Saturday, November 12, 2011

Suicidal Jesuit

A German priest belonging to the Society abandoned the Order, and passed into the service of the Archbishop of Treves. There it pleased God to afflict him with a contagious malady, so that he was shunned by every one, and would have been totally deserted, but for a poor old woman, who took compassion on him. Sometimes the violence of his sufferings caused him to fall senseless; and when, restored to himself, he reflected on his miserable condition, both of soul and body, despair took possession of his mind. His misery increased to such an extent, that one day he was about to put an end to his existence by cutting his throat, when the woman coming in, seized his hand, and got possession of the knife. But she could not prevent him from dashing himself from a window upon a heap of stones, where he was found bleeding and mangled, though still breathing 
Then God was pleased to touch the heart of this unfortunate man. and to enlighten him both as to his guilty life, and the criminal resolution which had led him to rush upon self-destruction. His courage revived; he invoked the holy Father whom he had abandoned, and made a vow to St. Ignatius, that if he recovered from the desperate situation in which he then was, he would go on foot to Rome, and throw himself at the feet of Father Francis Borgia, then Vicar General of the Order, and declaring his repentance, entreat that holy man to grant him the favor of re-admission into the Society; or if judged unworthy of this, permission to remain all his life as a servant, attached to the house. 
Whilst he made this promise, his face bathed with tears of repentance, he suddenly felt that he was cured, not only of the dreadful consequences of his fall, but also of the contagious malady which threatened him with approaching dissolution. He immediately set off for Rome, in company with Father Francis Cortero, to place himself under the authority of the General, and fulfil his vow.
Link (here) to the book entitled, History of the Life and Institute of St. Ignatius
Photo (here)

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