had been 
so hopelessly terrified at the wild natives of the 
Black Cape, should ask in marriage and without 
fear the hand of a noble savage without a soul. 
Just as one meets in the depths of wild forests 
savages who offend by their physical nakedness, 



one meets in the best drawing-rooms of our best 
modern society savages, dressed exteriorly, but 
naked and shameless of soul. 

This illustrious savage was no other than Her 
Excellency Francisca de Borja Soliz y Gorbia, Coun- 
tess of Albornoz, grandee of Spain in her own right, 
and now Marchioness of Villamelon by marriage 
to the former infant prodigy. Yet this savage queen 
had a modesty quite individual and all her own; 
what could be described best, perhaps, in saying 
that she possessed a perfect modesty of her husband. 
This strange couple, unlike other couples who are 
conspicuous by constantly pulling apart like two 
unfriendly dogs attached to the same leash, were 
always seen together, the husband affectionately 
teasing his wife, while she in shameless cynicism 
adopted the timid airs of a schoolgirl. 

However Villamelon had achieved his desire. 
Curra presented him with a son and daughter to 
carry on the line, and his income, which he had, 
previous to his marriage, described as only sufficient 
to furnish his dinner, joined with hers was able to 
furnish him with supper as well. Villamelon dined 
and supped with art. He was a human tunnel into 
which was poured incessant quantities of food, heed- 
less of the warnings of indigestion which endeavored 
now and again to preach a sermon to his stomach. 
His wife lived happily and shamelessly, with com- 
plete audacity and infinite cynicism, managing that 
all tongues and all people should do her homage. 
It was possible to say of her as a great writer said 
of another: "If she goes to a wedding, she wishes 
to be the bride; if to a baptism, she wishes to be 
the child; if to a funeral, she would be the corpse." 

QO one could explain exactly how she came to 
enjoy supremacy at Court, yet all subjected 
themselves to her in almost abject homage. 
Others might equal her in wealth, others in beauty, 
others by birth, yet none was her equal in effrontery 
and audacity and in that air of assurance with which 
she dominated all her adventures. Was this the 
real reason for her dominance over others? Could 
it be that certain circles are so used to the delicacy 
of vice and the constant aroma of scandal that they 
instinctively pay homage to her who achieves the 
most perfect refinement in her villainies ? 

The Duchess rose from her seat as Curra 
entered the room, amid the homage of men's bows 
and the sound of the Queen's hymn, crying with 
her hard little laugh: "Many thanks, dear friends, 
many thanks." 

"Delighted, my dear, delighted!" said the 
Duchess as she kissed her. 

Everyone now gathered around Curra, while 
she seated herself comfortably and helped herself 
to a small glass of whiskey and soda; for it was 
obligatory at that time among these women to smoke 
and drink with as much grace as possible. 

After a gentleman had secured Curra a cigarette, 
the Duchess leaned forward and lighting it, said : 



THE 1* SIGN 



"Tell us, my dear, all about it!" 

"But what is there for me to tell. You seem 
to know everything already." 

"But it cannot be true!" cried the Marquis 
Butron. 

"It is absolutely true," answered Curra em- 
phatically. 

Butron raised despairing hands to heaven while 
Isabel Mazacan swept the assemblage with a tri- 
umphant glance; and the Duchess exclaimed furi- 
ously: "And you dare come to my house and tell 
me this?" 

Curra appeared much surprised at this outburst 
and glanced hastily around with perplexed eyes, 
exclaiming in her timid child's voice: "But what 
is this, my dears ? Tell me what it is that you have 
heard." 

"That you have asked for and accepted the 
appointment as first lady-in-waiting to the Queen," 
said Isabel Mazacan. 

Curra gave a perfect imitation of pretending 
to faint. 

"And you believed this of me!" she asked 
with all the indignation of a lady whose virtues are 
called in question. 

"Not one of us believed it," cried Burton, 
gasping as though a mountain had been lifted off 
his chest. "No one here has doubted your complete 
loyalty for a moment, my dear — " 

Curra wiped a tear from her eye. "I must 
explain, "she said simply. "It was only yesterday 
that at Court they were talking over the appoint- 
ment of the first lady-in-waiting when the Minister 
of the Interior took it upon himself to propose that 
the position should be offered to me." 

"The wretched good-for-nothing," cried Leo- 
poldina Pastor. "And your husband has not killed 
him?" 

"He deserves it," said Curra. "But it is really 
poor Ferdinand's own mistake. He was much 
interested in securing the private secretaryship to 
the King for his friend, John Velarde, and spoke 
to the Minister about him. The Minister, astonished 
and filled with daring at this request, went too far: 
give these dogs a foot and they will take a yard. 
None other than the President of the Council came 
to offer me the position. I would not see him, but 
my husband did, and there was no end of a scene. 
I nearly died of fright, but finally the Minister left, 
and heaven knows what tales they are telling about 
me now to get revenge. I thought," she added, 
"when I heard the hymn, that you were playing a 
little joke on me." 

^^UTRON expressed assent, while the Duchess 
vJCj now completely satisfied, kissed her affec- 
^-^ tionately. 

When the Countess had finished speaking, 
Isabel Mazacan excitedly whispered to Burton: 
"This is all a lie. It is a lie, Butron, a vile lie, I 
was told the tale by Garcia Gomez, and he knows 



everything that happens at Court. The Minister 
of the Interior told the King's Council at its meeting 
that Curra had asked to be appointed and that the 
post was then given to her. It must have been this 
very morning that the President of the Council saw 
Curra to tell her about it." 

Then, turning round, she said aloud: "You see, 
my dears, did I not tell you the truth? Garcia 
Gomez told me the very same thing that Curra has 
just told you." 

Now Curra must have known that what Garcia 
Gomez had said was something considerably dif- 
ferent from what she had just said herself, so giving 
her cigarette a little puff, she remarked gently to 
the Countess Mazacan: "Look here! I have a com- 
plaint to make about your Garcia Gomez. For while 
he may be a Minister of State he amuses himself 
far too much inspecting the mail that comes to 
us from Paris. For that reason he was able to 
announce to the Council that I had received a letter 
from Queen Isabella yesterday, which would surely 
prove to the Ministry how foolish were their pre- 
tensions." 

All understood to what letter Curra referred, 
above all Butron, who had spoken of it. All ex- 
claimed enviously: "So the Queen has written you?" 

"To invite me to the first Communion of Prince 
Alfonso in Rome." 

And Curra looked Isabel Mazacan over from 
head to foot for it was well known that that lady 
wished to go with the Queen to Rome. That lady 
was about to reply with some biting sarcasm, when 
Butron, who did not want to see his little diplo- 
matic game interfered with, led Isabel over to a 
window and engaged her in conversation. 

XSABEL MAZACAN finished her chat with 
Butron by the window, and making some 
excuse to Curra to avoid going with that lady 
to the Foundling Hospital, made her adieux and left 
in a disgusted state of mind. Curra also announced 
her intention of going home, while the Marquis of 
Butron said farewell to his hostress at the same time. 

"Have you a carriage here, Butron?" asked 
Curra. 

"No, I haven't," replied the hairy diplomat 
eagerly, intent on seizing the occasion which offered 
of having a confidential talk with the Marchioness 
of Villamelon. 

"Come with me, then, in my carriage. Where- 
ever you wish." 

"To the Calle of Isabella the Catholic : I must 
go to the German Embassy." 

They descended the steps together, Curra 
leaning on Butron's arm, and entered her carriage, 
a delicate affair lined with blue satin like a beautiful 
casket for some priceless jewel. 

To sweep everything with his conspiracies 
against the present government was Butron's aim, 
irrespective of personalities and of the refuse which 
might be gathered by such an all-including process. 



THE 1* SIGN 



He therefore stuck firmly to the subject and demand- 
ed, as head of the Feminine Army, an explanation 
of all these rumors and alarms. Curra merely 
opened wide her timid eyes and behaved like a 
frightened child called to correction, repeating with 
protests and tears the story she had just told. For 
what kind of person did Butron take her ? What had 
this detestable Isabel Mazacan been telling him 
that caused him to suspect her, who hated the very 
mention of the name of the Italian King? Didn't 
Butron know that the Mazacan was but an intrigante 
who would stop at nothing to secure an invitation 
to go with the ex-Queen to Rome, in order to drown 
in that company any suspicions which might have 
been aroused by her far too close intimacy with 
the revolutionary Minister Garcia Gomez? 



m 



[EANWHILE the carriage moved on rapidly 
through the streets until it reached the Calle 
Turca where a strange, sullen murmur reached 
their ears. Curra and Butron looked at each other 
with surprise, and then saw that the porters of the 
School of Engineers were hurrying to close the doors 
of the building. This was of frequent occurence 
during these days of constant riots, and so Curra's 
carriage moved on without hesitation until movement 
became no longer possible. They came up against 
a solid wall of people filling the Calle Alcala from 
one end to the other. This was a peaceful demon- 
stration on the part of the proletariat who marched 
along demanding an appointment with one of the 
Ministers of the Government. 

Curra's enormous English coachman, Tom 
Sickles, robed in his cockaded hat and powdered 
wig, pressed on with the mob, seeking to force a 
way through. But he was too late and was brought 
to a halt opposite the Veloz Club amid a gathering 
of other carriages. 

"Isn't this delightfully amusing," cried Curra 
in childish happiness. "Look, Butron, how funny 
they all look in their pink ribbons ! Ah, look at that 
hunchback — what a rascal with his banner of Re- 
form! Well, he needs some reform, especially his 
back." 

At that moment another equipage blocked 
Curra's view. It was that of the Civil Governor of 
Madrid who rode, pompous and fat, on his way to 
the palace. Yet even he could not force a way 
through the crowd. 

"There goes that creature," whispered Butron. 
"He will mark us as conspirators, Curra, if he sees 
us together — the devil! 

This exclamation of Butron's aroused in Curra's 
eager brain one of those mad ideas which dominated 
her mind, and leaning out of the window as though 
she wished the Governor to see her, yet paying no 
attention to his respectful bow, she then darted her 
head back into the carriage and covered her face 
with a handkerchief as though she wished to be 
hidden from his observation. 



"The democracy smells unpleasantly, Butron," 
she remarked, as though to excuse her odd man- 
oeuvres." They breed pests everywhere." 

QT length the carriage of the Governor was able 
to extricate itself and work into the middle 
of the street. As it did so, Curra with an eye 
on the windows of the club filled with members 
who watched the antics of the mob, suddenly gave a 
wild pull at the rope which connected with Tom 
Sickles' finger, and leaning out of the window 
screamed frantically: "Quick, Tom, be off! Go 
on — head them off!" 

Tom Sickles did not wait for a repetition of the 
command. He drew in his reins with terrific force 
and screaming at his horses, lashed them with his 
whip, at the same time suddenly loosing the reins 
so that the horses sprang forward as though shot 
from a catapult and dashed headlong down the 
street. 

A horrible cry of anger and of terror came from 
the mob, who fought desperately to get out of the 
line opened up by the carriage. People scattered 
from one side of the street to the other terrified. 
Police hurled expletives at the vehicle to stop. But 
Tom shook the reins and with hideous grimaces 
sought to give them the impression that his horses 
were runaways. Butron, horrified at this proceeding, 
hastily drew down the carriage curtains, while 
Curra screaming with delight leaned out of the win- 
dow to see the people struggling from under the feet 
of her horses. 

In the Calle of Isabella the Catholic, Tom 
Sickles performed a second feat by pulling up the 
runaways with perfect ease just in front of the 
German Embassy. Madame's wishes were perfectly 
obeyed, and the illustrious Sickles wore the laurels 
of the Olympic games 

When Curra finally reached her house, there 
were three other carriages at the door. She got out 
of her carriage at the stable, and entered the house 
by the servants' entrance, reaching her room with- 
out being seen by anyone. There she rang her bell 
and Kate, her English maid, came in answer. 

"Who is downstairs with my husband?" 

"The Minister of the Interior. Don John 
Velarde and the Duke of Bringas are playing 
billiards." 

"Tell them downstairs that I can see no one. 
I have a severe headache." 

Kate paused a moment before leaving and said 
timidly: "Not even Don John Velarde?" 

"No, no. I will see no one." 

Again Kate suggested timidly: "The little 
master comes home from the College to-day." 

"So he does. Poor Luis!" 

"He will naturally want to see Madame." 

"No, No! He can amuse himself with Lili. 
I will see him tomorrow. To-night I have too bad 
a headache." (To Be Continued) 



Current Fact and Comment 



OUR "FINEST 



>— T"DMnTING that the crime of murder is less 
1 I prevalent in England than in the States vari- 
ous causes are submitted in explanation. One 
alleged is that in England there is much greater 
probability of the criminal being caught and punished 
than here. If this is intended as a reflection on the 
effectiveness of our police service it is not fair. 
Naturally the so-called sleuth has an easier task in 
tracing the lawbreaker in the "tight little isle." 
Here it happens that a policeman is not on hand 
each time a crime is perpetrated, or if the appre- 
hended criminal ultimately evade the penalty, that 
is not the fault of the police. As a class the average 



of delinquency among them is so low as to be 
negligible. Because of the high standard of honesty 
and courage required of them any such delinquency 
is the more sharply noted and criticized. As a 
result of their keen knowledge of criminals and their 
habits comparatively few crimes really pass into 
insoluble mystery. We properly appraise the police 
force and extend to it due measure of gratitude 
only when we fancy it as a. bulwark withdrawn — if 
only for a single day: how promptly would not 
every manner of criminal sally forth to ply his 
cruel craft upon our persons and our homes. 



OUR "GIVEN NAMES" 



CATHOLICS generally know the reason for 
giving a name at baptism. If it were merely 
to distinguish us afterwards from our fellows, 
as one liner or Pullman car is distinguished from 
another, any mellifluous term might be attached to 
us. A sort of superstition often causes a proud 
father to name his son for one or more notables in 
the vague hope that the son thereby would become 
quite as distinguished as they. Sometimes such 
vanity has been best met with ridicule. To the usual 
question on the occasion of the baptism of a boy 
the father submitted: "Grover Cleveland Parnell 
Delaney." The old pastor sensing no canonized 
saint in this array, rather impetuously rejoined: 



"Why don't you call him the 'Baltimore and Ohio 
Southwestern'?" 

Ordinarily this sort of family pride is not 
elicited by the daughters. According to a British 
paper, a father and mother had brought their month- 
old twins to an East London church to be christened. 
All went well until the rector asked; "And what is 
this child's name?" The father drew himself up 
and replied "Haig Pershing Foch Marne Mons 
Lloyd George Clemenceau Jones." The rector 
gasped. Then taking a deep breath, he turned to 
the mother, who was holding the other child. "And 
the name of this?" he asked. The meek little 
woman smoothed her dress and whispered, "Maud." 



KEEPING IN THE GAME 



STATISTICS show an increase in the chances 
for longevity. On the other hand there are 
startling figures compiled showing the major 
diseases taking greater toll of the race than ever 
before. There is a relation between these attained 
averages. For example, mortality from cancer is 
increasing rapidly because modern medicine and 
hygienic practice are effectively eliminating other 
fatal ills and thus leaving a larger number to 
succumb inevitably to the diseases which still baffle 
science. 



Science should be thanked not so much for 
helping men to live long as for enabling them to live 
efficiently and happily. Recently published instan- 
ces of longevity are Wrinkled Meat, an Indian, 
claiming 134 years; Djour, the Turk, presenting a 
birth certificate dated the year of the Declaration 
of Independance; the Earl of Halsbury who has 
just passed away in his 99th year. Though we admit 
no error in the computation of Lo's age or the 
Musselman's, there seems to be naught besides their 
lengthy careers for which they can claim distinction. 



THE 1* SIGN 



Not so with the Earl. He was a foremost authority 
on English law. His codification of that law reach- 
ing to twenty-eight volumes he began only when 
he was 85 years old. 

We should not expect science alone to keep 
us in the game. Too many people slow up and 
swerve into the side-lines, some boasting that they 
have done their share, some through mere loss of 
ambition. And too many of them just take the 
average meridien of life as the signal to quit. The 
world would have suffered incalculable loss had its 
geniuses so conformed. Few biographies contain 
so vast a record of useful activities as that of 
Cardinal Vaughn. About the time of his sixtieth 



birthday the sense of the shortness of life brought 
an almost paralyzing depression upon him. He had 
many plans to complete and many important pro- 
jects to inaugurate, but the motives that might 
hearten him to the work seemed suddenly to be 
withdrawn. Then on the feast of Ireland's Apostle 
he was startled by the statement of the preacher 
that St. Patrick was sixty years old when he under- 
took the conversion of the Irish people. The Cardi- 
naWerified the statement : it cheered and stimulated 
him to fresh endeavor. On your bier they will lay 
a floral pillow with "Rest" in purple immortelles. 
Give no occasion to the mourners to think it irony. 



SCRAPPING SOULS 



B 



POET invites us to the sinking of the Scrap- 
ped, the Unborn, the Un-christened Ships. 
In pathetic vein the old sea-mastiffs 
lying dark in their docks are "whistled forth to die;" 
"steam out to drink their death," we stand and 
watch them "dour and silent, bow their heads and 
go down, dying for a word and a vision : uncon- 
quered, giving up the fight unfought" and "resting 
on the floor of the ocean, grey with its ancient 
slime.' There is fine imagination in all this and in 
the line upon which the poem is built: "the scrap- 
ped, the unborn, the un-christened ships." Anyone 
familiar with the daily press will see at once the 
source of the suggestion in this line and the oppor- 
tuneness of it. It raises a question of comparative 
values. Which is greater? — the battleship — that 



mighty conglomeration of steel, fashioned and nicely 
rivited, invulnerable in defense, unerring and irresis- 
tible in dealing swift death, or the hand and brain 
that designed and fashioned it? Yet there are those 
who contemplate with dismay the deliberate des- 
truction of these huge engines of war who utter no 
protest against practices directly thwarting the 
designs of the Creator, in fashioning the noblest and 
most admirable of His creatures — The human soul. 
There are those, and God forbid that Catholics 
should be numbered among them, who with economic 
eye view the horror of scuttling costly battleships 
and who brazenly participate in the active disemina- 
tion of knowledge the full purpose of which is to 
scrap the unborn, un-christened soul. 



IRELAND— A FREE STATE 



^^=^HE Irish delegates brought more than half a 
L\/ loaf back from Downing St. All the reputed 
stubbornness of Irishmen was needed and they 
displayed it in those trying days of negotiating with 
the arch-charmer, Lloyd George. That they were 
not haled on their return with tumultuous acclaim 
did not signify that little had been gained. Loyalty 
to the President forced a suppression of sentiment 
until his decision and comment were heard. That 
comment had the merit of consistency. 

Quite promptly did the hierarchy approve the 
results of the negotiations. Granting that none are 
more conversant with Ireland's affairs and more 



sanely devoted to her welfare than her bishops, 
their example will suffice for those who prayed and 
fought for an honorable peace. Consistency carried 
to the extreme might mean not that Ireland would 
win on a verdict of principle, but that she, despite 
incomparable valor, would be utterly crushed in a 
verdict of arms. This contingency reconciles many 
to yielding to England the few shreads of honor left 
to her in the covenant. 

The Union Jack may wave over Irish soil : to 
the English traveller it will cause no exultation, to 
Irish eyes it will be at most an interesting relic. 
Its title to wave there will be that bond of associa- 



THE + SIGN 



tion called allegiance to save the face of things. 

It is a fair aurora despite the few thwarting 
clouds. And as Ireland swings into her place among 
the nations, it is gratifying to behold the talents, 



the courage, the devotion of those who guided her 
through those perilous times now applied to the 
development of her material resources and the 
liberation of her unique genius. 



"HE FINDETH THE HOUSE GARNISHED' 



OUT of the solemn reflections inspired by the 
flight of time good resolutions are born. The 
older we grow the more closely we note the 
swift passing of time. The thoughts of youth were 
"long, long thoughts," with every goose a swan. 
Too soon the leaves turn brown, the sport grows 
stale, the wheels run down, anniversaries and birth- 
days are quickly bridged; not only the years, but 
the decades of years seem so brief a span. With 
less of the journey to go there is the corresponding 
chance of going it more steadfastly. But even the 
old have to deplore failure in keeping their good 
resolutions. At this season, therefore, it is useful 
to recall some of the practical rules for making 
resolutions. 

First, be definite. Nothing is more vapid than 
a universal resolution to do better. Rather be 
determined to combat one particular fault. You are 
assured by spiritual authorities that there will be 
concomitant improvement on all lines. What partic- 
ular fault should you choose to combat? Inquire 
what fault has recurred most frequently in your 
confessions. Or take that which has caused most 



pain or disedification to those around you. Use 
their very observation of you to measure your pro- 
gress. Give them occasion spontaneously to remark, 
"How charitable, how meek, how unselfish he or she 
has become of late!" 

Secondly, remember that it is far easier to 
resolve than to perform. "Your vows and perform- 
ances are no kin together." The brave mood that 
inspired us to resolve may not be at hand to support 
us in the temptation. This is the commonest cause 
of "chucking it up." 

Thirdly, should you happen to fall don't con- 
clude at once that there is no use in trying. Make 
stepping stones of your very faults. The devil 
takes little satisfaction out of a single fall. He 
hovers near and follows up the fall with suggestions 
productive of discouragement and despair. He 
strives for your relapse into vicious habits. 

Satan's insidious plans are made void by humble 
acknowledgment of guilt and sorrow. With these 
sentiments in heart we can advance again with 
courage and high resolve. 



TO LET: NO. 1 EASY STREET 



fOMEONE has discovered a barometer of pros- 
perity in napkins-rings. An increase in the 
sale of napkin-rings indicates an increase in 
the ranks of the middle classes. The upper class dis- 
cards the napkin after each use of it. The proletariat 
uses no napkin at all. All of which reminds us of 
the great switching about of the classes as a result 
of the prosperity immediately following the war. 
Hundreds advanced to the millionaire grade, thous- 
ands attained to comforts and luxuries never before 
experienced. 

Unfortunately the poorer classes were the most 
improvident of the newly begotten gains. There 
was an orgy of spending with no thought of the 
rainy day. Then came the recessional. Many even 



fell out of the napkin-ring class. Everywhere there 
followed sales of used player-pianos, graphaphones, 
Axminster rugs, automobiles. The girls salvaged 
their furs and the young men their silk shirts as 
they sought new jobs. The silk industry had en- 
joyed a phenominal boom satisfying the new craving, 
but such a manufacturer lately asked by a solicitous 
friend how he was getting along, replied that he 
was "on his feet again." He had sold his car. 
True, a certain class in that brief, bright interval 
moved up from Delancy Street to Riverside Drive 
and will stay there. But our people are strangers 
to their thrift. Perhaps the hard experience will 
bear fruit and shrewder methods of economy em- 
ployed in the era of returning prosperity. 



BS^^B 




1 is copyright- 
ed in the Li- 
brary of Con- 
gress as Ve- 
ronica's Veil; but the 
newspaper men with 
their swift perception 
and remarkable ability 
to compress a situation 
into a caption have 
rightly named it "America's Passion Play." 

This impressive religious drama was written in 
1910, by the Rev. Bernardine Dusch, 
C. P. At that time he and the Rev. 
Conrad Eiben, C. P. were- associated 
as assistants in St. Michael's Church, 
Pittsburgh, Pa. They were both in- 
terested in amateur theatricals and 
were actively engaged in producing 
the local parish plays. In an idle 
moment Father Conrad casually re- 
marked: "Why don't we write a 
play?" 

"It's easy to write a play;" 
Father Bernardine replied, "the dif- 
ficulty is to get the proper theatrical 
settings." 

"You write the play," returned 
Father Conrad, "and I'll look after veroni 

the settings." 

This was the genesis of Veronica's Veil. 
It had its premier in St. Michael's Casino in 
1912. Its success was so evident that it was repeated 
the following year. In 1914, the Very Rev. Clement 
Lee, then rector of St. Mary's Church, Dunkirk, 
N. Y., had it staged in the Dorhen Theatre of that 
city. It was later produced in Baltimore, Md. : and 
is now produced there annually under the able direc- 
tion of the Rev. Maurice Kantzleiter, C. P. 

CONVINCED of the permanent value of the 
play, Father Conrad had long cherished the 
hope of staging it in such fashion as to bring 




out all its possibilities not alone as an interesting 
spectacle but also as an object lesson in practical 
religion. The opportunity of realizing this hope 
came on his assignment to the pastorate of St. 
Joseph's, West Hoboken, N. J. — a small parish 
numbering less than 1000 souls. Some years since 
heavy trials came to try the loyalty and courage of 
the devoted parishioners. A neighborly hand was 
sought and a neighborly hand was extended to save 
the parish in the day of its difficulties. The veteran 
Father Bernardine was called to the scene and 
though he suceeded in rallying all forces to the task, 
his health was undermined in the 
effort. It sems more than a coinci- 
dence that, while in another field of 
lighter labor, the writing of the Pas- 
sion Play was suggested to him by 
his present successor. For in later 
years the proceeds of the play were 
to lesson the huge debt of St. 
Joseph's and at the same time justify 
the erection of a much-needed school 
building. An auditorium, with a com- 
fortable seating capacity of 1400, 
occupies the ground floor. Its lines 
are quite simple and severe, in har- 
mony with the chief purpose it was 
to serve — the staging of America's 
_ VFn Passion Play. 

The play is performed during 
the Lenten season only. It is now entering upon its 
eight year. Some idea of its drawing power may 
be gained from the fact that in the past seven 
seasons 200 performances have been given with an 
attendance of over 300,000. The play has an appeal 
not limited to the devout Catholic. A large number 
of Non-Catholics — Jews as well as Protestants — 
have witnessed it season after season. 



© 



HE dramatic critices have given it a large 
measure of praise. The great American 
dailies have regularly featured it not only in 



23 



THE f SIGN 




TRIAL BEFORE PILATE 

reading notices but also 
in the color and roto- 
gravure sections of their 
Sunday supplements. 
Flattering offers to take 
it en tour and to film it 
have come from promi- 
veronica n ent theatrical concerns. 

These have been decisively rejected by the author 
and management as they are utterly opposed to 
commercializing this sacred drama. With the idea 
of extending its influence, however, they cheerfully 
give any priest or religious institution permission to 
produce it and proffer their aid in effectively staging 
it. 

Veronica's Veil is a striking witness to what can 
be accomplished by the every-day talent of the 
average parish. It is altogether a parish product. 
The author, Father Bernardine, was formerly pastor 
of St. Joseph's. The present pastor, Father Conrad, 
is the director. He is ably seconded by his assistant. 
Father Bernard Hartman, C. P., as business manager, 
The two casts, numbering 300, are, with few excep- 
tions, members of the parish. 
The West Hoboken play- 
ers followed the Oberammer- 
gau idea in the home manu- 
facture of the costumes. The 
designing and making of these 
costumes took the greater part 
of five years, during which the 
libraries of various cities were 
searched for correct data. 
Jewish and Christian traditions 
were carefully studied so that 
each character might be accu- 
rately attired. The young 
women of the parish gener- 



ously devoted their evenings to the working out of 
the designs. Many of the costumes are of costly 
material, richly trimmed and embroidered. 

The same spirit of personal interest was mani- 
fested by the men of the parish. Fourteen of these 
have become expert stage mechanics. Others were 
assigned to the electrical department, and have in- 
stalled a very complex system of lighting. To obtain 
the delicate effects of both artificial and day-light 
required for the various scenes and tableaux, this 
system was necessary. 

Entirely from the parishioners has been recruit- 
ed the splendid orchestra of twenty pieces which 
furnishes the special musical programme. 

The following have served as Chairman of the 
General Committee: the Rt. Rev. John J. O'Connor, 
Bishop of Newark; the late Chief Justice Eugene 
A. Philbin; Col. L. D. Conley of the Fighting 
Sixty-Ninth; the Hon W. Bourke Cochran; and 
Edward I. Edwards, Governor of New Jersey. 



©' 




HE play is composed of five acts, seven 
scenes and six tableaux. Its presentation 
takes about three hours. Its argument is two- 
fold: Our Lord's Sacred Passion and The Fruits of 
His Passion. This argument is built upon the legend 
of Veronica's Veil. 

The legend is so well-known that there is no 
necessity here to do more than recall how the wife of 
Sirach, a member of the Sanhedrin, was so moved 
by the recital of the sufferings of Christ as He 
carried the Cross to Calvary that she heroically 
braved the insults of the mob who surrounded Him, 
and offered her veil to remove the sweat and blood 
from His sacred face. When the cloth was returned 
she found imprinted upon it the lineaments of His 
countenance. 

With this Veil Veronica 
raises the dead to life, re- 
stores the sight of a Roman 
matron, thus winning her and 
her family to Christianity, 
shatters the statue of Jupiter 
in the palace of Nero, and, 
finally, by destroying the sight 
of the villainess, Miriam, who 
has been the arch persecutor 
of the Christians throughout 
the play, compels her to recog- 
nize in Christ the true Messiah 
and the Savior of the world. 



THE f SIGN 







With reverent and com- 
mendable prudence the play- 
wright has refrained from pre- 
senting our Lord as one of the 
speaking characters in the real- 
istic and awesome scenes pro- 
jected. In this, Veronica's Veil 
is in striking contrast with the 
world-renowned Passion Play 
of Oberammergau. Yet by 
ableaux of singular beauty, power and suitability, 
and by the illuminating dialogue of the other 
characters, the author of the American production 
has Very deftly and with great dramatic skill pre- 
sented and emphasized each and every vital point 
in the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. The 
observer is spared the harrowing scenes of the brutal 
flagellation, the shocking indignities of the Way of 
the Cross, the revolting incidents of outrage, con- 
tumely and blasphemy which the Evangelists them- 
selves hardly more than suggest in the Gospel 
narrative. 

COMPLETE and haunting impressions of these 
contributory episodes in the physical and 
mental crucifixion of our Lord are conveyed 
by the intervening tableaux. Thus the prelude is 
a still, living tableau of the inhuman betrayal of 
Christ by Judas Iscariot in the Garden of Gethse- 
mane, with a supplementary 
view of His seizure by the 
Roman soldiery. 

The curtain of the first 
act rises upon the court scene 
of the Sanhedrin in the 
palace of the high-priest 
Joseph Caiphas. The action 
and argument proceed in 
simultaneous and explana- 
tory accord with the betrayal 
episode already projected. 

At once the spectator 
is made aware of the over- 




shadowing influence of the God-Man. A divine 
presence is almost sensibly felt in every succeeding 
scene. There is a consciousness of mystery, love, 
wisdom and sorrow. These seem to envelop the 
audience like an inspiring atmosphere. 

Thus far the play has succeeded in exhaling 
the rare, uplifting and mystical appeal of our Divine 
Redeemer. Thereafter He is left to dominate every 
word, motion and scene of the drama although His 
Divine Personality appears no more except in the 
successive, silent tableaux of The Trial before Pilate, 
The Crucifixion, The Resurrection, and the idealized 
Vision of the Glorified Martyrs which splendidly 
serves as the sublimating postlude of this impressive 
religious drama. 

The six tableaux have been universally pro- 
claimed as the equal of the finest scenic efforts 
attained even on the metropolitan stage. No ex- 
pense has been spared in perfecting the electrical 
equipment. The tableaux are living copies of the 
world's best paintings portraying the principal 
scenes of the Sacred Passion. As a result of scrupu- 
lous and patient study of these paintings no detail 
of costume, pose or expression is omitted. 

^^^HE Crucifixion tableau is, naturally, the very 
^^/ heart of the drama; and, naturally too, exhi- 
bits the most impressive realism. In it the 
whole troupe of 150 performers take part. These 
are so garbed as to represent accurately the various 
classes who were accustomed to assemble in Jerusa- 
lem during the Jewish Passover. As a matter of 
strict fact no other American stage has presented a 
dramatization of Calvary on such a collossal scale. 
Perhaps the nearest approach to the realism of 
Veronica's Veil in this particular was that made some 
twenty-five years ago by 
Salmi Morse. The New 
York state law prevented him 
from carrying out his plans. 
The Crucifixion scene is so 
admirably and reverently dis- 
played that the audience, un- 
wittingly forgetful of all else, 
are swept back through the 
intervening centuries and live 
through the enactments of 
the supreme moments in the 
world's history. 



THE *t SIGN 



ec 



'MINENT dramatic critics of the present day 
have unhesitatingly expressed their warmest 
admiration for Veronica's Veil. To them the 
very simple, unpretentious and even amateurish act- 
ing of the two casts is an added attraction in the con- 
vincing and edifying qualities of the play. The 
performers selected are, for the most part, plain, 
pious, straight-thinking and believing wage-earners. 
Amongst them there is not one professional actor. 
Whatever may be the scope of their daily avocations, 
they are all animated by that spirit which informs 
the inspired couplet of Robert Browning: 

"All service ranks the same with God, 
There is no first or last." 
While it would be entirely out of question to 
demand or even expect in the Passion players the 



produce the impression that they feel, know and 
actually live the ordeals which they so ingeniously 
portray. 

XT is said of the Oberammergau players that 
they try to live in their daily lives the parts 
they play upon the stage. In the stress and 
compexities of our hurried American life it would 
be quite impossible for the West Hoboken players 
to imitate their praiseworthy efforts. But they do 
strive to make of their acting a religious exercise. 
They make an annual retreat preceding Lent. This 
is of obligation. They are all frequent and many of 
them daily communicants. Their loyalty to Ver- 
onica's Veil is evident from the fact that they serve 
without remuneration and that 90% of the original 
casts are still with the play. 




TABLEAU OF THE CRUCIFIXION' 



technical refinements of the professional performer, 
the sympathetic auditor and even the surfeited 
theatre-goer cannot but be impressed by the blunt 
speaking and the awkward gesture which so quickly 
express elemental passion and primal emotion. The 
very crudities of the Passion players enhance for 
many the suitability of their characterizations. Yet 
it must not be thought that these players never get 
beyond the mediocre range of the amateur. There 
are those amongst them who lift their audience into 
utter sympathy, understanding and admiration by 
the sheer intensity, sincerity and virile simplicity of 
their almost inspired acting. The despair of Judas, 
the death of Caiphas, the banishment of Ruth, the 
wrath of the venomous Miriam, are examples of 
amazingly fine acting, the more inescapably effec- 
tive for that the players' very gaucheries of techni- 
que and lack of everything approaching affectation 



So much does the religious element triumph 
that the play succeeds in spite of its violating some 
of the most elementary rules of dramatic composi- 
tion. There are two distict plays in the one produc- 
tion. The aim of the playwright is to delineate 
the historical incidents of the Sacred Passion, and 
to add to this, the spectacle of the successful preach- 
ing of Christianity to the pagan world as the outcome 
of the sufferings of the Divine Redeemer. But the 
author's purpose — Devotion to the Sacred Passion — 
would have been better served if in accordance with 
dramatic technique the final curtain were dropped 
on the last act of the Great Tragedy. One's soul, 
like to the souls of the watchers on Calvary, would 
in this event be more than taxed in contending with 
the surging emotions of grief, pity and repentance. 

Even as a separate play, the second part, 
despite its many beautiful and clever settings, scat- 



THE + SIGN 



ters its iorces time and agaki by piling up climaxes. 
In both plays one constantly marvels how the per- 
former, charged to express the deepest emotions the 
heart can know, can escape embarassment when 
the lines of the playwright unexpectedly stop short. 
Perforce he must have recourse to the semophore 
devices of the 'silent' drama. 



w 



HATEVER may be the defects of Veronica's 
Veil, and friendly criticism will help to 
remove them, the play stands out as being 



the notable religious dramatic productions of the 
world. Already it attracts patrons from all parts of 
the United States and Canada. 

The St. Joseph's production differs from the 
pageants and historical plays that have attained 
popularity in all parts of America within the last 
few years because it is planned to maintain it as an 
annual institution indefinitely, and to gain for it a 
reputation which will put it on the same plane as 
the Oberammergau passion play. That production, 
however, has been repeated only every tenth year, 




THE MIRACLE IN 

simply epochal in the development of the religious 
drama in America. The evident success it has so 
far met with is ample proof of its general appeal 
and points to its value as a permanent institution. 
The editorial comment of the New York Sun is more 
justified today than when it appeared in the issue of 
March 10, 1919: 

"Since the passion play "Veronica's Veil" was 
presented for the first time in 1914 by the parish- 
ioners of St. Joseph's Church in West Hoboken it 
has achieved a national fame which gives promise 
of permanence and may in time establish it among 



THE MAMERTINE 

in accordance with the vow made in gratitude for the 
cessation of the Black Death in 1633. The Oberam- 
mergau play has enlisted the services of 600 persons 
as actors and actresses; St. Joseph's is not so ambit- 
ious in numbers, but the spirit of reverence in which 
the participants approach their personations is deep 
and true. The experiment has already achieved 
more than momentary success, and its development 
will be interesting to those who regard it as a 
spectacle, as well as to those who look upon it as a 
significant incident in the evolution of religious 
activity in America." 



More Laborers for the Harvest 

First Colony of American Passionists Leave for Ckina 

Gabriel Francis Powers 




SCENE never to be forgotten, and a cere- 
mony solemn and beautiful as those of 
the red-letter days of one's life, was that 
of the departure service for the young 
Passionist Missionaries leaving for China; an event 
that will be historic in St. Michael's Monastery 
Church at West Hoboken, New Jersey. 

. Long before the hour appointed, the noble, 
rather sombre edifice was filled already to the total 
extent of its seating capacity, with a swarm of 
people standing below the pews, in the vain hope 
that they might perhaps get a seat later on. The 
crowd extended at last not only to the vestibule 
and stairs, but spread even over the sidewalk. And 
the attitude of this vast gathering was not merely 
curiosity, but much more, and very noticeably, 
sympathy. Sympathy with the young men who were 
going, sympathy with the Order and the relatives 
who were giving them up; and a deep, unspoken 
sympathy with this wondrous thing that has grown 
up in our midst almost unnoticed: the enthusiasm 
for the foreign missions. 

Many persons had tried in vain to obtain 
tickets at the last moment by applying at the Mon- 
astery; but one woman obtained admission as by 
magic. She stood on the threshold with her brave, 
bright face aglow: "I want to get in. I've got a 
boy at Maryknoll, and he's going to China, too." 
She got in so quickly the mere spectator was left 
breathless. The atmosphere of kindness and gener- 
osity was abroad like sunshine in the air. In the jam 
of leaving, one woman was crushed against another 
and saw the souvenirs in her hands. "Where did 
you get them? I could not see any." — "Right near 
the door; but take some of mine — do take them — I 
have quite a few of them." Strangers one to another, 
but some spirit of open-hearted giving seemed to 
have emanated from those six black-robed figures 
of sacrifice. 

^^^HE long preliminary wait was borne with a 
V /y quietness and patience that spoke volumes, 
and noteworthy because it is not common, 
even in church. A little after four o'clock, the organ 
prelude for the processional pealed forth, and the 



entire congregation came to their feet in sharp 
expectancy. 

From the vestry, across the sanctuary, down the 
north aisle and up the nave, the stately procession 
advanced, the solemn escorting, by all the orders 
of the Church, of these young envoys, to be sent, 
like her missionaries of old, with the glad tidings 
of the Gospel, to Gentile nations sitting in darkness 
and in the shadow of death. The gleaming Cross 
first, borne high, and with a special fitness, before 
these Sons of the Cross and Passion. Nearest to it 
the little children, tiny boys in white cassocks, with 
the faces of cherubs and big, bright eyes roaming 
in wonder; next the taller boys in scarlet; then the 
acolytes in black with red sashes; and the long 
lines of the Passionist Fathers and students in plain 
linen surplice; then those six who wear no surplice, 
but only the habit of their Order, austere and noble, 
with, ever the heart, the badge upon which are 
stamped the memorials of the Passion, and, driven 
into the leathern cincture, the Crucifix which they 
go forth to preach. 

The long black robe, which they wear as an 
emblem of their incessant mourning for Him who 
died these nineteen hundred years ago, falls over 
bare feet strapped in sandals. In their wake follow 
religious of other Orders, and the secular clergy in 
surplice and birretta, grave, reverend ecclesiastics, 
most of them grown grey in the long years of toil 
and service. The prelate of the Missions, Monsignor 
Dunn, another friendly and noted figure, passes in 
the fresh splendor of the recently assumed, and, if 
a secular voice may presume to say it, so well 
deserved episcopal purple. Then the deacons and 
subdeacons who are to officiate at the pontifical 
compline service, in violet dalmatics; and last the 
venerable white haired Bishop of Newark, Monsig- 
nor O'Connor, with his attendant priests and six 
small pages in white satin and silver, bearing his 
train, an added touch that seems to make the picture 
more complete, as, the procession melting away 
into a series of well-ordered groups in the sanctuary, 
the component elements of it take their respective 
places around the altar. The Diocesan Bishop upon 
his throne at the Gospel side; the visiting Bishop at 



THE 1* SIGN 



the Epistle side; just behind him, the five missionary 
Fathers and the good co-adjutor Brother, their com- 
panion; the reverend clergy and the religious, in 
the stalls 
and in 
ranks be- 
yond the 
miss ion- 
aries. 

Com- 
pline, the 
evening 
prayer of 
the Church, 
is sung im- 
m e diately 
by finely 
trained 
voices in 
the choir, 
and the 
short 
psalms are 
succeed e d 
by one of 
the most 
beauti f u l 
of the Anti- 
phons of 
Our Bles- 
sed Lady, 
that won- 
drous song 
of Advent 
— and how 
appropriate 
here to- 
ri i g h t! — 
"Alma Re- 
d e mptoris 
Mater, 
quae per- 
via c o e l i 
porta 
manes, et 
stella 

maris." Well may they call upon her: "The Gate 
of Heaven open, and the sea's star!" 

gT the close of the Divine Office, Monsignor 
Dunn ascends the pulpit, and announces as 
the text of his impressive sermon those 




INTERIOR OF ST. MICHAEL'S MONASTERY CHURCH 



words which throughout the centuries, have been 
sending men from native land and fireside to the 
extremest confines of the earth. "Going therefore, 

teach ye 
all nations, 
bap tizing 
them in 
the name 
of the 
Father and 
of the Son, 
and of the 
Holy 
Ghost." 
And he 
adds the 
con tinua- 
tion of the 
m e s sage, 
the last 
verse of 
the Gospel 
of St. Mat- 
:hew, which 
is not al- 
w a y s 
quoted, but 
which 
should 
be always 
quoted, for 
it is the 
promise of 
eternal 
truth, 
strengthen- 
i n g the 
fearful and 
staying up 
the weak 
in immor- 
tal hope : 
"And be- 
hold I am 
with you 
all days, 
even to the consummation of the world." Had the 
orator uttered no other word, and he uttered many 
others both eloquent and wise, that one alone would 
have been a staff in the hand of each of the depart- 
ing pilgrims, forevermore. 



THE + SIGN 



XN the course of the sermon the speaker calls 
attention to the importance of the event in 
which we are participating : the first departure 
of missionaries of this diocese for the foreign field, 
and he expresses his own strong faith that it was 
the martyr blood of Christians shed in China during 
the Boxer rebellion of 1900, that has brought about 
the flowering of Christianity there in the present 
day, and the generous readiness of our America to 
respond to the call of the field afar. He rejoices in 
the marvelous new impulse, a very breathing of the 
Holy Ghost amongst us, which is carrying so many 
splendid young men to the sublime vocation of the 
Foreign Missions. The world, for their reward, will 
style them fools, but they will be fools for Christ; 
and it is the image of the wayfaring, preaching, self- 
forgetting Christ, that he holds up as the model of 
all missionaries and as their leader: "The First 
Missionary: Christ." 

ONE could have listened longer with pleasure 
to so earnest a speaker, but after the final 
exhortation to the missionaries to build 
schools wherever they go, Monsignor Dunn, yields 
the word to the Reverend Father Provincial, who, 
standing before the altar, presents a large Mission 
Cross to his departing sons. The six young men 
kneel at the altar step to receive this last public 
exhortation of their Superior, and there is something 
both striking and touching about the mingled manli- 
ness and humility of those kneeling forms, the habit 
and cloak, at that moment, calling to mind the 
pictures of the saints of the Order, in just such a 
garb and posture as this. 

In his clear yet subdued voice, the Father 
reminds them that all missionaries, under the guid- 
ance of the Church go forth to carry the selfsame 
message of light and faith to the nations afar, but 
that they, Sons of St. Paul of the Cross, have a 
special added task to fulfill. On the day of their 
religious profession they made a promise, nay, 
more, a solemn vow, to further and to spread, where- 
ever they might go, the knowledge and remembrance 
of the sufferings of Christ Crucified. 

In the long hours of meditation at the foot of the 
Crucifix, they have been schooled in this knowledge 
and remembrance themselves, and this must be the 
special teaching of salvation which they carry to 
others. They have often contemplated in spirit the 
Sorrows of the Mother who stood at the foot of the 
Cross, and her remembrance, too, Mary in anguish 



and desolation, they must teach to others, while she 
will be their consolation in troubles and adversities, 
when perchance their tears may be mingling with 
hers. The name of the Holy Mother of God, as he 
utters it, seems to fill all the sanctuary with fra- 
grance. "Thy name, Mary, is as sweet oil poured 
forth. Thy servants have loved thee exceedingly." 
In conclusion he invites the young men to approach, 
and to kiss Our Saviour's feet, as a token of their 
fidelity and attachment to Him. 

After this they go over to the venerable Bishop 
and kneel one by one before the throne to receive 
his Blessing, and to kiss his ring in homage. Then 
to the Bishop Director of the Propagation of the 
Faith, and the eyes and the hands of this great 
friend of the Missions, as he slowly and reverently 
blesses them, seem to be conveying some message — 
wordlessly — out of his heart. 

^^^0 the bystander, the most affecting portion 
I J of the remarkable ceremony is unquestionably 
the farewell of the clergy and religious to 
the departing missionaries. The six young men 
ascend the altar step and stand, facing the congre- 
gation, while the long line of priests, religious, and 
students, passing in front of them in single file, greet 
each one of them individually. 

The first to pass, the officiating deacons, simply 
offer them the "Pax" of High Mass, the ceremonious 
laying of hands upon the arms and the inclination; 
but as the ecclesiastics keep coming, and still com- 
ing, it is easy to recognize, in spite of the dignity 
and decorum observed, the old, valued friend, the 
cherished companion, the brother in religion who 
has drawn more tenderly near, the class-mate of 
long ago. Some in haste, struggling with the heart- 
break they will not show; some lingeringly, reluct- 
ant to part; here the robust handshake, gripping 
hard, eye to eye; there the kiss upon the cheek, or 
even upon the lips, like a parting of lovers. And 
again the cheery word and the clap on the back, 
right there, in front of the altar, before the Friend 
who will understand. 

One saintlike aged priest pauses before each 
of the young priests, bending his hoary head, white 
with the snows of many winters, and to each whis- 
pers the selfsame words, perhaps a humble request 
for prayers; seeing, near the end of the course in 
which he has spent himself, these new athletes 
vigorously entering the career for God. And in the 
midst of it all, some flash of a friends glance, some 



THE + SIGN 



secret murmured in his ear, suddenly brings a smile 
to one of the grave young faces, and, in a moment, 
one of the missionaries has laughed outright. The 
line in front of him keeps passing, passing, men 
stand dumb in the pews, gripping the wood under 
their hands in the effort not to show their soul; 
over the faces of women tears are pouring down 
silently, unrestrained; but that face at the altar 
laughs out its farewells, head up, bright as though 
the sun were shining upon it, not with any flimsy 
mirth of amusement, but with the high, shining, 
magnificent joy of this thing which is the leaving 
of home and tongue, of father and mother, of bro- 
ther and sister, for the sheer love of Christ! 

^^=^HE prayers for travellers about to set forth 
V _J upon the road, the "Itinerarium" of ancient 
days, come last before the Benediction of the 
Blessed Sacrament. And it begins by the chanting 
of the Benedictus, the canticle which will be said 
over the bodies of these young Passionists when 
they lie dead. But there seems to be a wonderful 
fitness about it now, as it so often happens in the 
prayers of the Church; for are not these words true 
of the missionaries today as they were of the Pre- 
cursor in the day of Zachary ? 

JJND thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most 
High: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord 
to prepare His ways. 

To give knowledge of salvation to His people, unto 
the remission of their sins. 

Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in 
which the Orient from on high hath visited us. 

To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the 
•hadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace. 

And the voice of the officiating Bishop, distinct- 
ly and sweetly, intones the prayer : 

fll^ AY the almighty and merciful God direct us in the 

way of prosperity and peace, and may the Angel 

Raphael be our companion in the way, that with peace, 

health, and gladness, we may return to our own homes. 

Then, alternately with the choir, the verses and 
responses are chanted : 

g\VE thy servants, O Lord, for they hope in Thee. 
Send help, O Lord, from the holy place, and from Zion 
be our protection. Be to us a tower of strength against 
the face of the enemy. Let not the enemy win any gain 
over us, nor the son of iniquity be able to work evil 
against us. May the Lord be blessed every day, may God, 
who is our salvation, render our going prosperous. Show 
us, O Lord, thy ways, and in thy paths be our leader. 
May our ways be directed to the keeping of thy com- 
mandments. The crooked paths shall be made straight 
and the rough places smooth. God shall give His angels 
charge over thee, that they may keep thee in all thy 
ways. 

Then alone the faint, soft voice of the Bishop 



lifts up those marvelous prayers of the ancient 
Roman liturgy, many of which go back to the sixth 
century, and some point, as with the finger, to the 
frescoed images of the Catacombs in the fourth : 

^ God, who didst cause the children of Isreal to pass 
dry-footed through the midst of the sea, and who, by 
the guidance of a star, didst lead the three Kings unto 
Thee grant us, we beseech Thee, quiet times and a pros- 
perous journey, that thy holy Angel being our companion 
we may safely attain the end of our travels and at length 
happily enter the port of salvation. 

^ GOD, who having led Abraham thy servant out from 
Ur of the Chaldeans, didst through all his peregri- 
nations keep him from every harm, deign to keep us, too, 
who are thy servants. Be to us, O Lord, our aid while 
we gird for starting, be our comfort in the way, a shade 
n the ardor of heat, a shelter in rain and cold, a vehicle 
n fatigue, a refuge in mishaps, a staff in slippery places, 
n shipwreck our port; that, led by thee, we may come 
safely to our destination, and return unharmed to our own 
homes. 

The service ends with the singing of the sweet, 
familiar hymns we know so well, Salutaris, and 
Tantum Ergo, and that last crowning glory and 
radiance of the Host, uplifted above the sea of 
kneeling forms and lowly bowed heads, as the 
Eucharistic King imparts His Blessing, after so 
many other blessings asked and received. Before 
Him, in final silence, lie all the prayers, all the tears, 
all the hopes, all the farewells. Then the congrega- 
tion stands, like the ministers in the sanctuary, for 
the brief "Laudate," and the procession forms once 
more and majestically descends the main aisle, to the 
strains of the recessional. 

There is one more detail. The Master of Cere- 
monies announces that as it will be impossible, 
cwing to the greater number of persons present, for 
the Missionaries to meet their friends individually, 
they will give their blessing to all collectively. Thus 
for a moment we see them stand again upon that 
memorable altar step, one clear voice intones 
"Benedicat vos Omnipotens Deus," (curiously they 
seem to have taken refuge at the altar, grouped to- 
gether, as in times past the martyrs sometimes did — 
the thought comes strangely to mind!) and the five 
consecrated hands rise to trace slowly in the air the 
Sign that has mysteriously conquered the world. 

It will be right and fitting to recall here the 
names of the little band of heroic and devoted 
young men. Father Celestine Roddan, C. P., Superi- 
or, Father Agatho Purtill, C. P., Father Flavian 
Mullins, C. P., Father Raphael Vance, C. P., Father 
Timothy McDermott, C. P., and Brother Lambert 
Budd, C. P., who will valiantly second the apostolic 
labors of the Fathers. 



THE t SIGN 



^^^HE writer of these lines has asked permission 
V/J of the Reverend Editors of the Sign to make 
one last earnest appeal to the readers of it, 
in favor of the Missionaries. Not so long since, we 
used to cross the street to shake hands with some 
unknown soldier and say to him. "Good-bye — good 
luck — God bless you!" He was going overseas and 
in our hearts was the pain and the fear that he might 
never come back. Some have not come back. And 
here are other young men going overseas, to the 
front without question; we trust and pray they will 
come back. But we could not cross the street to 
say: "Good-bye, God bless you?" They have not 
sailed yet, though they are on their way West 
already, and we can still reach them with some 
word of greeting, some token of appreciation, some 
offering to help them in their work. 

No doubt the Passionist Congregation can take 
care of its members, but the send-off should be the 



spontaneous tribute of the laity. These six men 
have to be equipped and conveyed to their distant 
field of action. They must have some kind of a 
lodging; a tiny chapel, if possible. And if we put 
the means in their hands the works of their Mission, 
and its fruits, will be multiplied. The first China 
Mission of the Passionists! How the heart of St. 
Paul of the Cross, that great Apostle, must thrill 
with joy of it in Heaven! 

Men, women and children, if you have a dime 
to spare, or a quarter, or a dollar, or one hundred 
dollars — or a thousand — say good-bye with it to the 
Missionaries, and wish them good-luck. Shake 
hands with them, for they are going over a wider 
sea than the soldier went, and: 

"Give them a cheer boys For God's sake 

Give them a cheer!" 

Note: Anyone wishing to address the Missionaries 

may do so. THE SIGN, West Hoboken, N. J. 



Winnoxtfings of Wisdom 



Don't try to censor the films, censor the audiences. 

— Collier's 

Where one saloon is closed, three speak-easys open. 

— N. Y. Tribune 

Vanity is a centipede with corns on every foot. 

— Lord Roseberry 

If you will not go through the stage knowing or 
doing a thing badly or imperfectly, you never 
will know it or be able to do it well. 

— Jos. Rickaby, S. J. 

I would not give much for that man's faith that did 
not make the man dangerous to every dishonest 
trade and every dangerous tendency. 

— Rev. Home 

Better swallow your good jest than lose your good 
friend. — Pittsburgh Dispatch 



Our deeds go before us to open or to bar the way. 

— Bishop Spaulding 



Without sorrow life glares: 
merciful shadows. 



it has no half-tones or 
— Anna R. Brown 



Thou shalt not let thy senses make a playground 
of thy mind. — Voice of the Silence 

Succeed and you have simply laid another pole 
across the hurdle. — Geo. Ade 

With the Greeks the women of the house sat at the 
loom, with us they sit at the piano. But it may 
be doubted whether our lives are more filled 
with music than were theirs. 

— Bishop Spaulding 

The Supreme courage of life is the courage of the 
soul. — Wm. George Jordan 



ONE day, at a most inconvenient moment, just 
as Father Monsabre, the famous preacher of 
Notre Dame was preparing to enter the pulpit, 
a lady came to him with many airs and redundancies, 
told him that her conscience troubled her 



greatly, because she had that morning admired 
herself in the looking-glass more than usual, 
thinking how very pretty she was. Whereupon he 
answered : "Go in peace, my child, a mistake is not 
a sin." 



The Wkite Rose of Lucca 

Tke Stop? of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 



5 — Sweetness and Strength — (continued) 



^^^^HE King of Heaven, besides granting her 
a w\ other favors such as those already referred 
^^^V to, often accommodated Himself to her low- 
liness and came to her as a little infant, 
either in the arms of His Immaculate Mother or 
alone, and would permit Himself to be taken up in 
the arms of the seraphic girl and to be showered 
with her ardent caresses. 

The Queen of Heaven, for whom Gemma cher- 
ished an ardent filial love, favored the devoted child 
with her visible presence. At one time the Virgin 
Mary would come and speak to Gemma with maternal 
tenderness ; at another time she would take Gemma 
into her lap and pressing the sweet child to her 
immaculate bosom, would instruct her in the love 
of Jesus. At such times Gemma would be enraptur- 
ed at the unspeakable beauty and graciousness of 
her Heavenly Mother and would be almost beside 
herself with joy. "Oh! Father," she once said to 
her director, "how beautiful Our Heavenly Mother 
is! Though I have often seen her, yet my desire 
to see her again, remains." 

gNOTHER heavenly privilege Gemma enjoyed 
was the constant and visible presence of her 
Guardian Angel. The holy Guardian was 
wont to come to her and pray with her; hover over 
her with out-stretched wings as if to protect her; 
would dictate, while she sat and wrote, a message 
to someone in this world or an important lesson 
in the spiritual life. If, forgetful of the lapse 
of time, she happened to remain too long in church, 
he would come and remind her that it was time to 
go, and would then accompany her home. Gemma 
on her side was most grateful to the angel. "Dear 
Angel," she would say, "I so love you. . .because 
you teach me to love Jesus." Having unbounded 
confidence in him she talked to him familiarly; 
gave him messages (sealed letters)' to the blessed in 
heaven, especially to heaven's Queen, and sent him 
on missions to people in this world. More than 
once it happened that whole troupes of the blessed 



spirits came to celebrate with her the holy praises 
of God. 

It will be well not to omit another touching 
expression of Gemma's charming simplicity. For 
a long time her idea of the marvellous favors just 
described was that they were the usual thing in 
God's service, and that Our Lord, the Virgin Mary, 
the angels, were quite ready to give visible audience 
on demand to any other of God's servants. Thus 
in writing by command of Heaven to her director 
about any matter, if she feared that she had not 
been quite clear, she would add: "Ask Jesus about 
it and make Him explain it to you better," and 
once, when in order to try her the angel was "a 
little severe," she prayed "that the others would 
not see him so angry; for if they did, no one would 
come near him." 

How truly were Our Lord's own words to 
Gemma verified in her, namely, that He loves to 
be with humble and childlike souls. The sweet 
odor of her virtues — a fragrance that is destined 
to fill the whole world, — penetrated into heaven and 
attracted its blessed inhabitants to our sin-stained 
earth. 

Though so simple and so lowly of heart, we 
must not forget that Gemma possessed, as I have 
said, the opposite trait of high moral strength, 
which, regulated, sanctified, augmented by grace, 
she used solely for the noble end of self-conquest. 
Such were the vigorous earnestness and constancy 
of her efforts for self-mastery, that very early she 
became crucified in body and soul, — an adult in all 
the virtues and fitted for the sublimest gifts of 
heaven. 

eEMMA began to strive for self-mastery at the 
very dawn of reason at which time she com- 
menced to lead the spiritual life. Beginning 
with the humbler forms of detachment, she subdued 
every inclination for worldly pleasures and amuse- 
ments, and for all finery and vain show — a great 
sacrifice in a woman, and one that requires a deter- 



THE +SIGN 



mined will to achieve. Then bringing one by one 
all her senses into perfect control, she never relented 
in her declaration of war on her natural impulses : 
"I will give them no rest until I find them dead 
within me." 

She labored with unwearying industry to con- 
quer the natural craving for food; and so many 
and various were the sacrifices to which she resorted, 
that she managed to hide to some extent her tem- 
perance, and at the same time to lead a life of almost 
unbroken fast. Not satisfied with what she could 
accomplish with a firm will sustained by ordinary 
grace, she prayed to be deprived of the sense of 
taste — a request that was no sooner made than 
granted. Henceforth, food and drink gave Gemma 
no more pleasure than so much straw and water. 

Her eyes and tongue came in for a share of 
this salutary discipline. She was as reluctant to 
indulge in idle talk as to listen to it. although she 
was ready and pleased to speak to a few intimate 
friends about holy things. Very rarely did anyone 
see her eyes, for on all occasions, but without any 
suggestion of affectation, she kept them lowered. 
Gemma's spiritual advisors seldom allowed her to 
practise severe bodily penances, such as the use of 
the hair-shirt, the iron chain and the scourge; but 
when the coveted leave was granted, for ever so 
short a time, she rejoiced as at the reception of a 
very great boon. 

Gemma was wisely restrained from practising 
severe corporal penances, for the physical and 
spiritual sufferings of which she was the recipient 
direct from the hand of God, were more than suf- 
ficent to make her a martyr. The cruelty of the war 
that, with God's permission, Satan waged against 
her, more than compensated for the penances she 
was forbidden to practise. During several years 
Gemma was made the victim, often for whole days 
and nights together, of the most savage assaults of 
the Evil One, whose rage and hatred for her eminent 
virtues knew no bounds. The welts and bruises, 
the black hair scattered on the floor, the loud noises 
heard in her room, were terrible witnesses to both 
the reality and the fury of these attacks. 

There is no need here for more than a passing 
reference to the excruciating martyrdom, a hundred 
times endured, of her participation in all the pains, 
internal and external, of the Savior's Passion. It 
is pertinent to remark, however, that such was the 
heroism of the delicate young woman, that she 
welcomed the periodic returns of these torments 



with eager anticipation and keen joy. More excru- 
ciating than even the crucifixion of her bodily 
members, was the internal martyrdom she endured 
from the cessation, intermittent at first, but after- 
wards complete, of her supernatural gifts — a cross 
that was the instrument of such intense bitterness, 
that the sundown of her life was dyed in the deepest 
possible crimson of sacrificial grief. 

aS has ever been the case in God's service, so 
it was with Gemma — sacrifice was in many 
ways its own reward. With painful industry 
she sowed the seed of virtue, and, rejoicing, she 
harvested the golden sheaves of precious spiritual 
treasure. Sacrifice and suffering were the source 
whence she derived the ease with which her soul was 
able at all times to make sublime flights in realms 
supernatural ; whence she drew that perpetual peace 
and joy that nothing, except the fear of sin and of 
the secret judgments of God, could disturb. But her 
stainless purity and burning love were the most 
precious spoils of her victory. 

To acquire in an eminent degree and to pre- 
serve immaculate, the adorable virtue of purity 
was an object of Gemma's life-long concern. This 
virtue was the inspiration of her heroic constancy 
in the practise of penance of mortification and of 
prayer; of her anxious care to avoid the most in- 
'nocent liberty that might discolor this beautiful 
flower; of the ardent devotion she cherished for the 
Immaculate Virgin. The eminence she acquired in 
it seems to have been reflected in her physical form. 
Her body appeared as though fashioned from some 
crystalline material, which only half concealed the 
resplendent beauty of the soul. To Gemma's ex- 
cellence in the holy virtue, God bore witness when 
He said to a holy soul : "I have always guarded the 
purity of this child's heart... and have preserved 
her as a spotless lily of paradise in My pure love." 
He permitted the fragrance of this lily to be per- 
ceived even by the children of earth, for we are told 
that, whereas she would never use perfume of any 
kind, her room and the things she touched often 
exhaled a heavenly fragrance. 

The fire of divine love that the wood of the 
cross enkindled in this privileged soul was seraphic. 
Only the immeasurable force and earnestness of 
her own words can suggest how great was that inner 
fire. Love was the power which taught her that 
fiery eloquence which she lavished in burning 
prayers upon Jesus Crucified and in the sacrament 



THE 1* SIGN 



and attention to prayer as religious do. But from the 
Passion of Our Lord they will learn to love the 
practice of prayer. By remembering now and then 
the sorrows and sufferings of the Sacred Heart of 
Christ, thoughts arise in their minds that become 
fervent prayers. At the beginning of His Passion, 
the Divine Master said: "Pray, lest you enter into 
temptation." If members heed this advice, they will 
pray for protection against evil; they will pray for 
strength and help to be virtuous, to be obedient to 
God's law, and to keep their souls unstained by sin. 
If members recall the sufferings Our Lord went 
through to make reparation for sin, then when 
tempted to do wrong, they will pray until the tempta- 
tion is overcome. Instead of yielding to their unruly 
desires or the suggestions of temptation, they will 
resist all sinful inclinations for the sake of Him 
Who suffered so much for them. If members have 
the spirit of their Archconfraternity, they will pray 
that no sins will be committed, because sin renews 
the Passion of Christ. They will pray in reparation 
for the offenses that caused the sufferings of Our 
Lord. 

Our Divine Savior teaches prayer to the mem- 
bers of the Archconfraternity by His example in 
the garden of Gethsemane. Again and again He 
repeated: "Father, not My Will but Thine be done." 
He prayed when it was hard to pray. He prayed 
with reverence, with confidence, with resignation, and 
with perseverance. This prayer of Christ at the 
beginning of His Passion should encourage the mem- 
bers to recommend to God their troubles and suffer- 
ings. As Our Lord did, so let them do; they should 
have recourse to God in prayer when they desire 
to accomplish some good work, or to obtain some 
blessing. 

At the end of His Passion, Jesus taught men to 
pray in the spirit of charity. Agonizing on the Cross 
and tormented by His enemies, He prayed for His 
tormentors: "Father, forgive them; for they know 
not what they do." The members of the Archcon- 
fraternity thus learn to pray for others, to pray even 
for those who cause them suffering or injure them. 
And the last prayer of Christ Crucified, "Father, 
into Thy hands I commend my spirit," shows the 
members how they ought to place themselves and 
their affairs in the hands of their Heavenly Father, 
so that when the end of life draws nigh they may 
give themselves to God's keeping for eternity. 

The success of missions and retreats and meet- 
ings of the Archconfraternity lies in the spread of 



true devotion to the Sacred Passion. In the degree 
in which the members have the spirit of their society, 
they will pray that more and more of the faithful 
will come to know and gratefully remember the 
Sufferings and Death of Christ Crucified. 

Prayer and penance go hand in hand. The Pas- 
sion was Our Lord's prayer for the redemption of 
mankind. It was also the supreme sacrifice, which 
He offered to God, for the redemption of mankind. 

y^^HE spirit of penance, which the members of 
V /J the Archconfraternity imbibe from the know- 
ledge of Our Lord's Passion, is self-sacrifice 
and self-control. They know the Divine Master's 
reproach "Could you not watch one hour with Me?" 
would be said to them also, were they to consider 
their own desires rather than their duties. It means 
fidelity and generosity, no matter what the suffering, 
in doing those things, that God wants them to do. 
When the members keep in mind how willingly and 
how generously Christ suffered for their sake, it 
becomes easy for them to sacrifice their own opin- 
ions, to ignore their own wishes, to despise their 
own feelings, to please Him, to serve others, and to 
sanctify themselves. Very often however this is 
real penance. Very often it is known to God alone. 
He appreciates and blesses self-sacrifice even when 
others return evil for good and ingratitude for bless- 
ings received. 

Another view of penance is that of reparation 
for sin. "Weep not for Me, but for yourselves and 
for your children," Jesus said to the women of 
Jerusalem. St. Paul the Apostle practiced penance 
to keep himself free from sin and because of the 
Crucifixion of Christ: "I crucify the flesh," he says, 
"with its vices and concupiscences." And again he 
says: "With Christ, I am nailed to the Cross." The 
self-control which Our Suffering Savior asks of the 
members is the control of their thoughts, their 
speech, and their temper. Thus they do penance, 
and make reparation for sin, and show the true spirit 
of the Archconfraternity, when for the sake Jesus 
Crucified, they imitate Him, and sacrifice them- 
selves, deny themselves, and carry the cross with 
Him. "I thirst," cried Our Lord on the Cross. So 
it should be the ambition of members to suffer with 
Christ, to share in His Passion, "to fill up whatever 
may be wanting in them" of the Passion. 

This is the spirit of the Archconfraternity, to 
pray and to sacrifice that Jesus Crucified may be 
known, loved, and glorified. 



39 



Index to Worthwhile Reading 



THE SOCIAL MISSION OF CHARITY. By 

William J. Kerby, Professor of Sociology, Catholic 
University, Washington, D. C. New York: Mac- 
Millan Co. Price $2.25. 

This volume is the second of the series which 
is beir.g issued by the Social Action Department of 
the National Catholic Welfare Council. The day 
is at hand when every one will know what N. C. 
W. C. means. This volume and others to follow 
represent the desire of the Department to study the 
relations of the Church to proverty and the bearing 
of our new insight into social conditions and pro- 
cesses on the principles and methods of Catholic 
charity. Doctor Kerby's educational work, of which 
this book is the testament — not his last, We may 
hope — justly entitles him to a very high ranking 
among the noblest benefactors of the poor. His 
book will revolutionize the public attitude and out- 
look towards the problem of poverty and by conse- 
quence t.'wards the problem of charity. The pitiful 
evil of poverty is so widespread that it must be 
spoken of as social. It is inseparable from the con- 
dition that prevails in society and so must be spoken 
of as social. The consequence is inevitable. 
Nothing shoit of the converging efforts of all the 
forces of the State will ever effectually deal with 
this problem. An evil which is social imposes upon 
charity a social mission. Newer methods, newer 
systems are required. "Modern conditions force us 
to deal with poverty in the aggregate as a problem 
of society and the State and of Christianity no less 
than as a problem of the individual. Only when we 
look upon poverty as organic can we comprehend 
the pitiable inadequacy of relief alone. Only then 
can we gain insight into its real nature, only then 
can we feel the stirring impulses that lead us to deal 
with processes, institutions, conditions and relations 
in our effort to conquer it. This organic view forces 
us to study the ethical codes that prevail in life, the 
relation of the social classes, the property system, 
the social philosophy of the strong, the ineffective- 
ness of the discipline of religion, the conduct of in- 
dustry, the process of legislation and the tyranny of 
conditions in the lives of the weak. . . .It is possible 
to see nothing in poverty except the plight of the 
individual and to see no duty except that of relief, 
comfort and advice as cases present themselves. 
It is possible to shut one's eyes to the wider bearings 
of poverty but it can be done only in defiance of 
scholarly standards and at the cost of perpetuating 
the misery of the poor." 

One need but read the chapter on The Back- 



ground of Poverty to realize how far-reaching the 
scope of Christian effort must be if the axe is ever 
to be laid at the root of the tree which sends forth 
the ever-multiplying fruit of poverty. Our present 
social fabric accounts for a condition that, according 
to some, leaves ten million persons but one week 
removed from destitution, to say nothing of what 
such a condition brings into the whole life of men, 
women and children in the form of crime. Truly, 
as we gain insight into the forces which make the 
poor dependent and as we grow in understanding 
of the process that keeps them so, we find need of 
foresight, strength and system. If we look upon 
poverty as a state of society rather than of the indi- 
vidual we become convinced of the necessity of 
organizing the forces which can act upon society, 
awaken its conscience and remedy existing con- 
ditions. 

The N. C. W. C. is nothing if not practical and 
that they are efficient every man who reads the work 
they are here sponsoring will readily admit. They 
are to be congratulated on having the services of 
Doctor Kerby than whom there is no abler sociolo- 
gist in the country. He is at his best in this particu- 
lar work. With the great mind of the scholar and 
the great heart of the priest he voices the social 
aims' of the N. C. W. C. It remains for Catholics 
the country over to correspond generously in the 
great work of social reform herein proposed. Our 
hope is that the keynote sounded by Dr. Kerby may 
be carried to the ears of the country for it must 
compel the mind and heart to realize that the 
country's energies have to be enlisted, have to be 
won and marshalled to heal this social sore. The 
wider the circulation of The Social Mission of 
Charity the sooner will amelioration of the poor 
be brought about. 

"JESUS CHRIST, THE KING OF HEARTS." 
By Rev. A. Lepicier, O. S. M. Bensiger Bros. Price 
$1.50. 

This is a devotional study of The Sacred Heart 
by the well-known theologian, Fr. Lepicier. Called 
to preach a sermon on The Sacred Heart, induced 
the author to make a closer study of the inner 
meaning of this beautiful devotion. His attention 
centered on a particular phase of the subject: the 
regal dignity and sovereignty of the Heart of Jesus 
over our hearts. The book is a beautiful com- 
mentary on the invocation in the Litany of the 
Sacred Heart, "Heart of Jesus, the King and Center 
of our Hearts." 




A NATIONAL Sj> CATHOLIC 
MONTIiLY MACAZ1NEX 



3 VOL. I. 



FEBRUARY, 1922 



Ho. 7 



^ft^^l^.lifttrcw^ 



BENEDICT XV. 

ON January 22, Benedict XV. died, the 259th. successor in a direct line from St. Peter. 
His demise was quite sudden. Particularly did it seem so to us who recall the 
earnestness with which he addressed us on the quite recent occasion of the 
canonization of St. Gabriel and the animation with which he participated as the 
central figure in that splendid ceremony. 

His was a short reign in that heroic line of Christ's Vicars — the first fifty of whom 
were every one a martyr. Yet who dare say that his predecessors defying the Neros, the 
Julians, the Henrys, had to exercise greater fortitude than he. Into his pontificate were 
crowded the years of unparalleled warfare and acrimonious readjustment. 

Benedict's pontificate is reviewed with glowing sympathy and sincere gratitude by the 
press of all nations and by leaders of every creed. Belated credit is yielded to him for the 
best points for peace adopted in the Conference and for the most practical phrases echoed by 
Mr. Wilson. In the prospective the world marvels at the justice, firmness and impartiality 
with which he responded to the partisan pleas of his children throughout the world conflict. 
To the enormous strain all this entailed can reasonably be attributed his apparently prema- 
ture demise. Briefly may it be said of him that he measured up fully to the ideal the world 
has formed of the Holy See as the most potent and far-reaching influence in civilization. 

While most of the encomiums dwelt upon his useful life we must be grateful to 
God for the rare edification the Holy Father imparted to us all in his last hours — his 
oblation of himself to secure peace for the world, his ardent yearning for the fortifying rites 
and sacraments of the Church, the consolation he found in the presence of the sacred 
mysteries. Thus is a writer in the Washington Herald inspired to say: "The last hours of 
Benedict were quite exquisite in the sense that they were delicately beautiful, quite what 
we like to imagine and so seldom find in reality. 

"He was himself the first to realize that he had but a little way to go and that his 
race was nearly run. And he was not afraid that it was so. He looked out into the unknown 
as some tired traveler coming to the crest of a hill who admires the grandeur of an inspiring 
valley spreading out before him. The years rolled back and he was content as when a boy 
he dreamed of greatness in the pleasant meadows and hills of his home land. 

"He was neither afraid nor unwilling, and took the last sacrament of the Church 
while conscious. His regret, if any, was expressed in his last words, 'Peace, peace, I would 
willingly give my life for the peace of the world.' He did." 



In and Out of Umbria 

A Franciscan Pilgrimage 

By Louis H. Wetmore 



X APOLOGIZE at the commencement of this 
article — if it can be called an article — to 
whomsoever among its readers is offended 
by its lack of form, its tendency to meander 
and its lack of purpose. I am altogether in agree- 
ment with the offended reader. As a literary critic 
I am for the balance and proportion in writing, for 
an artistic presentation of the data of a pilgrimage, 
and I attempt to achieve these things when I write. 
But in this case there is no use in attempting the 
impossible. It is impossible in this pseudo-article, 
because I have in my mind an impression of Umbria 
that is neither balanced nor proportioned; I have 
but an impressionistic memory of things seen, vague 
changes of scene and points of view which take no 
definite outline and which make it extremely difficult 
to give a clear impression of my Franciscan pilgri- 
mage. I am depressed, and have a feeling that an 
unkind critic will arise and say that all that I write 
is but an unpleasant mist arising from the ditch of 
my egoism; in other words that I think things 
important simply because I have seen them, and not 
because they are really important of themselves. 
Perhaps this critic would be right. Yet I am sure 
that I have some things to describe which are of 
vast significance however inadequately I may des- 
cribe them. If I can only begin 

Umbria is Italian but primarily Franciscan land. 
Seven hundred years have passed, yet the ghost of 
the Little Grey Man still haunts the streets of Assisi, 
and wanders through that country of blue skies 
and the grey sheen of olive trees, of gayly colored 
frescoed churches and bleak grey hermitages. 

The tale of Francis needs no repeating here. 
The life of the Poverello of Assisi is well known to 
all true Catholics. Nor is it untrue to say that above 
all other Catholic saints Francis has caught the 
imagination and love of Protestants. Protestants 
have misunderstood and perverted the life and 
ideals of Assisi's foremost citizen; but they love 
him. And that is much. There are tales to be 
gathered in Umbria of strange conversions among 
Protestant travellers, even among those who flit 
through that beautiful province with the rapidity 
typical of Cook's Tourists. Take Joannes Jorgensen, 
the great Danish convert, as an example. The life 



of the Little Poor Man of Assisi plays havoc with 
the smug piety and muscular Christianity of modern 
Protestantism. Protestant intellectual pride has 
bowed low before his tomb in San Francisco on the 
hill, or in the garden of roses at Our Lady of the 
Angels below in the valley. 

XT is related in that exquisite book, The Little 
Flowers of St. Francis, that one of the earliest 
acts of the Saint after his conversion to godly 
living, was to perform penance for past sins by 
rebuilding with his own hands a chapel near Assisi 
which had fallen into disrepair. This chapel was 
of Saint Damian. The priest of that little church 
rejoiced in the aid given him; and in turn gave 
food and shelter to him who labored for the resur- 
rection of God's fallen house. So Francis worked 
for many days, collecting the materials for his build- 
ing throughout his city and the surrounding country. 

Day by day in the rags of his poverty Francis 
walked through the city's streets singing his song 
after the manner of the troubadours : 

Who will give stones for the building of St. 
Damian's ? 

Who gives one stone shall have one reward ; 

Who gives two stones shall have two rewards; 

Who gives three stones shall have three rewards. 

The townsfolk ran to hear him. It was such 
an odd sight to see Francis Bernardone, the Beau 
Brummel of his town, once clothed in fashion, now 
in beggar's rags. Many jeered; some threw stones 
at him in anger; others gave him stones in charity. 
Thus he returned to Saint Damian's heavily ladened. 

With the aid of the first disciples and friendly 
neighbors the walls of the church rose again and 
a roof again kept the rain from God's altar. Francis 
would stand by the roadside when human aid was 
lacking, and cry to the passers-by: "Help us with 
your aid, good people. For the chapel of San 
Damiano will one of these days be a church for holy 
women whose lives will be given for the glory of 
God." 

Now this was a prophecy; because not so long 
after the place became the first convent of Poor 



THE f SIGN 



Clares, who by prayer and fasting aided God's 
Church and the Order of Friars Minor. 

[AN DAMIANO exists to-day almost as it did 
in Francis's life-time. This little place is the 
real cradle of the Franciscan Order. Rever- 
ent hands have kept it in repair. No false restoration 
has played havoc with its simplicity. A wee place 
this convent, no longer that of Poor Clares, who have 
moved to the larger convent of Santa Chiara on the 
hill above, but a convent of the Friars Minor of the 
strict observance. 

I have made two pilgrimages to Assisi. It is 
a medieval city to-day. Houses and churches are of 
the medieval time. The ruined castle on the highest 
of the Assisian 
hills crowns the 
ancient walls 
and houses of a 
city scarcely 
changed since 
the 13th century. 
But there is 
nothing that so 
" medievalizes " 
one in this 
peaceful Umbri- 
an village on the 
hills, than to 
hear the quiet of 
a street broken 
by the tap of a 
friar's sandles, and to see some son of Francis 
bearing his basket in hand or on head, begging the 
community's bread from door to door. Success 
does not always crown the frair's begging. Not all 
doors in Assisi open to give the mendicant food. 
I have seen him met here with scowls, there with 
cuises. At other doors, the good man (so very 
brown; brown habit, brown legs, bare brown arms, 
tanned face, and long brown beard) will meet with 
more success. Here he will secure a crust of bread, 
there a half loaf of the bread of yesterday or per- 
haps of the day before that. A window will open 
and someone tosses a piece of corn into the filling 
basket. But the basket is never filled. I have never 
seen it more than a quarter full when he, dear son 
of a blessed father, strode back to San Damiano 
to carry the day's food to his brethren. And that 
kind of thing goes on day by day in Assisi, in rain 
as well as in fair weather. Each day the community 




at Saint Damian's is fed with the scraps from the 
poor man's table. At times they have enough to 
eat. At other times they have not enough to eat. 
But at all times the Friars praise God for His gifts. 
When I visited San Damiano, I was welcomed 
with Franciscan simplicity. A portly friar (how did 
he achieve it on the husks?) would talk in a deep 
bass when he spoke Italian, and in a high falsetto 
when he spoke English (such English!), acted as my 
guide. He was a gentleman of leisure that morning, 
having the by no means arduous duty of spending 
the morning in my company showing me the convent. 
At least I hope he did not find the duty arduous. 
Certainly he seemed much amused at me, and 
laughed a great deal, confessing, as we got to know 

each other bet- 
ter, that he 
thought Americ- 
ans" very queer 
people." 

These Ameri- 
cans were al- 
ways in such a 
hurry. And did 
Americans ever 
say their pray- 
ers? He didn't 
think they did, 
because he had 
taken many of 
them through 
the convent, and 
left them alone in the chapel for a few moments of 
devotion; and when he came back he always found 
them hopping around the place like grasshoppers. 
They were never still ! Now the Italians were dif- 
ferent. Once they got on their knees in the chapel, 
or even in the refectory, one simply had to drag 
them away by the scruff of their necks and bustle 
them outdoors again. Or else no work would ever 
be done at San Domiano. But he supposed most 
Americans were heretical dogs — why was this? 
And his blue eyes twinkled, and he laughed and 
chattered on like a magpie, happy in the possession 
of a Catholic Americano who would laugh with him 
and let him do the talking, and who (wonder of 
wonders!) had a real Catholic devotion for the 
Blessed Father. 



© 



HE chapel of the convent is small and dimly 
lighted. Nor did I find many of the relics 



THE + SIGN 




which I had hoped to find there. They still have, 
however, the bell with which St. Clare was in the 
habit of calling the Sisters to prayer, and her brevi- 
ary, written in the small, clear handwriting of 
Brother Leo. 
And choicest of 
all the relics, the 
tabernacle made 
of alabaster in 
which Clare car- 
ried the Host 
the day when 
she held it a- 
loft over the 
Saracens, who 
were besieging 
her city, and 
drove them back 
in confusion and 
terror. 

Once at San 

Damiano there was kept a precious ring of St. 
Clare's. But in 1615 a Spanish Franciscan vicar- 
general Game to visit the convent with his secretary. 
This gentleman had a great reverence for all relics 
of the Seraphic Mother and a great devotion to her 
memory. The good Fathers took particular pains 
to let him see all that they had, and to linger over 
them as long as he wished. He left much satisfied 
with their kindness and hospitality. But, alas, the 
next time that 
the relics were 
shown to a 
visitor, it was 
found that the 
ring was miss- 
ing. There was 
anger and a 
miniature riot in 
the convent, and 
a great disturb- 
ance in the city 
when the news 
of the theft got 
abroad. Angry 
letters were sent 
after the Span- 
ish father on whom suspicion had fallen. He would 
not affirm that he had taken the ring, nor would he 
deny that he had taken it. All that he would con- 
descend to say was that the ring was now on its 



way to Spain, and that it would be well taken care 
of there. The Friars of San Damiano still regret 
the visit of that Spanish Vicar-general. 



© 



FRANCISCAN HERMITAGE ON AIT. SUBASIO 




Y going 

through 
the little 
chapel of the 
Crucified, where 
God wrought the 
great miracle of 
the crucifix of 
Brother Innocen- 
zo, painting the 
crucifix Himself 
while the artist 
brother slept, 
one enters the 
choir of St. 
Clare. The pho- 
tograph printed 
on page 7 gives a far better picture of this choir 
than I could give in many paragraphs of descriptive 
writing. A plain, bare place with white-washed 
walls and with worm-eaten stalls against the walls. 
A rickety lectern stands in the center. Here it was 
that Francis hid from the wrath of his father, while 
the irate parent searched for him throughout the 
city. 

From here one mounts a flight of crazy stairs 
to the little ora- 
tory of the 
Seraphic Mother, 
which connects 
with her cell, 
and where at her 
request the 
Blessed Sacra- 
ment was reserv- 
ed during her 
last illness. This 
is all of the con- 
vent that women 
can see. The 
rest, since the 
day when the 
generous convert 
Lord Ripon, ex-viceroy of India, bought the convent 
from the Italian government and restored it to its 
rightful owners, is "clausura." Even the refectory, 
that bare, bleak dining hall with its fading frescoes, 



THE 1* SIGN 



where His Holiness Innocent IV witnessed the 
miracle of the loaves, is shut off from feminine eyes. 
For not the first time in my life I thanked God that 
I was not a woman! I saw the refectory. 

On a level with Clare's oratory is, perhaps, the 
loveliest sight in the entire convent. Out of her 
oratory extends a small but dainty garden where, 
traditions tells us, the Saint used to take her daily 
exercise, looking over the broad Umbrian valley and 
at Montefalco across the 
way, while she tended the 
flowers she loved so dearly. 
Even to this day the friars 
still garden a row of them in 
her memory. 

The differences of the 
whole Catholic world are in 
Assisi. There is the poverty 
of San Damiano and on the 
hill above the splendor of the 
great church of San Fran- 
cesco. In that great basilica, 
in the lower church, sombre 
with great pillars and lighted 
but with lamps and the colors 
of the frescoed walls, is the 
shrine of // Poverello. How 
strange the splendor of his 
last resting place against 
which he would have pro- 
tested so energetically had 
he anticipated the translation 
of his body! 

The story of the burial 
of Francis is a commentary 
on the loss of pristine pover- 
ty in the Order in the very 
first years of its existence. 
Other Orders have decayed 
in the process of centuries, 

but their first years at least have been founded on 
the example and the teachings of their originators. 
Yet hardly was Francis dead when the Franciscan 
world was plunged into disorder and schism. Elias, 
Francis' dearest spiritual son, one of the first dis- 
ciples, and apparently his devoted follower, seized 
control of the Order soon after the Saint's death. 
The prayers of Francis that Elias would follow 
closely in his footsteps were not answered for many 
years to come. Elias, the Franciscan, vowed to 
poverty, installed himself in palatial state as General 




The 



INTERIOR OF THE PORTICNCULA, NEAR ASSISI 



of the Order. His table groaned under luxuries; his 
stable befitted the rank of a great baron; his servants 
were without number. Vain it was for the remnant 
of the Saint's personal disciples to protest. Poor 
Brother Giles (was it not?) was scourged by order of 
Elias for his protests against the General's luxurious 
life. Other primitive followers of the Saint, who 
remained faithful to Lady Poverty, were driven into 
exile or into the hermitages of the Umbrian hills; 
there to weep over the follies 
of Elias and the destruction 
of the Order. 

AN DAMIANO and 
the hermitages of the 
hills were not for Elias. 
Franciscan churches 
must reign with the splendor 
of basilicas. The Founder 
himself must acknowledge 
the power and value of earth- 
ly glory and riches! So 
Elias conceived in his fertile 
brain the idea of the trans- 
lation of the body of the 
Saint from its first humble 
burial place to a great church 
that would dominate the 
town of Assisi from the Hill 
of Paradise. The story of 
the basilica of San Francesco 
is the story of Elias' ambi- 
tions writ in stone. 

In order to imitate the 
humiliations of our Lord 
Jesus Christ on earth, St. 
Francis had chosen as his 
burial place the "Infernal 
Hill," at that time lying out- 
side the city limits. There 
great criminals were put to death and buried. After 
his death his sacred remains were taken to the con- 
vent of San Damiano, then inhabited by the Poor 
Clares. There Clare, her sister Agnes, and tne 
Sisters rejoiced at the sight of the miraculous 
stigmata. The wound in Francis' side was like a 
beautiful rose; the nails in his hands and his feet 
were externally black, internally yellow; they could 
be moved to and fro, but not separated from the 
flesh. St. Clare wished to preserve one of the nails 
as a precious relic of the Founder, but could not 



THE 1* SIGN 



detach if from his hand. The body was then 
carried to St. George's Hospital; this was on October 
5th, 1226. On July 16th, 1228, Pope Gregory IX 
canonized Francis Bernardone. 

The day after the canonization, the Pope 
went in great pomp to the "Infernal Hill," the place 
which Francis had himself chosen as his final rest- 
ing place, and now renamed the "Hill of Paradise" 
by Papal edict. Here Gregory laid the corner stone 
of the great church that Elias 
had decided to build over the 
body of Francis. He had 
resolved that while Francis 
might have his wish of lying 
in the polluted ground of the 
Infernal Hill, he would rest 
by Elias' order under a mag- 
nificent shrine set in a 
jeweled church, and not in a 
malefactors' potters' field. 

When the crypt of San 
Francisco was finished, Elias 
determined to translate the 
body thither. A solemn (but 
sham) translation took place 
on May 28th, 1230. Sham, 
because the Master General, 
fearing a physical protest of 
the Primitives, who fought 
furiously against this perver- 
sion of the Founder's wishes, 
had resolved to anticipate 
such a protest should it occur, 
by himself in secret burying 
the body three days before 
the sham translation took 
place. The fiery opposition 
faded away for the moment; 
only for the moment, for a 
few years later it burst into 
flame at a General Council of the Order in Rome, 
and hurled Elias from his throne into schism and 
ignominy at the court of the excommunicated 
Emperor Frederick. But in the meantime the body 
of Francis had faded away also. Elias had buried 
the body deep in rock under the crypt, and no one 
knew the place of the burial. It was not till Decem- 
ber 12th, 1818, that it was discovered. 




WITHIN THE CLOISTER OF ST. CHIARA 
*Chapcl where St. Clare"s body was first laid 



u 



EAVING San Francisco happy in the posses- 
sion of its Giottesque beauties, ripe with 



colored walls and molten splendor of gold, one 
wanders through narrow streets into a dim, cold 
church, where no sunshine ever seems to penetrate, 
and where only the chapel of the miraculous crucifix 
which spoke to Francis, adds a little color to the 
sombreness of its surroundings. 

In front of the High Altar a flight of marble 
stairs descends into a dark and gloomy crypt. Here 
Clare following even in death the example of her 
spiritual father, had been 
buried; and so deep in rock 
likewise that her remains 
were not discovered until 
excavations were undertaken 
in 1850. Five bishops, in- 
cluding Cardinal Pecci, after- 
wards Pope Leo XIII, were 
present at the opening of her 
sepulchre. The iron bands 
which bound the coffin were 
filed through. Clare was dis- 
covered clad in her brown 
habit, as though but buried 
yesterday. The wild thyme, 
which devoted hands had 
scattered on her body, though 
withered, was still fragrant; 
and a few green leaves still 
clung to her veil. Spontane- 
ously a procession was or- 
ganized in honor of the 
Saint; and the following 
Sunday amid pealing of the 
bells of all the Assisian 
churches high Mass was sung 
with great crowds in atten- 
dance. Bishops, priests, con- 
fraternities of lay men and 
women, bands of children, 
who scattered flowers as they 
walked, filed through the narrow streets of the town 
into the church to pay honor to the beloved Saint. 
Feasants from the countryside, held in check by 
Austrian soldiers, crowded round the body to pay 
homage to Mother Clare. First to the Cathedral, 
then to the great basilica of San Francesco, "that 
the body of Clare might salute the body of her 
great master," a procession wound in and out of the 
torturous ways of the city, finally back to Santa 
Chiara, where anxious nuns awaited the return of 
the Foundress of their Order. Clare's body rested 



THE + SIGN 



awhile in the Chapel of San Giorgio, until the com- 
pletion of a shrine of precious marbles and ala- 
basters in the crypt of the church. 

EEELING my way from pillar to pillar through 
this dim crypt, I crept to pay reverence to her 
whom Francis loved. I hesitated a moment, 
hearing what seemed to me like the rustle of a nun's 
dress. Then a curtain drifted away in front of me, 
and I was face to face with 
Clare. Behind a great pane 
of glass, in a glass case, 
lying on a satin bed in her 
brown habit, with the Book 
of the Rule in one hand and 
in the other holding a lily set 
with small diamonds, lay she 
who had conquered both the 
world and heaven. I knelt 
in quiet reverence. There 
was complete silence save 
for the click of rosary beads 
as they passed through the 
nun's fingers. Clare lay 
quietly on her couch as 
though asleep; her features 
as perfect as in life, save that 
the skin seemed browned 
with the passing centuries. 
I rose reluctantly, and as I 
turned to bid farewell to the 
Seraphic Mother, the curtain 
rustled into place and I was 
left in the exterior darkness, 
to find my way alone into the 
upper church and the light 
of the sunshine of Umbria. 

Prom the piazza in front 
of Santa Chiara one looks 

over the broad valley and sees a mound in the center 
of the plain, seeming at first sight but a gray hillock 
of bare rock. Gradually one determines that this 
hillock is in reality a building with a dome, a dome 
of large size which dominates the Umbrian valley 
as the dome of St. Peter's, in Rome, dominates the 
Campagna. Descending the hillside, and finding 
one's way by dusty roads through fields of grass 
and grey groups of olive trees, one comes after an 
hour's thirsty walking to the piazza of Santa Maria 
degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels). This 




special Papal rule, and the part outside the west 
front was a Palace of Refuge and enjoyed the right 
of asylum for criminals who sought safety from 
arrest. It was forbidden, under pain of excom- 
munication, to erect a building within two hundred 
yards of the Basilica. The buildings with the colon- 
nade on the Piazza were formerly a great guest- 
house for women pilgrims to the shrine, while male 
pilgrims were received in the monastery itself. 
In 1860 the Piedmontese 
government confiscated this 
Church land; so the former 
hostelry for ladies no longer 
shelters pilgrims; it is the 
home of the local tax col- 
lector and the village doctor. 



© 



HE Portiuncula, which 
Santa Maria degli 
Angeli shelters under 
her dome, was the great 
shrine of the Franciscans 
after the death of Francis in 
1228 ;but it was not till 1569 
that the great basilica was 
begun. The basilica owes 
its origin to the Great 
Dominican, Pope Pius V, in- 
spired with a great love for 
Our Lady of the Angels and 
the Order of Friars Minor. 

One pushes aside the 
mattress (what else can one 
;all it ? ) that closes all church 
doors in Italy. One's 
thoughts are not for the 
splendor of tne great church, 
but for tnat small building 
in the center of the nave, 
under the cupola which rises above it like a royal 
robe. The little church set within another church, 
as a jewel within a casket, is the Mother Church of 
the Order. This gem of holy poverty was built in 
the midst of a forest in the time of Pope Liberius 
(352-357) by four hermits from the Holy Land, who 
placed therein a relic from the Tomb of the Blessed 
Virgin; for which reason the little church was first 
called "Our Lady of Josaphat." The name in 
common use, however, was and is that of "St. Mary 
of Portiuncula," or Utile portion; a name dear to 
square in front of the great church used to be under St. Francis who loved to think of the spot as the 



THE 1* SIGN 



little portion which God had from all eternity as- 
signed to him. 

In the 6th. century the sanctuary passed to St. 
Benedict, who restored it. It was here, toward the 
end of the 12th. century, that the noble lady Pica 
became the mother of Francis; on the night when 
angels sang in the Portiuncula, and Francis was born 
in a stable. Francis, after he had restored San 
Damiano (of which I have already spoken) repaired 
the ruins of this shrine, and here received the grace 
of his vocation. Dom Pietro, Abbot of the Bene- 
dictines of Monte Subasio, gave the shrine to Francis 
and his followers. And there is a pretty story in the 
Franciscan legend which tells how Francis in grati- 
tude for his noble gift, sent each year to the Bene- 
dictines a basket of fish (if any fish were caught 
that year in the river!) and they in turn sent him a 
bottle of olive oil as a sign of goodwill and friend- 
ship. 

The Portiuncula measures but 2iy 2 feet in length 
by about 13 feet, 3 inches, in width. Tis a wee 
holy place. 

Here also Francis died, and the birds, as St. 
Bonaventura relates, "left their nests after sunset 
at the death of the Saint and perched on the roof 
of the little house to say a last farewell to their 
friend." 

The Portiuncula is covered with some ancient 
and many modern frescoes of the German romantic 
school. These are not impressive. But inside the 
chapel over the altar, is an admirable statue of St. 
Francis by Luca della Robbia from a cast taken 
after the Saint's death. St. Francis' cord with its 
three knots, on which can be seen drops of blood 
from his stigmata, is reverently kept in a small 
cupboard which originally contained the Saint's 
medicines. On the outer wall of the cell is the lid 
of Francis' coffin. The great pillar which stands in 
front marks the spot where Francis met Clare and 
gave her permission to leave San Damiano for a 
short time that she might visit the Portiuncula, where 
she said farewell to the world. 

XN a wood close to this holy spot, Francis 
built a hut, in which he generally lived. One 
cold winter night, being tempted by the devil 
to limit his austerities, the Saint threw himself naked 
among the thorns of nearby briars. Instantly these 
changed into thornless rose bushes, and their leaves 
have since been marked with spots of blood, which 
can be seen to this day, dull red spots on verdant 



green. These roses bloom only in the month of 
May, but the leaves are preserved by the guardians 
of the shrine, and each pilgrim thither can receive 
a few to carry home as a memento of his pilgrim- 
age. The rose garden, where once nothing grew but 
thorns and briars, can still be seen in a little cloister 
of the monastery. Opposite the thornless rose- 
bushes the Friars have planted a small figtree, in 
memory of one now dead on which Brother Grass- 
hopper came to sing to Francis. 

In the Chapel of the Roses near at hand, Francis 
lived in a hut at the time of the famous "Chapter 
of the Mats," when five thousand religious gathered 
about his little house in tents. Here it was that 
Francis met Dominic and Antony of Padua. The 
brethren told me that here at times a delicious 
perfume could be traced. But, I must confess, 
though I sniffed violently, I could smell nothing 
but onions cooking in a nearby kitchen. 

Three miles from the town of Assisi, on Monte 
Subasio, is the Carceri, one of those hermitages 
round which the early Francisans gathered before 
a fixed rule penned them in monasteries. This 
hermitage Francis kept as something outside his 
daily life. Here he held isolated communion with 
his Maker. Here he retired to rest and to gather 
strength for his arduous work among the children 
of men. 

As in the case of the Portiuncula, so likewise 
was the Carceri given to Francis by the Benedic- 
tines. The principle monastery of the Benedictines 
in the 11th. century stood on the top of Monte 
Subasio. The Mount was Benedictine ground. 
Slowly through the centuries the Monks have ebbed 
away, and the Friars have usurped their dominion. 
For those of the Benedictine Order who wearied of 
the full monastic life, below their monastery, and 
a little to the west thereof, lay the Carceri, where 
in rude caverns these Benedictine cavemen sought 
solitude with God. The great walls and columns 
of what Was once the most celebrated monastery in 
Umbria have crumbled into wreckage, and until a 
few years ago, when some attempts at restoration 
and preservation were made, the ruins were open to 
the birds of the air and the wild creatures of the 
mountain. 

The hermitage of the Carceri was but huge 
caverns cut out of the solid rock, with huts scattered 
throughout a deep mountain gorge. The caverns can 
still be seen, though ivy has grown thick across the 
entrances. None go there now to pray. 



THE 1* SIGN 



The road from Assisi to the Carceri passes for 
the first mile through rich corn fields and groves 
of olive trees. Soon it changes to a mere mountain 
track. Here the colors of the Judas tree, here a few 
flowers alone break the arid monotony of the sun- 
burnt rocks. Looking back along the road that 
leads to Assisi, one sees below miniature forests of 
oak and olive. Where we now are, on the crest of 
the mountain, is a new type of Franciscan land. The 
sunlight wavers over the city below, picking out in 
rose-colored splendor the town's old walls, the 
basilicas and churches, the ancient castle set in. 
ruined pride. 

jr M" HALF mile more, and one enters a narrow 

3 l_ gorge. Nothing in sight but an ilex tree and 

an arched doorway leading into a courtyard. 
A few steps further on and one comes to a cluster 
of cells hung from the bare rocks, as though threat- 
ening to topple into the ravine. Through a doorway 
a friar enters the scene.. Noting us as strangers, 
he beckons and as we join him, plunges at once 
into tales of every cell, and shrine, and tree and 
rock. In this cave lived Brother This, and in that 
cave Brother That; while this cavern was once 
occupied by the great Bishop of So-and-so-opolis in 
partibus infidelium.. These caves are the original 
Franciscan convents : one man to each monastery. 
Here lived the early poverty-loved brethren of the 
Order, in rooms scooped out of rock and with a 
piece of wood for their pillows. Nearby is a small 



oratory, and here is preserved the crucifix which the 
Saint always used. The doors are so small that one 
must stoop to enter. 

The little monastery where the twentieth century 
Franciscans live is but a grotto; the rooms thereof 
have for walls the naked rock, full of holes and 
untouched by chisel. The rude ladder which leads 
to the friars' dormitory is perilous to life in its 
extreme shakiness. It would be well to commend 
one's soul earnestly to God before making the 
ascent. The refectory is but an excavation made in 
the rock with a table by one solid wall. Here six 
religious could eat comfortably; here twelve eat 
uncomfortably. The common room is blacked with 
the smoke that pours forth from the one fireplace 
in the monastery. If you spend a night herein, 
gentle reader, you will derive much spiritual conso- 
lation; but you will find no temporal comforts. 

In a small wooden cupboard in the chapel, 
according to an inventory made some two hundred 
years ago, were preserved many precious relics. 
The wooden pillow of St. Francis and a piece of the 
Golden Gate by which Our Lord entered Jerusalem 
are still there. But the hair of Our Lady, and some 
of the earth out of which God created Adam are 
no longer to be found / 

Reader: " I am getting very bored with this 
article. Is the end near at hand?" 

Author: "It is finished!" 



A Smile 

Nicholas Ward, C. P. 



A little thing, a sunny 1 smile, 

A loving word at morn; 
And all day long the sun shone bright, 

And cares of life were made more ligKt 
And the sweetest hopes vJere born. 



My Master's House 

A WKolesome Talk to Sign Readers 
David S. Lawlor 



^w^HEN the average observant man has passed 
|l| the half hundreth milestone in life, he has 
V^X learned many things which would interest, 
instruct and be of value to those who have 
not travelled so far along life's highway. How true 
is Joyce Kilmer's simple poem: 

"It's said that Life is a highway 
And its milestones are the years 
With here and there a toll-gate 
Where we pay our way with tears. 

It's a long road and a hard road 
That stretches broad and far 
But at the end lies a golden town 
Where golden houses are." 

In this great 
highway we meet 
many people as we 
journey on. Sage 
and singer, saint 
and sinner, poet 
and peasant, the 
strong and the 
weak, the proud 
and the humble, 
all hastening on 
to "a golden town 
where golden 
houses are." I 
have journeyed on 
with many of these in many places in this great 
country of ours, and from many of them I have 
learned of things that were a help to me. Some of 
these I will speak of in this article. 

I, like many others who have traveled far, have 
seen wonderful things, but you have only to look 
about you to see the same wonderful things, — the 
sky, the sea, the hill, the valley, the grass, the trees, 
the birds and the flowers. "Nature," says the weak- 
ling. "God!", cries out the strong man who has 
been given the light to see Who is behind all these 
truly wonderful things. Niagara, Grand Canyon, 
the Rocky Mountains and the myriad of marvelous 
things He put here for the pleasure of man. The 
glory of His handmaiden, Nature, is everywhere, 



and it seems to me that when we have passed many 
of the milestones there comes to us a broader under- 
standing so that we see Him everywhere and a 
prayer of gratitude often swells from the heart to 
the lips. 



n 



OW often when plucking a flower have I 
thought of the beautiful tribute of that gifted 
Irishman, Canon Sheehan: 



rHIS is not a sermon. It is a heart-to-heart talk 
of the Author with our readers. The sage 
counsel here given has been learned in the 
school of long and varied experience. Mr. Lawlor 
is a man of the world in the best acceptation of the 
term. He is an expert in business promotion and 
commercial publicity. For a number of years he 
was prominently associated with the Editorial and 
Business Departments of several of the leading 
newspapers in the Eastern States. As a lecturer on 
religious and commercial subjects he is in much 
demand. Mr. Lawlor is President of the Laymen's 
Retreat Guild, Brighton, Mass. — Editors. 



"Who made you, little one, who made 
you are so lovely and so frail? In what 
garden of Eden did He behold your proto- 
types? Or was it from the secret of His 
Own surpassing beauty He divined your 
loveliness and made you another and a 
meeker mani- 
festation of 
that undying 
principle that 
underlies any 
operation of 
H i s hand- 
maid, Nature, 
— the princi- 
ple that all 
things round 
to beauty, 
and that, in 
the spiral of 
a vast nebula 
which covers 
half the 
heavens, and 
in the curve of a little leaf that shelters a 
tiny insect, order, and beauty, and propor- 
tion, and harmony subsist — a reflex of the 
Mind of The Eternal." 

This is to be a heart to heart talk with you the 
readers of The Sign on certain things in life that 
are worth while. 

If I can help you to be abler and stronger men 
and women; if I can show you how to overcome 
many of the things that are doing you harm and 
show you how to strengthen the many things that 
will do you good; if I can point out and warn you 
against the road that will lead to trouble and pain; 
and set you on the road that will lead you to health 
and happiness and peace of mind then I have 



THE + SIGN 



delivered to you some of the wisdom I have gathered 
from the many I have met on life's highway. 

I believe that it will be of help to many of you. 
I do not say all because I have in mind the gospel 
that tells of the sower that went out to sow his seed : 

"And as he sowed, some fell by the 
wayside, and it was trodden down and the 
birds of the air ate it up. And some fell 
on the rock, and as soon as it had sprung 
up it withered away because it had no 
moisture. And some fell among thorns, 
and the thorns, growing up with it, choked 
it. And some fell on the ground, and 
sprang up and yielded fruit one hundred 
fold." 

^tt^ONDERFUL are the works of man. He has 
\I/ circumnavigated the globe; traced great 
rivers to their sources; climbed the highest 
mountains; discovered the two great poles; meas- 
ured the distance to the stars and weighed the sun, 
but no man has yet lived who has been able to 
circumnavigate man. Today man is as much a 
mystery as he was in the beginning, and he is as 
little understood. It would seem as though the work 
of the Infinite Mind was beyond the understanding 
of the finite mind. 

In' my prayer book is a little prayer at Com- 
munion, "Lord prepare my mansion to receive Thee." 

Well and good! Where do you live? What 
kind of a house do you live in and where is it situat- 
ed? How is your home furnished, and what kind of 
a man is the master of the house you live in? Is 
your home on an alley, or on an avenue? Is it a 
cottage, neat and attractive on a country road, or 
is it some abode going to wrack and ruin in some 
evil neighborhood? 

I hope it is a mansion on a broad avenue, the 
house surrounded by noble specimens of the forest; 
flowers and plants here and there that show the 
owner's love for the beautiful. 

In such a house I expect to find the rooms 
large and high studded, the furnishings rich and in 
good taste, beautiful paintings on the wall, a library 
well stocked with the choicest literature of the ages. 

I expect to find an atmosphere of rest, of com- 
fort and of peace; and, when the master comes, to 
find a man who has the air of a master, with mind 
and bearing denoting to the manner born. There is 
will on the throne directing events, and it is will 
correlated to pure thoughts and high ideals. 



Any of you may have such a home as I have 
described. The body is the home; the broad 
avenue is the atmosphere the thoughts occupy; the 
magnificent trees are the good resolutions that have 
been made and kept; the flowers are the beautiful 
deeds done in life; the dwelling place with its great 
rooms is the broadness of vision; the oil paintings 
are the beautiful thoughts that come with right 
living, and the well stocked library is the mind that 
has been refreshed by contact with the great minds 
of the centuries. Surely such a home is desirable, 
and is worth any effort that it may cost. 

> — r'OUR body is the mansion in which reside the 
Nȣ/ heart, the mind and the soul. You have been 
taught from infancy the care of this body. 
It is well worth your care. Nature demands it be 
cared for, and punishes severely any injury to it. 
Respect your bodies, for usually with a clean body 
goes a clean mind. I do not mean the soil that 
comes from honest toil, but the stain that comes 
from excesses and debaucheries that soil not only 
the body, but which leaves their impress on the 
mind and the soul. 

I might liken the body to a ship; the mind to 
the rudder of the ship that gives it direction; the 
will to the captain, who directs the course; the consci- 
ence, to the charts which show the channels through 
which the ship may sail in safety, and mark the 
rocks and the shoals upon which there is danger of 
wreck and destruction. Let us very briefly examine 
the growth of this mentality which gives us cha- 
racter. 

"Our body began as a speck of vitalized proto- 
plasm that developed in dark and in secret," says 
Dr. Openheim. "It came into the world with a cry 
of pain, and then began the struggle of life; and 
with the growth of the body came the growth of the 
mind, less easily seen, but still developing from time 
to time. 

"This development of the body continues for a 
certain length of time until maturity arrives, the 
time for active work. Then growth ceases, and an 
even level of strength is kept up until middle life 
when the physical resources begin to decline. 
Slowly weakness creeps on, and each year man finds 
himself less able to withstand the wear and tear. 
Thus old age arrives, and with a cry of pain and a 
sigh of resignation we go to our reward. 

"The mind during all this time does not keep up 
an even space in its progression; it differs from the 



11 



THE + 

body in being more influenced by environment than 
by heredity. The brain starts out as a fluid whose 
final crystalized form is the forces that have been 
working upon it, good and bad, wise and unwise. 
These forces are influencing it each day, each hour. 
There is the same struggle between influences as 
there is between animals in the primeval lands or 
trees in the forests. Those that are naturally strong 
and have most favorable environments grow briskly, 
and those that are less favorably placed die out. 
We are totally unconscious of being a battlefield 
where one sort of victory 
or another must be de- 
cided." 



QS those things 
which so closely 
influence our lives 
are vital to us, let us 
pause and examine them. 
Heredity is not of our 
choice Our fathers and 
mothers are thrust upon 
us, as we have no choice 
in the selection. Proba- 
bly we could not make 
as good a choice as 
Nature did for us. This, 
strange to say, has but 
very little influence on 
our lives; at least, so 
the best authorities de- 
clare. The great moulder 
of our character is envi- 
ronment, and the greatest 
of environments is the 
home circle, the outlook of life that is given to us 
by our fathers and mothers, and our home sur- 
roundings. 

Environment is more than the family circle, 
more than the neighborhood in which we live. En- 
vironment means association; the chums we associ- 
ate with; the books we read, the schools we attend; 
the pictures we see, and the thousand things that 
come into our daily life. It is said that the mind 
takes fifty thousand impressions a day. See to it, 
we should, that these pictures are clean, inspiring 
and elevating, if we would have a mind that would 
guide us right, a mind that will be a source of joy 
and pleasure to us, and to all whom we come in con- 
tact with, a mind that will give a fragrance to 



To the Face of Christ 



Illuminet vultum suum super nos — 

— terra dedit fructum suum. Ps. LXVI 

Rise upon the wheat-fields of my soul, 
Sun tkat bearest healing in Thy* wings. 

Ev'ery' ear, made full and fair and wkole, 

Shall adore Thee vJnen tke west wind sings 

And Thine altars be the single goal 
For the fine flour of my" harvestings. 



SIGN 

our whole being. Such a mind is a jewel beyond 
price. 

How is such a mind to be developed? By disci- 
pline, by drill, mental drill much like bodily drill. 
You witnessed a few years ago many young men 
from your neighborhood taken in the draft, round- 
shouldered, narrow-chested boys. They were sent to 
the cantonments; and you have seen them some 
months afterwards, their carriage erect, their chests 
broad and their shoulders square. Physically they 
were better men. What made this change? Drill, 
drill, everlasting drill. 

The mind may be 
drilled much the same 
way, but there must be 
the will to do it, and that 
will must come from 
within. It cannot come 
from without. An intern- 
al treatment or influence 
must stir it into life. We 
must keep it awakened 
by constant exercise, and 
such exercise will win 
health and vigor for our 
will. When we have 
done this, we will rec- 
ognize within us a new 
force capable of achiev- 
ing much. Usually that 
means that we have a 



Sister Mary Benvenuta, O. P. 



new possession in our 
mind from which to work 
and develope aright and 
draw forth untold riches. 



QVERY good, healthy concern from time to time 
takes stock, and every good healthy man 
should take stock of himself every so often to 
find out his weaknesses and correct them before they 
have become a habit; to see what his virtues are that 
he may encourage them to even a greater growth. 
The value of these introspections is worth while. A 
good physician will never prescribe unless he knows 
what is the ailment. There is first the diagnosis 
and then the treatment. Let us find out in what we 
are deficient; then bring up our forces and supply 
the deficiency. 

Do you swear? Stop it. Once a salesmanager 
told me that he would give anything to give up 
the evil. For twenty years he had been swearing 



T 



HE t SIGN 



many times a day. I asked him why he did not stop 
it, and he said that he could not. I told him that 
he would cure himself if only he would follow my 
advice; first make the resolution to stop swearing; 
second write a memo each day as follows: "I prom- 
ise that I will not swear today, and if by chance I 
do swear, I will immediately write out this same 
promise." He did so. He told me that the method 
was wonderful, as the second day he was cured. 

Have you a bad temper? Then cure it. Pro- 
fessor James says that the way to cure a bad temper 
is to deny it expression, and then it dies a natural 
death. 

A strong passion may be subdued by refusing 
it freedom of action. Habits are made and grow 
stronger by repeated acts; they become impotent, or 
are made weaker by constant denial. Men who have 
gone deeply into the science of the mind say that 
the set teeth and the clinched hands are not symp- 
toms but the cause of anger. When you are tempted 
to be angry, instead of letting the corners of the 
mouth droop, just smile, and the sunshine from that 
smile will dissolve the angry feeling just as ice dis- 
solves from the warmth of the sun. 

As to the habit of drink, I will quote from Dr. 
E. Boyd Barrett: "Suffice it to say that it poisons 
the blood, and that the blood is no longer able to 
nourish the nerve tissues. As a consequence the 
healthiness and capacity for work of the inebriate 
diminish. Just as vigorous health, full pure-blood- 
ed fitness, is the optional condition for making voli- 
tional effort, so the nervous debility consequent on 
intoxication is the worst possible condition for such 
effort making. He may think and his friends may 
think that he could, if he tried, give up drink, but 
when things have gone so far it is all but impossible. 
Only extraordinary circumstances and the help of 
God's grace can then save him. 

"It is in presence of such considerations that 
Professor James writes as follows: 'The hell to 
be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no 
worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this 
world by habitually fashioning our characters in the 
wrong way. Could the young but realize how soon 
they will become mere walking bundles of habits, 
they would give more heed to their conduct while it 
is in the plastic state. We are spinning our own 
fates, good or evil, and never to be undone.' " 



XKNEW a man once who had gone into the 
gutter through drink. He lost his job, his 
friends and his money . He came back, and 
he has stayed back all this time — and that was more 
than twenty-five years ago. 

"How did you do it, Ned?" I asked. "I re- 
solved to cut it out; then made a vow that I would 
not only cut it out, but would cut out every place 
where it was sold, and cut out of my life every man 
who drinks liquor." That was his answer. 

This man, by the grace of God, used the same 
method as is advised by the Church after the 
accumulated wisdom of nearly 2,000 years — shun 
the occassion, shun the place and shun the compan- 
ionship. 

The sick wills have been divided into eight 
classes, all amenable to treatment. There are the 
hesitating, the impulsive, the inactive, the "I can't," 
the over-active and the emotional will, and the over- 
practical and the indefinite will. 

If you are impatient and hot headed, and go off 
at half-cock, try Dr. Barrett's treatment for such a 
case. Each action ought to be done once a day 
for ten days and occupy ten minutes in the doing; 
and, at the end of each exercise, one is to write each 
day his introspection — 

1. To replace in a box very slowly 
and deliberately one hundred matches. 

2. To write out very slowly and care- 
fully the words, "I will train my will." 

3. To turn over very slowly and de- 
liberately all the leaves in a book, about 
200 pages. 

4. To watch the movements of the 
second hand of the clock or watch, and 
pronounce some word slowly at the com- 
pletion of each minute. 

There are many other exercises, each of them 
drilling the will much as the drill sergeant makes 
over the bodies of our boys in army cantonments. 

The great object of self-discipline is, in reality, 
to brace the human will for the strengthening of 
the moral life. 

The education of the will must not be left to 
fate, nor can it be left to others. It must be carried 
out by ourselves. It must be carried out in accord- 
ance with the knowledge we can ourselves acquire 
of our individual self. Study, introspection, and 



THE + SIGN 



self-discipline must then go hand in hand. Effort 
and patience are the price to be paid. There is no 
mystery, there is no short cut; the goal to each is 
self-mastery, personal power and force of character. 
The way is long, the way is hard, but the goal is 
worth the winning. 

EIVE rules are given by Dr. Barrett, which 
we ought all make part of our lives : — 

1. We must make our nervous system 
our ally instead of our enemy. 

2. In the acquisition of a new habit 
or the leaving off of an old one, we must 
take care to launch ourselves with as strong 
and decided initiative as possible. 

3. Never suffer an exception to occur 
until the new habit is securely rooted in 
life. 

4. Seize the very first possible oppor- 
tunity to act on every resolution you make 
and on every emotional prompting you 
may experience in the direction of the 
habits you aspire to gain. 

5. Keep the faculties of effort alive 
in you by little gratuitous exercises every 
day. 

Here then is given you a plan to build, decorate 
and furnish your Master's house. You can build it 
on any scale and make it as beautiful as your heart 
desires. 



In it you can have many of the treasures of the 
world that will always be a source of joy to you. 
You are the master of your own fate. You can 
build as you desire, but you must pay the price in 
work. You cannot pay for it with a smile or by 
check. 

Work, work, work! It was decreed that we 
must win by the sweat of our brow, but oh, the joy 
that comes from honest, well directed effort! Nature 
royally treats her children who rigidly observe her 
laws. To them she gives health, strength and power. 
Our place has been called "the garden of life," and 
it has been said by an unknown poet: — 

"Beautiful thoughts make beautiful lives, 

For every word and deed 
Lies in the thought that prompts it 

As the flower lies in the seed. 

Back of each action lay the thought 

We nourished until it grew 
Into a work, or into a deed, 

That marked our life work through. 

Gracious words and kindly ways, 

Deeds that are high and true; 
Slanderous words and hasty words 

And deeds we bitterly rue. 
The garden of life, it beareth well; 

It will repay our care, 
But the blossom must always and ever be 

Like the seed we're planting there." 



Tke Blue La\\>s 



^^s^HE legislation which certain zealots are at- 
l) tempting to foist upon the community affect- 
ing really harmless diversions and indul- 
gences had for precedent the Blue Laws of Con- 
necticut. Even as now these early legislators made 
religion odious by claiming its sanction for their 
astounding prohibitions. Judge of the wierdness 
of their legislation from what is here quoted. 

No one shall be a freeman or have a vote unless he 
is converted and a member of one of the churches 
allowed in this dominion. 

No food or lodging shall be offered to a heretic. 

No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep 
houses, cut hair or shave on the Sabbath day. 

No one shall cross a river on the Sabbath but 
authorized clergymen. 

No one shall kiss his or her children on the Sabbath 
or feasting days. 



Whoever wears clothes trimmed with gold, silver or 
bone or lace above one shilling per yard shall be presented 
to the grand jurors and the selection shall tax the estate 
£300. 

Whoever brings cards and dice into the dominion 
shall pay a fine of £15. 

No one shall eat mince pies, dance, play cards or play 
any instrument of music except the drum, trumpet or 
jewsharp. 

No Gospel minister shall join people in marriage. 
The magistrate may join them, as he may do it with less 
scandal to Christ's church. 

When parents refuse their children convenient 
marriages, the magistrate shall determine the point. 

A man who strikes his wife shall be fined £10. 

A woman who strikes her husband shall be punished 
as the law directs. 

No man shall court a maid in person or by letter 
without the consent of her parents; £5 penalty for the 
first offence, £10 for the second and for the third im- 
prisonment during the pleasure of the Court. 



Saints and Sinners 



Luis Coloma, S. J. 



Copyrighted 1921, by The Sign 



Chapter 4 



Vw^HEN Luis reached home, it was already 
m I ^ dark and the house was lighted brilliantly. 
ill The boy's troubles had vanished in that 
^^S rapid transformation of mood which in 
childhood quickly changes one emotion into another. 
Impatience was the emotion which moved him at 
the moment and' a longing for praise from father 
and mother as he threw himself into their arms, 
and those of Lili, that dearest of little sisters. 

While entering Madrid they wasted ten precious 
minutes lighting the carriage lamps, and the custom 
officers delayed them at the city gates to register 
everything in the carriage. How aggravating these 
men were! And then, as they turned the corner of 
the University, a carriage got in their way. After 
that a large van. So another precious three minutes 
was lost. At last the boy reached the street; and 
his hands were on the door eager to open it; maybe 
his father or mother or Lili, perhaps all three, were 
waiting for him watching from some balcony. But 
the balconies were empty and there was no one in 
sight. Hugging his prizes the boy ran up the steps 
of the vestibule. There was a strange figure at the 
entrance, walking backwards and forwards with 
arms behind his back. This was a hideous dwarf, 
a fitting rival of that famous Roby who was pre- 
sented to the King of Saxony in a venison pie. He 
was but three feet in height, though perfectly pro- 
portioned, dressed carefully in evening attaire. His 
name was Don Joselito, and he received the muni- 
ficent wage of seven thousand reals, with no other 
duty than that of announcing visitors and of increas- 
ing that reputation of Curra for oddity which she 
aimed to possess in everything. 

The dwarf bowed respectfully to the lad and 
told him that the Countess had retired a half hour 
ago with a bad headache. The boy's eyes suggested 
tears; and savagely turning his back on the dwarf, 
he ran to his father's apartment. Villamelon was 
reclining in an armchair discussing some my- 
sterious matter with one of the ministers of the 
government. Luis ran to his father and threw his 
arms about his neck, kissing him twice. 

"Ah, little man!" cried Villamelon. "You back 
already?" 

Then seeing that the boy was bashfully present- 
ing him with his prizes, he said without taking them : 
"Well, well! Prizes! I am very much pleased. 
Take this — er — and tell German to take you to the 
theatre this evening." 

Giving the child fifty cents, he turned round 
again to the Minister and continued the mysterious 



conversation. His eyes wide-open, the boy stood 
perfectly still for a moment. Then he swung round 
on one foot, and with face red as a pomegranate, 
walked toward a table covered with knick-knacks. 
Underneath this was a curious Japanese figure with 
wide-open mouth, into which he threw the money 
his father had given him. Running hastily out of 
the drawing-room, he stopped for a meditative 
second behind the curtains of the door, and then 
with arms hanging by his side and with bowed head, 
he slowly went back down the long hall which lead 
to the nursery. 

In the corridor there was a sound of a piano 
considerably out of tune. Yet the music sounded to 
the child like music of heaven. His depression 
vanished, and joyfully he began to run in the direc- 
tion of the music. 

"Lili!" 

"Luis!" _ 

A beautiful girl of nine years jumped down 
from the piano stool and threw herself into the boy's 
open arms. Their kisses, their joy, their laughter 
mingled with the confusion of their golden curls 
surrounding both their heads like sun's rays in a 
auriole. 

Soon the boy remembered the prizes. 

"Look — look!" 

Lili opened wide eyes. "Uy!" she said. 

"I have five and two excellents." 

"Please let me have one, Luis." 

"Silly-billy! These are to be framed, not 
given away. Look! This one is for mathematics, 
and this one for — " 

He stopped. A dry hand appeared from behind 
the curtains, then a sharp shoulder, and finally a red 
face as English as Bass Ale or Huntley's biscuits. 

"Mademoiselle!" cried Lili frightened. 

The dry hand seized Lili by the arm and pulled 
her behind the curtains, while a metallic voice was 
heard saying: How's this, Miss? You should be 
practicing your piano lesson until eight o'clock." 

The lad flew headlong to the nursery and flung 
himself down on his little white bed with the des- 
peration of a suicide who hurls himself without hope 
into a dark abyss. At last sleep, the sole consoler 
of unhappy children, brought his sobs to an end 
and restrained his tears. He slept as he was, still 
dressed, with his prizes in his hands 



m 



EANWHILE Villamelon was engaged in con- 
versation with the Minister. The Marquis 
was forty years of age and his face showed 



THE + SIGN 



the effects of the ravages of time. His nose was 
red and pimply, his hollow cheeks showed promi- 
nent bones, while his stomach developed a pro- 
nounced arch, creating that caricature of youth 
which appears in those who age before their time. 
His figure had once been graceful, and still possessed 
some signs of elegance, but his countenance resem- 
bled that of the dwarf of Philip IV in Velasquez's 
famous painting. He had a similar hooked nose, 
the same twirled mustache, the same large and 
thoughtful forehead, save that Villamelon parted 
his few locks in the center with a backward stroke 
that formed two little horns of hair over the ears. 
This massive forehead, which brought to mind the 
famous saying of the fox to the bust : "Your head is 
handsome but without brains," possessed magnificent 
attributes, especially at the moment when he bent 
toward his Excellency Don John Anthony Martin, 
Minister of the Interior, and said: "You are 
deceived, Don Martin: Dr. Wood is all wrong. 
You cannot prove to me that rat pie is better than 
squirrel pie. You understand me, do you not?" 

His Excellency Don Martin's gesture did not 
indicate whether he understood or not. From the 
time this unfortunate man had arrived at the great 
tables of the Court after years of eating at a 
peasant's table, he had passed through graphic 
phases of indigestion, and had begun to feel a desire 
for the garlic soups of his earlier years. What 
terrible pains he had suffered from that pate-de-foie- 
gras last Friday at the Palace! What indigestion 
he had endured after that crou a la creme which 
he had eaten two days before at the French 
Embassy! For a brief moment he had imagined 
that he had been poisoned; and from that time held 
fast to Addison's saying; that whenever he saw 
fashionable tables loaded with luxuries from all 
corners of the world, he also saw gout, dropsy and 
lethargy hidden under every napkin. 

"You'll see, Martin, when I'll have both kinds 
of pie served next Thursday without saying which 
is which. We'll see which is declared the best. Do 
you understand, Martin? Pardon me for believing 
that I can count on your Excellency's vote?" 

His Excellency's hair stood on end at the 
thought of an attack of indigestion founded on 
rat pie. 

"All this," continued Villamelon, "is that 
English eccentricity which totally ruins their cuisine. 
You understand me, Martin? In cooking, the French 
are ahead of all others. You can't deny that, Martin. 
The English devour, the Germans gorge, the Italians 
eat, the Spaniards nourish themselves, but the 
French alone enjoy: there's the point, Martin — to 
enjoy eating. Do you understand me?" 

OON MARTIN did not understand, but took 
offense at all these "Martins" and "do you 
understands." He hastened to reply in an 
exasperated manner : "What do you mean, Marquis ? 
To enjoy or to burst?" 



"No, no, no — Martin. That is a prejudice of 
yours. You understand me? Man is a weak, frail 
being who can barely support eight meals per day. 
But indigestion does not come from eating too much. 
It comes from eating badly. Give me a first class 
cook and I can show you the way to perfect health. 
In Paris, Prince Orloff, the Russian Ambassador, 
held a public competition to select a cook. I was 
on the jury. We tested one hundred and forty 
dishes before coming to a decision. No, no, Martin. 
Eating too much does not give indigestion. As my 
blessed mother used to say : 'Stomach full : praise 
be to God!" 

And he adopted a pompous air over the quota- 
tion; for it was one of Villamelon's little tricks 
frequently to mention his mother, always calling 
her blessed, and putting in that feminine mouth 
odd sayings, many of them in exceedingly bad taste, 
such as the one just mentioned. 

At this moment John Velarde and the Duke of 
Bringas, having finished their game of billiards, 
entered the room. Shortly after their arrival, a 
servant announced that the Countess would be 
unable to attend dinner, having already had a con- 
somme in her room and had retired for the night 
with a bad headache. 

This announcement did not have the effect of 
upsetting the lady's husband or the Duke of 
Bringas; but the Minister of the Interior showed 
that it had a bad effect on him; and forcibly 
brought the idea to one's mind that the absence of 
Curra had completely upset the plan which had 
originally brought him to the house. As Butron 
had feared, the appointment of the first lady-in- 
waiting was causing complications. John Velarde 
also seemed disturbed. During dinner he ate little, 
and talked even less. 

Villamelon passed through his usual phases at 
dinner; at the beginning of the meal completely 
engrossed in the important business before him; 
then toward the middle of dinner growing more 
affable, though still staid and circumspect; at desert, 
gay filled with charity toward all, as though his 
dinner had loosed in him a stream of affability 
which he never possessed while fasting. This was 
the time to request favors with a certainty of their 
being granted. It was also the time when he gave 
way to an upleasant habit, of which neither his 
blessed mother nor his dear wife had ever been able 
to break him, of making little balls of bread and 
shooting them with delicate aim at his guests, with 
signs of affectionate regard and merriment 

Meanwhile had an inquisitive imp lifted the roof 
off the Countess Curra's boudoir, he would have 
revealed an odd scene. Curra, seated at a low desk 
lighted by a lamp in the hand of a life-size statue 
of a negro with grinning white teeth, was completely 
absorbed in an elaborate caligraphic study, while 
a smile vague yet cunning flitted over her face. In 
her large clear handwriting she was writing on a 
sheet of paper: "What a strange animal man is!" 



THE t SIGN 



Then with clever facility she was copying the phrase 
in different manners of handwritting. The phrase 
multiplied itself, sometimes written in small letters, 
at other times in large, firm outlines. Curra con- 
tinued this odd employment for half an hour with 
all the attention of a child laboriously copying a 
school exercize, or of a forger trying to falsify a 
signature. 

She finally seemed satisfied with the result, 
and in a small, constrained handwritting, that in no 
way resembled her own, wrote a letter on a sheet of 
plain notepaper. The letter was not long. On the 
envelope was written : 

To His Excellency the Civil Governor of 
Madrid. 

GURRA went into her bedroom and at the end 
of some fifteen minutes reappeared com- 
pletely transformed. She had changed her 
beautiful street gown for a plain black wool skirt 
and an old mantilla which partly hid her face. She 
carried a lighted candle and a large key. Picking 
up the letter, she left the room. Just then a distant 
clock struck half past eleven. 

Villamelon's house was one of those ancient 
houses with long halls, large drawing-rooms and 
spacious apartments, surrounded by small corridors 
and private stairways for the use of servants. 
Curra's apartment communicated with such a long 
private pasage way. This ended in a narrow stair- 
way which led down to a small garden. She 
descended these stairs, and walked toward a gate 
leading into the street with an assurance that showed 
clearly that this was not the first of her nocturnal 
adventures. 

It was dark and the little plaza on which the 
gate opened was lighted with only a few dim 
lanterns. All was dark and deserted. The haughty 
Countess, who so seldom left her carriage to walk 
in the dust of which she was made, passed along 
these dark streets, crossed many roads, deserted at 
this late hour, and finally arrived at the little square 
of St. Dominic. Passing through this, she sought 
the shelter of la Costanilla de los Angeles. With 
a wide circuit she passed the rear of the Ministry 
of the Interior, and came to the Calle de las 
Carretas. There she posted the mysterious letter. 
If this lady was a criminal, she was a very careful 
and practical criminal, who saw in every possible 
onlooker a road that might lead to prison. 

She then started on her journey homewards, 
passing through the dark streets by which she had 
come. On the way she met with but one interrup- 
tion. An old man of decent appearance suddenly 
stopped in front of her. He had mistaken her for 
one of those unfortunate creatures who extend thin 
hands for charity to passers-by in the small hours 
of the morning. 

So at last the Countess thought. She took the 
money which the man offered her overcome with a 
frantic desire to laugh in his face, yet not hesitating 



to profane with her corrupt lips that beautiful 
answer which Faith gives to her Sister Charity 
through the mouths- of the poor: "May God reward 
you!" 

When she returned to her boudoir, it had a 
strange and sinister appearance. The lamp in the 
hand of the negro was flickering out, and his teeth 
of white marble showed in the darkness with the 
smile of some devil amusing himself in the regions 
of Hell. 

Three hours later, screams of terror came from 
the other side of the house. It was Luis, who had 
awakened in the nursery, numbed and terrified in 
the darkness of the early dawn, deserted by father 
and mother, and the seventeen servants engaged in 
their employ. 

CHAPTER V. 

"^^^^HE Countess Curra laughed heartily the 
d C~\ following day when her son Luis told her 
^ ) of his uncanny adventure of the night 
^^^ before, when, finding himself alone and 
fully dressed on his bed in the nursery, he had 
commenced to scream frantically for help. Mag- 
delena, Lili's nurse, had heard his cries and came 
to calm him, sitting by his little white bed until 
he fell asleep again. The story produced in Curra 
one of those spasms of maternal love which attacked 
her in her moments of despondency. During these 
brief spells of maternal affection, she would haunt 
the nursery, playing with the children, buying them 
costly toys, and amusing herself making fun of the 
English governess; also reviling the good Fathers 
of the College, destroying in these raids on the 
nursery all the good which, with much labor, these 
had sown in the hearts of the two children. 

Her hailstorm of kisses and pettings always 
effaced from Lili's mind the memory of previous 
periods of neglect, but these miniature tempests 
of affection did not effect the boy. In a corner of 
his small heart an unfailing memory gathered a list 
of the insults and tortures he had endured. As 
yet he pardoned his mother's hypocrisies, though 
he could not entirely forget them. 

However, it was not a fit of despondency which 
brought Curra to the nursery that morning. She 
seemed preoccupied and restless. Lili had a happy 
inspiration. She asked her mother to have Luis 
photographed with his prizes. But the boy grew red, 
and refused emphatically. 

'Why, of course you shall!" cried the Countess. 
"And this very second. German, tell the Marquis 
we are coming up to his gallery to be photographed." 

"No, no; not Papa!" cried Luis. 

"Why not? cried Curra, grasping his arm. 

The child pulled himself away. "He told me 
to go away. He gave me two pesetas," said the 
child, crimson and much effected, hiding his head 
on his mother's breast. 

Little did Curra understand. She saw in the 



THE *f SIGN 



boy but childish caprice, and with jokes and 
caresses, tried to persuade him to have his picture 
taken. He yielded finally, and with the two children 
following her, Curra went up to the splendid 
apartment where the Marquis of Villamelon spent 
his many idle moments driving dullness and care 
away by experimenting in the art of photography. 
To eat, sleep and photograph everything that passed 
before the lens of his cameras were the sole 
occupations of the man whose ancestors had played 
such a great part in the making of Spain. 

VILLAMELON hastened, as usual, to comply 
with Curra's request. He began without loss 
of time to prepare his camera, his fingers 
stained with nitrate of silver. Curra meanwhile 
prepared the children in an artistic group, seating 
them on a gothic settee looking earnestly at the 
boy's prizes. 

"Splendid!" she cried. "Look, Ferdinand; it 
is like one of . . . ." 

She hesitated, for the door opened and a 
servant announced that the Minister of the Interior 
was below and very anxious to see the Countess 
at once. She turned suddenly on her husband, 
who looked up, frightened, the black cloth which 
he was using to focus the camera remaining on his 
head. Curra walked a few steps toward her husband, 
the anger in her bright eyes corresponding oddly 
with the soft voice and deliberate tone with which 
she asked: "Did that ox dine here yesterday?" 

"He is a beast," and to hide his fright, Villa- 
melon again disappeared under the black cloth, 
playing at adjusting his camera. 

"Listen to me, Ferdinand, when I am talking to 
you." 

Villamelon straightened himself from beneath 
the black cloth even more embarrassed. 

"Did the Minister say anything last evening 
about the appointment?" 

"Nothing," stammered Villamelon. 

"Are you sure?" 

Villamelon's lips trembled like those of a child 
who was trying to tell a lie. Then, as though 
thinking better of it, he thought that the ox of a 
Minister had told him that rat pie was very indi- 
gestible. A lot of foolishness! On the other hand, 
the Minister had told John Velarde that he was 
going to stop people making fun of the Government, 
and that he intended to force Curra to accept the 
appointment as first lady-in-waiting, supporting 
himself with a letter with which — and this Vil- 
lamelon thought most impolite — he had threatened 
to rub Curra's nose. 

"A letter?" exclaimed Curra-, really surprised. 
"From whom?" 

"From me! From me!" stammered Villamelon. 

Curra advanced toward him, and with her voice 
growing softer as she grew more and more angry: 
"And so you wrote to him, Ferdinand?" 



Villamelon bowed his head, overcome with 
terror. 

"And after I told you only to speak to him about 
it? After I warned you that nothing must be 
written? You see, Ferdinand — " 

Villamelon retreated as Curra advanced. "And 
he said that he was going to present this letter to 
me and use it over me as a whip?" 

"So Velarde said." 

"You are sure?" 

"Absolutely sure." 

Again Villamelon retreated, as Curra came 
nearer, repeating in a voice so soft that it seemed 
but a caress : "You see, you see, Ferdinand ?" 

And suddenly jerking the black cloth, she com- 
pletely enveloped the head of her illustrious hus- 
band in its folds. Turning her back on him, as he 
struggled to free himself, she walked composedly 
out of the room. Lili shrieked with laughter at her 
father vainly struggling to fight his way out of the 
bag, running to Luis to whisper a great secret in 
his ear: "What a goose Papa is!" 

^^^HE butler was surprised to hear Curra, in 
I) passing, give him the order to light a large 
^*"^ fire in the boudoir. It was well on in June, 
and the heat was already intense. But he obeyed 
without question; and when His Excellency the 
Minister of the Interior, Don John Anthony Martin, 
came into the room, he found a huge fire burning in 
the grate, while Curra reclined nearby on a lounge, 
covered with a large Scotch plaid, and wearing a 
silk satin morning-wrapper. Holding out her hand 
as he entered, she said in the weak voice of an 
invalid: "How are you, Don Martin? You are the 
only person I would have received to-day." 

The visitor growled, a sure sign with him that 
he was startled, and, glued to the spot, began to 
perspire at the sight of the fire. 

"But what is this, Countess? You are still 
suffering from that headache?" 

"I am indeed unfortunate," replied Curra. "I 
am afraid that I have chills and fever." 

She shivered as though with cold, and pointed 
out a chair for the Minister, near the fire and within 
reach of her hand. Martin seated himself cautiously, 
prepared to be roasted like St. Lawrence on his 
gridiron. 

"I am very sorry," he said; and recollecting 
the rustic remedies of his childhood, he added: 
"Why don't you put two little potato plasters on 
your forehead? An excellent remedy!" 

"Potatoes!" exclaimed Curra. "What an idea, 
Martin! I prefer the headache." 

Curra settled her head comfortably on a 
cushion, regarding Martin, who settled his glasses 
on his nose after this interchange of civilities, and 
menacing the lady with a fat finger, said to her: 
"They are very angry at the palace." 

Curra shrugged her pretty shoulders. "Why 
tell me this?" 



THE + SIGN 



"Why you? Madame, the King and Queen are 
very much displeased." 

"But what, my dear Martin, have I to do with 
their feelings?" 

"What have you to do?" cried the Minister, 
suffocating from the intense heat and exasperated 
at Curra's calmness. "Does it mean nothing to you 
to ask for the position of first lady-in-waiting and 
then toss it lightly aside after it is offered to you? 
Can one play with a Queen like that? You nought 
as well know now that the Government has decided 
to force you to accept the position you requested." 

And the Minister, red and perspiring, and with 
both hands firmly fixed on his fat knees, glowered 
at Curra as though he would swallow her in one 
mouthful. His intensity of expression did not 
terrify the lady. She casually raised herself, and 
much astonished, not to say offended, commenced 
in her aggrieved voice: "But, Martin, don't get so 
excited. You look positively ugly. There must be 
a mistake somewhere. I, first lady-in-waiting to 
the Queen! Where did you ever hear that 
nonsense?" 

"From yourself, from yourself!" cried the 
Minister. "You dor't dare deny that you asked 
before the minister of Ultramar for the post of 
first lady-in-waiting, provided that John Velarde 
became secretary to the King, and that you received 
six thousand dollars." 

"But I do deny it and emphatically," cried 
Curra. 

"Well, we will see if your husband can deny it, 
then, when all the papers in Madrid publish this 
letter." And Don Martin took a letter out of an 
inside pocket. He unfolded it in front of Curra 
carefully, and when she made a quick attempt to 
snatch at it, held it back, saying brutally: "Don't 
worry! I hold fast to this. But you shall hear me 
read it from beginning to end." 

With spectacles on nose, for he was near- 
sighted, the Minister began. In it Villamelon in 
conjunction with his wife asked for the position of 
first lady-in-waiting for that lady, under the two 
conditions just mentioned by Martin — the private 
secretaryship for Velarde, and six thousand dollars 
for the lady herself. 

This was conclusive proof, and Curra now 
understood all her husband's folly in letting such 
a request get into writing. She did not seem effected, 
however. As the Minister continued reading, she 
gradually raised herself higher on the pillows, with 
faint cries of protest; and then, suddenly, with the 
quickness of a cat, she grabbed the dangerous 
letter from the Minister's hands and threw it into 
the fire. In an instant the paper was but ashes. 

The Minister fell back into his seat with an 
oath, while Curra sank softly amid her cushions, as 
if nothing had happened, saying with her hard little 
laugh : 

"Well, well, Martin! You must really put two 
little potato plasters on. They are most refreshing!" 



CHAPTER VI. 

^^=^HE porter at the door of Villamelon's house 
I) received a tremendous fright the day follow- 
^^^ ing Don Martin's visit to Curra. At ten in 
the morning he was peacefully cleaning the antique 
seats in the hall when a group of suspicious looking 
individuals suddenly broke into the house. The 
porter, terrified, slammed the glass door in their 
faces, but a few terrific blows shattered two of its 
heraldic and decorated panes. Balthasar fled up 
the stairs, falling over the dwarf Joselito who was 
carefully polishing the metallic rods which kept the 
carpet on the stairs in place. The dwarf fled also, 
screaming at the top of his voice. Before long the 
seventeen servants were all rushing hither and 
thither, opening and shutting doors, and alarming 
the entire household. 

Meanwhile the invaders reached a deserted 
antechamber, and the leader of the party began to 
knock on the floor with his stick and to demand the 
Countess of Albornoz in the King's name. The 
leader was the chief of police, who had come in 
the name of the Civil Governor of the city to search 
the house, and to seize all of Curra's papers for 
purposes of inspection by the authorities. His 
companions stationed themselves so as to guard all 
the exits from the house, leaving the doors open, 
however, so that anyone who desired might enter. 

Villamelon was still sleeping peacefully. But 
Curra, contrary to her usual custom, had been up 
early, as though she was expecting something to 
happen. She at once noticed the tumult, and though 
pale, kept her head under the riot around her. All 
exits being carefully guarded, she instructed a page 
to scale a wall behind the house, and to notify the 
Marquis of Butron as to what had occurred. 

Villamelon's awakening was appalling. He 
was ready to die of fright. He attributed this 
invasion of the police to the letter which he had 
written to the government requesting Curra's 
appointment as first lady-in-wraiting. Curra had 
prophesied the day before that something un- 
pleasant would result from that incautious letter. 
Here was something unpleasant. Shivering with 
fright, he tucked himself firmly under the bed- 
clothes; and all of Curra's demands that he go 
downstairs and receive the police availed nothing. 
He pleaded that he had a desperate cold, and that 
he would have a spasm if he ventured into a draught. 
Curra had started all this business. Let her extricate 
herself as best she could. 

(0 it was finally Curra herself who descended 
with haughty mien to interview the invaders. 
She demanded of the chief of police the 
search warrant of the Governor legalized by a judge, 
which alone permitted such an invasion. The chief 
of police politely handed it to her, and after reading 
it she tore it violently in half. She then made a 
furious protest, in which she emphatically stated 



THE + SIGN 



her Alfonsist sympathies, and sending a flunkey to 
escort the invaders through the house, she retired 
to the billiard room, where she sat in queenly state 
among her maids, clinging to Lili and Luis, who 
had been brought to her. 

The news of the invasion had spread rapidly 
through the Court, and thence to the cafes and 
plazas. A crowd gathered outside the house, await- 
ing developements, and watching with stupid gaze 
the long line of carriages which drew up in front 
of the door, while ladies and gentlemen passed 
rapidly in and out. the former arrived en deshabille, 
fluttering around Curra with exclamations of horror, 
surprise, enthusiasm and pity. This is exactly what 
Curra had planned. With eyes raised to heaven 
and with the air of a resigned victim, she gave 
graphic accounts of the invasion. What would be- 
come of her poor children? Here was Ferdinand 
prostrated in bed, and his health needing every 
attention! The ladies shuddered over Curra's mis- 
fortune, all talking at once, attempting outwardly 
to comfort the unfortunate lady, though inwardly 
cursing that Curra and not themselves were under 
the suspicion of the police, a suspicion which had 
lifted her to the pinnacles of celebrity at a single 
bound. 

Several reporters arrived, and received full in- 
formation about the event from Curra's own lips. 
Leopoldina Pastor burst in out of breath, carrying 
an enormous prayerbook in her hand. She had just 
arrived from Mass, for she had been making a 
novena to St. Paschal to beg of heaven to send a 
stroke of apoplexy upon Don Salustiano de Olozaga. 
She expressed amazement that Curra had not thrown 
the chief of police out of the window. She made a 
great fuss, sticking her tongue out at the police 



agents who entered the room, pushing her way 
through the crowd, and finally retired into the dining 
room, for it was now nearly twelve o'clock. She 
was very hungry, had had nothing to eat, and she 
could not, of course, leave her dear Curra until this 
lamentable registration was over. Many followed 
her into the dining room eager to fall on whatever 
provisions the house could provide. 

^^^0 the astonishment of everyone, who was 
C^) standing in a corner of the room but the 
^*"^ dying Marquis, leaning over a sideboard, 
swallowing hastily a cup of steaming chocolate, 
hands crammed with buttered toast, as he gazed in 
all directions, terrified. Having recovered from his 
first fright, and not hearing any further disturbance 
in the house, he had suddenly remembered that he 
was extremely hungry. He called loudly for some- 
one to bring him his breakfast. No one came to 
answer to his call. Villamelon, preferring any death 
to death by starvation, at last decided to get up and 
to slip by private passageways to the kitchen in 
search of his daily bread. Having secured it, he 
had wandered into the dining room to devour it. 

The sudden arrival of the uninvited guests sent 
him scurrying for safety, chocolate in one hand and 
toast in the other. But with much laughter the 
aristocratic and hungry mob caught him, while 
Leopoldina Pastor, clinging to the coat-tails of his 
morning gown, cried out, helpless with laughter: 
"Whither away, Ferdinand? Don't leave us! To 
be able to commiserate with you, we must have 
food. Get us something to eat!" 

And from the maitre d'hotel to Joselito, all set 
to work, barely able to supply a picnic luncheon for 
the hungry and emotional crowd. 



A True-Cross Sister 



Vaughn Devlin 



Lone gleams the arc-light's v?hite image 
In the flood 'neath the old granite pier; 
Firm, though 'tis lost in the scrimmage 
Of waters that belly" and rear, 
Soon comes a maiden belated, 
O.er the bridge with a faltering pace; 
The ball-room's gay sound has abated, 
She — the queen of its beauty" and grace. 
But the Stone that has gleamed on her bosom 
To her heart sent its bright shafts in vain 
For there whirled the Waters full grewsome 
A dark svJeep of sorrov? and pain. 



Where erstwhile the mad flood was tangled 
Calm moved the stream and the air 
So calm that the moon's image dangled 
As though there were no waters there, 
Again o'er the bridge came the maiden 
Dark robes flowing full to her feet, 
Some hovel with sorrow is laden; 
Thither hastens sweet Soeur Marguerite 
The Stone from her bosom's rejected, 
For her heart is a glass chaste and true, 
Where men see their sorrows reflected 
And gather their courage anew. 



Current Fact and Comment 



ENERGETIC 

^^^HE modern world is 'energetically' lazy. Men 
\ ^_J think because they are always in a hurry, 
they are always busy; they imagine that 
restlessness is industry. The fact of the matter is 
that they are lazy, and what they would have us 
believe to be the exhaust of a high-powered turbine 
is simply the whistle of a peanut stand. This is 
an age of anesthetics: painless surgery, painless 
dentistry, painless thinking. To be 'cultured' one 
need not know how to think, one need only know 
how to talk — and to be 'cultured' you know, is 
everything. "Can you say: protoplasm, H. G. 
Wells, advanced thought, feminism, social service, 
Bernard Shaw, eugenics? Yes? My, my, how 
learned you are!" 



LAZINESS 

Nothing is so insipid as the repetition of a 
stale joke; the 'culture' stuff is nauseating. Every 
place is infested by these funny, 'learned' folk, 
these living mimeographs, walking echoes of the 
Sunday supplement. 

The world is intellectually asleep. But why 
try to wake it by injections of morphean modern 
thought? It does not need technical conferences, 
it needs Catholic catechisms. But before men can 
become less 'cultured' and more candid, before they 
can appreciate their vileness before God and 
their utter helplessness without Him, they must 
have more thoughtful leisure and less slap-dash 
laziness. 



FRANCE AGAIN AT THE VATICAN 



XN 1904 France broke relations with the 
Vatican, closed the religious schools and 
banished the Religious. This caused great 
joy to the enemies of the Church. They saw her 
end. Had not Italy robbed the Pope of his temporal 
power? And now that France had turned against 
her it was expected that Spain and Austria would 
do likewise. The Church without government sup- 
port must fast sink into decay. Such was the 
prophecy of those who forget that the Church is 
not built upon men or governments. 

Ten years later we see the retribution of the 
Hand of God. France is on her knees suffering a 
cruel scourging, while the Vatican in all its ancient 
glory looms brightly above the raging conflict. 
Nations vie with one another in courting the friend- 
ship of the Holy See. England and Holland which 



had not been represented at the Vatican since the 
Reformation hastened to send their envoys to the 
Pope. 

France was forced to deal with the Holy See 
unofficially during the war. To her sorrow she 
found that while she could not live without the 
Vatican the Vatican could very well live without 
her. So, in spite of the vigorous opposition of some 
of the Anti-Clericals, France re-established relations 
with the Vatican on December 29, 1921. 

While French statesmen look to the new order 
of things as a means of supporting French political 
interests in Turkey, Syria and Central Europe, we 
can confidently expect that the re-establishment of 
diplomatic relations with the Pope will mean even 
more for the religious and moral well being of the 
French people. 



A SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS THREATENS 



CONCLUSIONS drawn from statistics are 
notoriously misleading. Official figures for 
the fourteen years ending with 1921 indicate 
an average of 1 priest to 855 of the Catholic popu- 
lation in the United States. From a superficial view 
we might conclude that one priest could minister 
to a flock of that size and have time to spare for 
leisurely occupations. We might also conclude, 
therefore, that no special efforts were required under 
the circumstances to foster vocations to the priest- 
hood. The fallacy of these conclusions is clearly 
shown by George Barnard who analyzes them in 



the Ecclesiastical Review. 

First, we err in visualizing the average priest 
as comfortably and conveniently installed in the 
midst of a flock of eight or nine hundred Catholics 
and ministering to their ordinary needs. There are 
close to 6000 churches and chapels without resident 
pastors representing the heroic efforts of bishops 
and priests to stem the loss of faith in remote 
districts. In the border diocese of Corpus Christi 
over a hundred stations are attended from one 
mission centre. Again, the priest is occupied not 
only in a passive way with those who with a lively 



THE + SIGN 



faith seek his ministrations, but much more earnest- 
ly and anxiously is he concerned about those who 
have fallen or gone astray. And he may not neglect 
any opportunity to bring in those who are not of his 
fold. Moreover the Church in America is now 
turning a corner and, confronting the new social 
conditions, is providing more systematically and 
directly for parochial, diocesan and national needs. 
To carry on these projects and for educational work 
a large quota of priests must be withdrawn from 
the parochial ministry, 

Secondly, an alarming feature of the aforesaid 
statistics is disclosed when we inquire how the pro- 
portion of priests to Catholic population has been 
maintained. On the one hand there is the steady 
increase in the population and on the other there is 
the loss of clergy by death — 345 priests died in 
1920. To maintain the proportion 770 priests have 
been added to the total yearly. Now the startling 
statement is made that America supplied less than 
half of these. And, further, the countries, which 
have for years regularly contributed to the ranks 
of our clergy, can no longer do so. The war besides 



depleting their numbers opened new mission fields 
and responsibilities. 

Similar concern about vocations to the ministry 
has been manifested among non-Catholic bodies. 
Almost invariably the reason given in their case is 
that the clergy are underpaid. Such a motive does 
not enter into our calculations. About one among 
every four priests in this country tries to live con- 
sistently with a vow of poverty assumed in a 
religious order. Many secular priests uncomplain- 
ingly feel the pinch of poverty more sharply than 
they. The generosity of our people must now be 
extended to the preparatory field. The necessary 
expense attached to the long years of training while 
not excessive, is prohibitive to many a youth in 
meagre circumstances but with a genuine vocation 
and an ardent zeal for souls. Any Catholic casting 
about for some practical method of returning thanks 
to God for blessing him with earthly riches need 
but inquire how he may directly help to set such a 
youth upon his career with all that career may 
entail for the faith, for souls and for the glory of 
God. 



LAY-RETREATS FOR THE YOUTH 



>"TMONG those making the week-end lay-retreats 

J I are regularly found young men and boys. 

They are of that critical period when the 
supporting props of parental and school discipline 
have been removed: of that period when their 
spiritual guides consider anxiously the rebound 
from the restraint of discipline to the larger freedom. 
Experienced pastors have studied and applied vari- 
ous methods covering the mercurial age when a 
wholesome interest in spiritual affairs and contact 
with the sources of grace must be maintained. For 
both boys and girls retreats regularly made have an 
excellent stabilizing effect. Father Martindale in 
the Irish Ecclesiastical Record says : "The enormous 
bulk of our children leave school at eleven to four- 
teen, and even the more fortunate classes do so at 
eighteen, and tend to do so younger. In neither 
case is there any Catholic education to follow which 
keeps pace with every other education that life is 
giving them — intellectual, professional, social, and 
that of sheer experience of the physical and mental 
crises of adolescence. Mere memories of child- 
hood's pieties, mere assertions of authority are not, 
and I dare say should not be, enough for the grow- 
ing boy or girl. I do not assuredly decry piety; 
it is astonishing how its delicate flower survives in 



the hideous life of factory or workship, or in garage 
or medical lecture-room, in very many cases. But 
not normally. How should it? And authority? 
The authority of public opinion is a very weighty 
one, and in our press, our theatres, our higher 
educational books and establishments the authority 
runs mostly counter to that of catechism and of 
sermon. In the conflict between authorities, that 
which is to conquer must be very clearly the best 
guaranteed. And in our early education it is im- 
possible to anticipate all that life will suggest to 
make the Church's authority seem weak. Nor can 
we merely be satisfied with reclaiming souls that 
have suffered in faith or morals. We ought to 
prevent. . And we cannot be satisfied with Catholics 
whose private career is correct, or who at least 
present themselves for a cure when they fall 
spiritually sick. The Church must be Apostolic in 
each of her members. We ought to inspire." 

"To help to this end, I can conceive no method 
anywhere near so efficacious as retreats for boys 
and girls who have lately left school, and for every 
class of adult." 

But the suggestion to make the retreat must 
in most cases come from the parents. 



THE 1* SIGN 



HATERS OF WEALTH 



"fcT^vE had quite forgotten those million dollars 

I P spurned by a Bay State scion a year ago 

until it was recently announced that the young 
man had changed his mind and had decided to 
accept the legacy. An interval was allowed for it 
to be buzzed around — "I told you so" — and then 
the harassed youth assured the public that he had 
not changed his opinion about excessive fortunes 
and that he planned to redistribute the million 
forthwith consistently with his announced principles. 
A strong impulse seized us to write and ask him 
to consider in the redistribution our China mission- 
aries, a burse for the Preparatory College and other 
projects which we thought would appeal as eminent- 
ly in harmony with his principles. But we aban- 
doned the notion upon reflecting that he had pro- 
bably received advice enough how to distribute 
such a fortune as his several times multiplied. 

This embarrassed beneficiary is opposed to the 
economic system which makes possible the accumu- 
lation of towering fortunes. With Shakespeare's 
character he claims: 

"Distribution should so undo excess, 
And each man have enough." 
The communal life of the Spartans, if not of the 
early Christians, would appeal to him, and he is 
probably familiar with the austere theories of Tolstoi 
on the subject. The latter also knew that his large 
possessions belied his theories and he therefore 
gave them all away — to his wife. 

Whenever the supernatural motive is not ap- 
parent, instances of the rejection of wealth always 
cause wonder if not suspicion. It is conceivable 
that one with the taste and instincts for rural life 
such as Mr. Garland professes could be fully con- 
tented with his lot and could see no further emolu- 
ment in stored wealth. But might he not wisely 
employ the million at least in spreading similar 
wholesome tastes and instincts in reply to the lament 
in the war-time ballad : "How are you going to keep 
them down on the farm?" 



St. Paul, the hermit, in order to serve God more 
freely, chose to live in the desert where a palm-tree 
furnished him shelter, food and raimant. At this 
season palm-trees are featured in advertisements 
alluring the wealthy to the balmy playgrounds of 
the South. The holy hermit could successfully 
challenge these to prove that they found greater 
happiness and contentment than he. 

Material poverty may be viewed as an evil. 
Because it centers itself in the slums, it fosters slum 
ideals and impedes character growth in the young. 
It cannot be denied that the possesion of moderate 
wealth procures reasonable comfort 'and surcease 
from anxiety and allows leisure for nobler occupa- 
tions. The danger lies in the spirit of avarice enter- 
ing in. As Ruskin describes it: "Wherever we are, 
to go somewhere else: whatever we have, to get 
something more." The spirit of avarice is implied 
also in the farmer's definition of prosperity: "Pros- 
perity means having a mortgage and getting it paid 
off; and when you've paid off, getting enough to 
buy a parlor organ; and then having enough to 
trade the organ for a fine piano, and so on without 
any limit whatsoever." 

Supernatural, well-ordered poverty is recom- 
mended by the Church to her children for two 
motives. The surrender of one's possessions may 
be made in the light of heroic sacrifice, that is, out 
of love for and in imitation of Him Who, for our 
sakes, was born in a stable, often had not whereon 
to lay His Head, and Whose poor material legacy 
were only His garments to be raffled for by His 
executioners. Poverty also is a curative against 
avarice. Not in riches, but in what riches can so 
readily procure for the indulgence of every passion 
lies the peril. Hence could the Savior warn that 
the rich would hardly enter the kingdom of heaven. 
Only those who love God will enter there. Riches 
too easily procure for a man all that excludes God 
from his heart. 



WAR THEM 

CONSIDER the Disarmament Conference striv- 
ing to regulate the use of submarines, poison- 
gases and bombing planes. How prolific has 
not devilish ingenuity been in the brief interim 
since Hirman Maxim, the great American gun- 



AND NOW 

maker, was knighted by Queen Victoria. On that 
occasion he elicited from Lord Salisbury the 
characterization: "Maxim" he said "has prevented 
more men dying of old age than any other man 
living." 



The Broken Lure 



Matthew Kenan Cai 



Off 



'E were playing for very small stakes. All 
afternoon, however, Trainor had been losing 
so steadily, that from the pile of chips 
before the other five of us, it was evident 
that he owed quite a considerable sum. And Trainor 
was a typically hard loser. Extremely jovial when 
winning, a gloom now diffused itself from his dark 
face and massive body. For some time his silence 
had been nothing less than ominous; and it was with 
a feeling of djead that I watched the brewing storm, 
which I knew must soon break. 

Suddenly he pulled out his watch. 
"Well, boys!' he said briskly with a pitiable 
attempt to smile, "we have been playing this baby's 
game long enough now. I have just exactly an hour 
left. How about making it a regular game for this 
last hour, with the sky the limit?" 

He looked around half defiantly and half smil- 
ingly. For a few minutes there was no answer. It 
was plainly manifest that the proposal was anything 
but welcome to the rest of us. 

"For my part, Trainor," I said firmly, "I veto 
that proposition — absolutely." The others voiced 
their approval. 

Trainor discarded his half smile then, and be- 
came wholly defiant. 

"Afraid, hey?" he sneered. "Just like you, 
Barnot; a quitter from the ground up. Fine way to 
treat a man after he has been losing all afternoon. 
Besides, the way luck has been running, you ought 
to be glad of the chance to make some easy money." 
"Trainor," I said good humoredly, "that is just 
where you make your mistake. I didn't sit down 
here to make money. This is not a gambling pro- 
position with me. I pay a few dollars to have a 
little recreation here, just as I would buy a theatre 
ticket. When my money is gone, the show is over 
with me; and I stop satisfied. If I happen to win, 
well — so much the better." 

"That sounds good;" he snarled, "but you'd 
sing a different tune, if you were in my place." 

"You know, Trainor, you are not telling the 
truth;" I replied quickly. "You know that before 
I sit down to a game, I always tell you just how 
much I can afford to pay for my amusement, and 
when I lose that, I quit. It is not because I am 



afraid of losing my winnings that I object to your 
proposal. It is simply the principle of the thing 
I'm against. It's that idea of 'making some easy 
money,' as you say — of gambling, I call it — which 
is not my idea of a gentleman's recreation." 

My antagonist here lost control of his temper. 
"I may not be what you consider a gentleman, 
Barnot," he cried hotly, "but at any rate I am not 
a quitter, and I am going to prove that you are." 

With that he pulled from his coat a wallet 
and a pair of dice, and threw them on the table. 

"You see that money," he went on, "and those 
dice ! Now I'll bet you ten to one up to any amount 
you say, that I will roll a higher number than you 
four times out of five. Now you — " 

■ At this moment a hand clapped Trainor on the 
shoulder and swinging him about, he found himself 
looking into the steady eyes of Thomas Jordan, 
President of our K. of C. Club. He had come 
unnoticed into the room during our argument. Jordan 
picked up the wallet and dice and shoved them into 
the pocket of Trainor's overcoat which he held. 
Then he threw his coat and hat into the fellow's 
arms. 

"Trainor," said he, eyeing the man sternly and 
steadily, "you are hardly worth talking to. You 
can't understand that a man can have principles 
and stick to them. I think you had better take 
your dice out of here." 

For a moment I thought the big man would 
strike Jordan; but seeing that we were all against 
him, he turned suddenly without a word, and the 
door slammed after him. 

* * * * 
^^^HERE was no more card playing that evening. 
\) We settled up quickly in awkward silence, 
and filed downstairs into the smoking room. 
It was just "between darkness and daylight, when 
a raw November night was beginning to lower;" 
and the bright warmth cast by a blazing log fire 
here was cheeringly welcome. 

We gathered about it instinctively, still silent; 
but happily, Jim Toomey, a close friend of Jordan, 
relieved the situation. 

"Say, Tom, old boy," he said cheerily, "you 
certainly surprised little Jimmy this afternoon. I 



-•4 



THE 1* SIGN 



didn't know there was that much spunk in your 
whole family." 

Jordan smiled, and the spell hanging upon us 
was broken. 

"I knew you didn't like to play cards yourself, 
M' Lord President," went on Toomey, banteringly, 
"but I never thought you were against others play- 
ing. Man alive — " 

"I'm not against others playing, Jim;" cut in 
Jordan, "you ought to know that. It was the dice 
that made me boil over." 

"Ah! ha!" laughed his friend, "I guess you 
and Barnot are in the same boat there, hey?" 

"Honestly, Jim," replied the other, "I'm dead 
in earnest about this. I would tell you why; but 
it means more to me than you can imagine. Besides, 
you wouldn't believe me anyway." 

"He certainly has a fine opinion of us," re- 
marked Toomey dryly. "But you can't get out of 
it that way, Tom. You've got to go on now; you'll 
have no peace if you don't. Gentlemen!" he drolled 
out solemnly, "be seated!" 

And so, laughing we drew our chairs about the 
fire place. 

"Well," said our President, taking a seat nearest 
the hearth, "I guess Jim wins as usual; and," he 
said, passing a box of cigars, "to make a good 
beginning at least, let us light up." 

"Fine!" observed Toomey sagely, "Best begin- 
ning of any story I have ever heard." 

Gazing with a far away look into the fire, 
Jordan began. "You may have wondered at times, 
why I never play cards. I have often told you that 
I am not opposed to others playing; but with regard 
to myself personally, it is much the same as with 
some men and drink. There are those, you know, 
who can't touch liquor without losing control of 
themselves, and so they are strict teetotalers, while 
at the same time they do not at all begrudge another 
man his glass of beer or light wine. I heard what 
Barnot said about his idea of card playing; and I 
admire him for it. But I am so constituted, that it 
would be morally impossible for me to do as he 
does. I am forced, so to speak, to be a card 
drunkard or an absolute prohibitionist, although I 
realize that others can be temperance players, and I 
respect them as such." 

"Say!" broke in Herman Mueller, a stout sober 
old German, "I just wish you could go to Washing- 
ton, Tom, and tell those prohibitionist fellows down 
there, where they get off at." 



We all knew that old Mueller sorely missed 
his glass of beer; and he was so unaffectedly 
earnest now that even Jordan had to laugh. 

"Thanks for the compliment, Herman," he said, 
"I guess I follow my dad on that question. He 
believed in the old motto: 'Live, and let live.' Dad 
was alway fond of a friendly game of cards, and 
loved to have me play with him. I took to the game 
at once too; and in a short time, I became quite 
an expert in several forms of play, including draw 
poker. So much so, indeed, that dad began to 
boast to his friends that his boy could beat any one 
of them. And at last one night, when they came to 
our house for a game, as they did periodically, they 
prevailed upon him to let me 'sit in.' " 

"You talk like a regular player," remarked 
Toomey. 

"Just wait a bit," said Jordan, with a smile, 
and went on "I can never forget that first real game 
of mine. I can feel the thrill of it yet, even when 
I watch others play. From the beginning I was as 
cool as a veteran; and I began to more than make 
good my dad's prediction. There was a glamour 
about the whole affair that was irresistible. The 
jovial faces, the spirit of good fellowship, the praises 
of my playing combined with the lure of the game, 
the feelings of mingled suspense and exultation 
simply overwhelmed me. When the party broke up 
in the 'wee sma' hours, and I found myself with 
spending money for month and a number of new 
friends besides, you may be sure I needed no second 
invitation to the next game at another house. 

"In fact from that time on, I was a whole souled 
gambler. All along the passion had been growing 
unsuspected, and it was now my master. Soon I 
began to play almost every night, and as the game 
that suited my dad's friends became too tame for 
me, I sought and found other congenial fellows 
ready to satisfy my gambling appetite to the full." 

"And I always thought you were afraid to 
play," muttered the astonished Jim. 



u 



'ORDAN only smiled. "But don't misunder- 
stand me, gentlemen," he added, looking 
about the group, "when I say I was a full 
fledged gambler. For even then I did not realize 
what a hold the game had upon me. You see, I 
told myself that a game of cards was my only 
recreation; and as I was usually a winner, I argued 
falsely that I was not playing beyond my means. 
And so, all this time I managed to keep pretty 



THE + SIGN 



regularly to the Sacraments as I had been brought 
up to do. At home no one even suspected my 
danger. You all remember my wife; and you will 
not wonder that I managed to stop playing for a 
while after our marriage. But with her death the 
old habit broke out again, and before long I was 
worse than ever. And now our crowd was so far 
gone that cards alone did not satisfy us. We had 
to conclude our entertainment every night by throw- 
ing dice for an hour or two." 

The man spoke grimly now, and even Jim was 
becoming too much interested to break in. 

"As I said before," he kept on, "I can appreciate 
a friendly game of cards for low stakes where there 
is sociability and a chance to get some real recrea- 
tion. But there seems to me absolutely no reason 
for dicing. It is unworthy of a man and fit only 
for the gambling den and the back lot. There's 
no skill here, no friendly rivalry, nothing but an 
insane gambling fever, a hot furious debauch, 
mingled with invocations of the gods of chance, 
accusations of one another, and curses." 

HOR the second time that day Jordan 'boiled 
over,' as he delivered his tirade against twirl- 
ing dice. And I was heartily glad that I had 
not accepted Trainor's challenge that afternoon. It 
was only with a noticeable effort that he regained 
his wonted composure, and then went on more 
slowly. 

"You remember, I said that I had been fortunate 
for a while. The time soon came when my luck 
turned, and I began to get into debt. It is remarka- 
ble how quickly money won in gambling will dis- 
appear. It seems to melt away like the poet's 
'snow upon the desert's dusty face.' At home now 
I became surly and peevish. My business too began 
to suffer; for my thoughts during the day were 
mainly about the game that night. Heaven alone 
knows what eventually would have happened but 
for the incident I am now going to tell you." 

At this moment I stole a glance at Toomey. 
He was sitting motionless, his eyes fixed on Jordan, 
the hand holding his cigar raised half way to his 
mouth. He must have been that way several 
minutes, for the cigar had quite gone out. I had a 
good smile all to myself as the story went on. 

"One night we had thrown dice a much longer 
time than usual. In our party then was a fine young 
fellow, who, like myself was gradually going to the 



dogs. You would never guess his name, so I'll tell 
it to you at once — Joe Morton." 

"You don't mean our Joe," exclaimed Toomey, 
"you can't." 

"The very same," replied Jordan, "the late 
second lieutenant, Joseph Morton, killed in action 
at Chateau Thierry. You see, gentlemen, I knew 
him long before you did, when he was just a lad 
and .a bit wild. At that time his old father was 
living and depending on him; and as Joe and I were 
pals, I often tried to get him to stop gambling with 
us. But the boy always replied that he would quit 
only when I did. Both of us, indeed, wanted to 
break off badly; but we had that false pride, which 
fears the accusation of quitter — the very accusation 
you gave the lie to this afternoon," he added, look- 
ing straight at me. 

I had to smoke fiercely to hide my embarrass- 
ment; but luckily he continued with his story. 

"On this particular night, Joe had lost heavily. 
To make matters worse, it was all coming my way. 
I never felt so low down mean in my life, for I 
knew how badly off the lad was. But I couldn't 
think of offering sympathy at that time and place. 
So we kept on rolling the dice until my pal was 
cleaned out to the last penny." 

"Joe," he went on, "was, as you know, always 
game to the core. And he only laughed as if it were 
all a good joke. Finally he took a bit of paste- 
board from his pocket and threw it on the table. 
I saw it was a pawn ticket." 

"There, Tom," he said, with an effort at gaiety, 
"that's for some luxury I don't need at all, so just 
roll me for it." 

"I hesitated a moment. There was however 
nothing to do but to shake the dice and let them fly. 
But I knew, even before they stopped rolling, that 
the ticket was mine. With that, the party broke 
up; and stuffing my winnings into my pockets I 
hurried out. You may well believe that I didn't 
have the heart to speak to Joe, nor even to look at 
him. 

When I got home, it was early morning. In the 
gray half light of my bedroom, I emptied my 
pockets. I knew what I really wanted to look at 
was the bit of card-board. I took it over to the 
window, and there I saw that Joe's "luxury" was a 
suit of clothes. I remembered then that he had been 
wearing an old shabby outfit lately; and my face 
burned. 'Something he didn't need at all,' I 



THE 1* SIGN 



repeated bitterly. For the first time in my life I 
was sick with a wholesome loathing of myself and 
with everything connected with gambling." 

Outside the circle of firelight, the room was now 
in complete darkness. I glanced around. In the 
bright flare of the flames, every face stood out clear 
cut; and I noticed that all eyes were fixed intently 
on the story teller, as he spoke now with evident 
feeling. 

"Exhausted in mind and body, I thought to 
throw myself upon my bed for a few hours dressed 
as I was. But instinctively I dropped by it on my 
knees. For strangely enough, I had all these years 
kept to a pious practice taught me by my mother, 
God rest her, of kissing my little pocket crucifix, 
a keepsake of her's, before getting into bed. So, 
as I knelt mechanically, I took the crucifix from 
my coat and pressed it to my lips. As I did so, a 
depressing sense of guilt crept over me. The naked 
feet seemed very cold. I couldn't take the crucifix 
from my lips. And kneeling thus, I buried my hot 
face in the pillow." 



*" — JORDAN paused a moment. There was a 
\Y- suspicion of a catch in his voice. Obviously 
he was measuring every word. 

"I know now," he continued, "that I must have 
dozed off. For it seemed to me, that I was still 
playing with dice. But now my fellow gamblers 
were complete strangers. They were all dressed as 
I remembered to have seen some Roman soldiers 
in my old Latin school book of 'Caesar's Gallic 
Wars.' And I was dressed like them, with short 
tunic, breastplate and helmet, bare kneed, and 
sandals on my feet. 

There were four of us; and we were intensely 
absorbed in our game, swearing in our excitement 
and calling on the old pagan gods of Rome. 

At last my turn came. With a shout to Jove, I 
seized the dice and rolled the highest number pos- 
sible. 

"By Hercules!" one powerful fellow snarled, 
"the dog wins the prize." 



And reaching back, he picked up something 
that lay behind him and flung it in my face. It 
dropped into my arms, and I saw that it was a suit 
of clothes. 

Joe's suit! I thought at once. But then, sud- 
denly it changed from a blue suit of modern make 
into a long white robe. And as I gazed wonderingly, 
everything else was crowded out of my mind by a 
voice, soft, yet clearer and sweeter than any other 
voice I had ever heard, almost directly above my 
head. 

"Thomas!" it said, "What thou dost to the 
least of my brethren, thou dost unto Me." 

"Terrified, I looked up." 

Jordan's voice was husky, and his words came 
with difficulty. 

"Above me was a Man, all naked but for a loin 
cloth. He was hanging outstretched upon a cross. 
At His feet, almost by my side, stood a Woman 
weeping. As I knelt there, with the dice in one 
hand and the long white garment in the other, I 
was painfully aware that they were looking intently 
at me. 

I thought we stayed that way an endless time. 
I could neither move nor speak. I was conscious 
that my knees were aching sorely. I felt a cold wind 
blowing upon me. It penetrated to the marrow of 
my bones. Yet I dared not use the robe to protect 
myself. I tried to lift it up to the naked Figure. 
I could not. It was like a mass of lead. I cried to 
my former companions, but, with a look of horror, 
they fled into the darkness. 

Again I struggled desperately to lift up the 
robe. When at length it seemed that I was about 
to succeed, the Figure faded before me. I cried out 
in frenzied anguish that I would yet return the robe 
though it cost my blood. Then suddenly I found 
myself kneeling by my bed, bathed in a cold sweat, 
my crucifix on the pillow, the fresh morning air 
blowing in upon me through the open window." 
* * * * 

Jordan leaned forward in the firelight. His 
pallid face was drawn. The soft crackling logs 
sounded clear in the silence. 



Tke Wkite Rose of Lucca 

Tke Storp of Gemma Galgani 

MATTHEW KUEBEL 
6 — Resignation and Tears — (continued) 



© 



UT independently of these revelations 
Gemma yearned to become a Passionist 
nun because that life was her ideal. The 
l'ong hours of prayer and meditation at the 
feet of the Crucified; the severely penitential rule 
of life; the strict separation from the world by the 
Papal cloister, and at the same time the occasional 
occupations in works of zeal such as the teaching of 
catechism to children at the grille and the conducting 
of retreats for women within the enclosure — all this 
had a strong appeal for a zealous and ardent spirit 
like Gemma. 

Gemma had hoped that the course of spiritual 
exercises which she, together with three companions, 
had decided to make at the Passionist Convent in 
Corneto, would be the first step in her flight from the 
world. Much to Gemma's surprise and to the regret 
of all her friends her application to be permitted to 
make the retreat was refused, although the other 
three young women received a more favorable 
answer. Evidently, the good Superior had heard a 
great deal about Gemma that was not at all in her 
favor and was convinced that Gemma was one of 
those deluded hysterical creatures who do not do 
well in convents. This repulse did not dishearten 
Gemma, much less embitter her against the nuns; 
instead she defended with characteristic sweetness 
the Mother Superior against others' loud expressions 
of chagrin. 

Just at this time the establishing of a convent 
of Passionist nuns in Lucca began to be mooted, and, 
of course, one of the most zealous patrons and pro- 
moters of the good cause was Gemma herself. 
Gemma's zeal in the matter was probably the result 
of revelations she had received long before about 
the future convent, of which as far back as 1900 
she was able to give a long description in a letter 
to Father Germanus shortly before the eminent 
priest became her spiritual guide. . Now again Our 
Lord spoke to her about the good work, and His 
words had the effect of moving her to throw all her 
energies into it. "How often," the Savior said, 



"how often have I not withheld My Father's anger, 
by presenting to Him a group of loved souls and 

generous victims They are the daughters of 

My Passion; but they are few and cannot suffice 

for everything Write at once to thy Father 

(Fr. Germanus) ; tell him to go to Rome and speak 
to the Pope of this desirable work : let him say that 
a great chastisement is threatened and victims are 
needed." At other times our Lord gave Gemma to 
understand that her becoming a Passionist nun 
was dependent upon the establishing of a Passionist 
convent in Lucca. 

Stimulated by this double motive — the glory of 
God and her own spiritual interests — Gemma took a 
personal, energetic, and almost a principal part in 
the effort to get the work fairly started. She wrote 
innumerable letters filled with earnest pleading to 
this person and to that whose active interest was 
more or less indispensable, to arouse their serious 
effort, to allay their fears, to chide the backwardness 
dictated by too much human prudence. "Jesus 
wishes it," she would say, "and what Jesus wills 
must succeed." "Decide at once," she wrote to her 
Director, "for very soon it will be too late. Jesus 
will not wait any longer; and He has said to me 
that He will take me to Himself if within six 
months the work is not begun." But Gemma did 
not stop at mere words. Unweariedly she went 
hither and thither in Lucca, interesting in the work 
all she could, collecting money, and seeking a suit- 
able location or building — any property which there 
was the remotest possibility of acquiring for the 
Passionist Sisters — in order that without delay the 
way might be opened for the coming of the little 
band of nuns from Corneto. 

It is necessary to state only that Gemma's 
efforts for the founding of the convent had no results 
during her own lifetime. Our Divine Lord's condi- 
tions — that the work be started within a given time 
— was not fulfilled, for month after month had 
slipped by and nothing had been done. Therefore, 
Our Lord told Gemma that it was too late ; that she 



28 



THE 1* SIGN 



must not think anymore of becoming a nun, and 
that she must be resigned. Then (she tells us), "I 
ran away to my room to be more free there and 
alone, and I cried a great deal. At last I exclaimed : 
'Thy Will be done.' But those tears were not of 
grief; they were tears of perfect resignation." 

ONLY after Gemma's death were energetic 
measures employed to found the convent, 
when quite smoothly, or at least with no more 
than the usual share of opposition and difficulty, 
the work quickly progressed by ways and means 
that Gemma had foretold; so that within two years 
the Passionist Nuns were established in Lucca. No 
doubt some day another interesting prophecy of 
Gemma's will be fulfilled. "The Passionist nuns," 
she once said, "have not wished to receive me, and 
for all that I wish to be with them, and shall be so 
when I am dead." If Holy Church makes a favor- 
able pronouncement on Gemma's sanctity, the an- 
gelic girl will have the consolation of being with the 
r.uns, who will then be able to tell that the true 
patron and foundress of their convent in Lucca is 
the sweet virgin, Gemma Galgani. 

Gemma never realized her ambition of becom- 
ing a nun, but she did acquire a degree of sanctity 
more sublime than the religious life ordinarily 
aspires to or contemplates. By a life-long union 
with Jesus Crucified and by a miraculous conformity 
with His image Gemma had become a child of the 
Passion. She was now ripe for Heaven; God had 
said to her, 'Behold I come quickly,' and it only 
remained for her to prepare for the coming of her 
Lord. 

On the feast of Pentecost, 1902, God revealed 
to His faithful serveant during an ecstacy her voca- 
tion of expiating during the year of life that 
remained to her the sins of unfaithful Christians, and 
Gemma with characteristic generosity acquiesced in 
God's designs. Immediately after this she fell 
gravely ill and remained in a most critical condition 
for two months. Thereupon Father Germanus wrote 
to her and commanded her to ask God for her cure. 
Gemma obeyed, not without great pain; and Our 
Divine Lord signified to her that she would recover, 
but that she would be well only for a short time. 
Instantly Gemma was well again, and within one 
week she regained her full strength, and her com- 
plexion resumed its former freshness and beauty. 

But God's Will had to be fulfilled, so that on the 
9th of September, after a respite of twenty days, 



Gemma again fell dangerously ill. Before very long 
she was reduced to a most pitiable condition, and 
the members of the household wrote in great alarm 
to her Director: "Gemma is very ill; she is reduced 
to skin and bone; she suffers excruciating torments 
and internal pains that terrify. .. .Gemma feels 
great need of you. Come quickly to tell us how to 
act." 

^^^HE devoted Director answered this call for 
V / J assistance without delay, and his presence 
at the bed-side of his saintly spiritual child 
was a great consolation to her. He allowed her to 
renew her general confession from which, at this 
eleventh hour of her life, he again received the 
assurance that Gemma had never committed the 
least fully deliberate sin, and that she would take 
undefiled to Heaven her baptismal innocence. Re- 
maining with her several days, he prepared her for 
the reception of the Holy Viaticum and administered 
to her the comfort of his holy counsels. After 
several days had elapsed without any change in her 
condition, Gemma said to her spiritual Father: 
"Father, if you wish you may go.... This illness 
will certainly finish me, but not yet; at least that is 
what Jesus had told me." Then Father Germanus 
blessed Gemma and returned home, not dreaming 
that he looked upon her for the last time. 

But before the happy release of death would 
come, Gemma had many obediences to fulfill — many 
long months of agonizing suffering; she must first 
be crucified in body and soul as never before, and 
step by step God prepared the instruments of her 
immolation. Gemma must give up a happy home, 
those dear ones whom she had learned to love as 
kith and kin, in order to be alone, to suffer alone, 
to be crucified alone with Jesus. The advice of the 
Physicians and of Father Germanus that Gemma be 
segregated from the rest of the family, for a long 
time was not heeded. The Gianninis were most 
reluctant to part with one whom they regarded as 
the Guardian Angel of their home. But at length 
more prudent counsel prevailed, and Gemma was 
removed to a house across the street. The thought 
that she would be near those whom she loved so 
dearly was some consolation to Gemma in the sorrow 
she felt in the separation. 

For a while the afflicted girl had one consola- 
tion — that of painfully making her way every morn- 
ing to a nearby Church to hear Mass and to receive 
Holy Communion. But high fever quickly set in 



THE 1* SIGN 



and Gemma was unable to leave her bed any more. 
Thereafter the ravages of her malady were rapid and 
terrifying. The words of one of her attendants 
describe quite graphically the pitiable condition to 
which before long Gemma was reduced. "Poor 
victim," the lady wrote to Father Germanus, "she 
suffers without cessation, and feels as if her bones 
were being disjointed. It is evident that she is 
tortured in every part of her body and is being 
dissolved in hopeless agony. For the last twenty 
days she has lost her sight; her voice has become 
so weak that she can scarcely articulate, so that it 
is almost impossible to catch what she says; she is 
a living skeleton that seems to waste more and more, 
and to see her is to be filled with pain and dismay." 
"First the body and then the soul," Gemma 
had said in declaring her willingness to bear the full 
weight, if possible, of the Savior's pains. Her frail 
body was fixed to the cross; now she was to be 
crucified in her soul. All those Heavenly privileges 
and sublime graces — her familiar colloquies face 
to face with Jesus and Mary, the abiding visible 
presence of her Guardian Angel, all those sweet 
raptures and ecstatic contemplations — were with- 
drawn; a thick veil of darkness had intervened 
between Heaven and her pure soul; all Heaven 
seemed to have forgotten one who had lived her 
whole life only for God and Holy things. This 
crushing weight of darkness was the instrument of 
unspeakable pain. 



© 



^T who can tell the immense anguish caused 
this pure soul by the relentlessly violent per- 
secutions of the fiend! None but he could 
have been the author of those strange and repulsive 
phantasms filling Gemma's mind with all manner of 
anxiety, sadness, and fear. What else but Satanic 
insolence could have suggested that all this spiritual 
and physical misery was God's characteristic way of 
rewarding life-long fidelity in His service? Then 
with strange inconsistency the devil would make 
capital of her profound spiritual desolation and 
endeavor to persuade her that she would certainly 
be lost because of her hypocrisy and deceit, of which 
her confessors were the principal dupes. This 
temptation was so sadly effective that Gemma, re- 
solving to be saved at any cost, wrote a history of 
her whole life, an account in which she made herself 
out to be guilty of the greatest sins. Sending this 
confession to a priest who was well acquainted with 
her, Gemma asked him to come and absolve her 



from all her sins. The priest came and reassured 
her, and thereafter she enjoyed a respite of peace. 

But Satan, knowing that his time was short, 
would not be stayed; if such eminent virtue could 
not be shaken, the possessor of it at least must be 
made to feel the full force of his malicious hatred. 
In an endless variety of ways he sought, and was 
only too successful in the effort, to torment the poor 
invalid. The words of an attendant at the sick-bed 
vouch for the reality of these assaults. "That 
abominable beast," the lady wrote, "will be the end 
of our dear Gemma — deafening blows, forms of 
ferocious animals, etc. I came away from her in 
tears because the devil is wearing her out and there 

is no remedy for it We help her by sprinkling 

holy water in her room; then the disturbance ceases 
'only to begin again worse than before." 

During all these sufferings and conflicts Gemma 
was engaged in uninterrupted converse with Heaven 
— the many prayers she uttered aloud, showed how 
the faith and love and hopeful trust of the saintly 
sufferer rode triumphant over the billows of the 
storm. "Dost thou not know, Jesus," she would say, 
"that I am all thine? Yes; all thine. . . .Suffering, 
yes; but I wish to go to Paradise to Thee." Then 
turning in spirit to the Blessed Virgin she would 
say: "Mother, my own Mother, you must tell Jesus 
I will keep my word to Him, that I will be faithful 
to Him." 

In fact all those beautiful qualities and virtues 
for which she had been so much revered and so 
dearly loved, shone with new splendor on her bed 
of pain. Her patience, her unconcern amid need 
and discomfort, the sweetness and cheerfulness 
which always .distinguished her did not abandon 
her now that she was enduring pains so great that 
as some one said, "it would almost appear that one 
could not suffer more even in Purgatory." But what 
most edified people who saw her was her great 
humility. After a life of blameless innocence and 
wonderful virtues, her constant prayer was, "My 

Jesus Mercy!" "O Jesus, oh how many sins! 

But thy Mercy is infinite. Thou has pardoned me 
so many times, forgive me now once more!" 

So the poor victim of Divine Love and Justice 
dragged on a weary afflicted, and blameless life on 
a bed of pain for six long months. Prayer, conflict, 
suffering was all that life meant to Gemma as the 
Holy Week of 1903 drew near— that week during 
which all that remained to her of Christ's sacrifice 
was to be offered. 






30 



THE 1* SIGN 



ON Wednesday of Holy Week Gemma received 
the Viaticum, and on the following day, Holy 
Thursday, she communicated again. She 
made her thanksgiving with her customary fervor, 
when the spiritual darkness in which she was 
enveloped was momentarily lifted; Gemma went 
into an ecstacy during which she was heard to say: 
"Before thou art finished, oh how much has to be 
gone through!" Later on she said to one of the 
nursing Sisters: "What a day tomorrow (Good 
Friday) will be!" 

When on Good Friday morning a Lady who had 
been watching with Gemma through the long hours 
of the night signified her intention of leaving for a 
short rest, Gemma said: "Don't leave me until I 
am nailed to the cross. I have to be crucified with 
Jesus. He has said to me that His children have to 
be crucified." Soon after the saintly invalid again 
went into ecstacy, when she stretched out her arms 
in the form of a cross and remained that way for 
several hours. And what a strange ecstacy it was! 
Her sweet face, still beautiful after the ravages of 
disease, was not lit up as hitherto with a heavenly 
light indicative of the unspeakable joy pouring into 
the ( soul. Rather her face was a picture of pain, 
anguish, desolation; — all the sorrows of Jesus were 
engulfing Gemma's soul. No wonder that the eyes 
of all were riveted upon that blessed countenance! 
What better picture of Christ Crucified could have 
been desired! Gemma remained in all the agony 
of death until Holy Saturday morning, when 
Extreme Unction was administered. 

Thus crucified in body by the ravages of disease, 
crucified in soul by immeasurable anguish, deprived 
of all spiritual comfort by the absence of her 
spiritual advisors, who best knew how to console 
her, well could the holy victim raise her feeble 
voice and exclaim: "Now it is indeed true that 
nothing more remains to me ... . Jesus. I recom- 
mend my poor soul to Thee, Jesus!" These were 
Gemma's last words. 

A half hour passed, during which Gemma is 
seated on her bed, with her head resting on the 
shoulder of her adopted mother. The kind friends 
who had assisted her all along are gathered around 
and deep is the conviction of all that they are 
gathered at the death-bed of a saint. Gemma is 
absorbed in silent thought, when suddendly as all 
eyes are fixed on her angelic face, she sweetly 
smiled, inclined her head to one side and ceased 
to live. There was no specific agony, no muscular 



strain; that death was but a sweet sleep in the arms 
of the Heavenly Spouse. Gemma died at one 
o'clock in the afternoon of Holy Saturday, the 11th 
of April, 1903. "What a beautiful thing," Gemma 
used to say, "to die on a great solemnity." But 
what could have been more beautiful even in her 
eyes, than to die on Holy Saturday, after having 
kept Good Friday as she did in company with Jesus 
suffering. 

Gemma's longing to become a Passionist nun 
was well-known, and therefore, after her death, the 
body was clothed in black with the Passionist badge 
upon her breast. A crown of flowers was placed 
upon her head; her hands were joined just as she 
used to hold them while in ecstacy. The charming 
smile with which she breathed her last remained, 
and the sainted corpse bespoke an indescribable 
peace and seemed clothed in a heavenly beauty. 

QEOPLE came in great numbers to view the 
body, and took occasion to touch it with 
rosaries or other articles of devotion,