Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A missionary priest could convert the majority of the members of a primitive tribal community to Christianity. Francis, one of the fresh converts agreed to cook food for the priest. It was the time of Lent. The priest exhorted every believer to abstain from meat during the Lent. He instructed his cook to stop cooking meat for them till the end of the Lent. But on the next day, he served cooked pork for the priest. The priest was angry. He reminded the cook about his instruction to abstain from meat of any type. The cook was very cool. He said, “Father, you can eat it. It is not meat. It is fish.”

The father sought an explanation.

The cook said, “I poured some water over the pork and baptized it. I gave it a new name, ‘Fish’. Now it is fish. We can eat it.”

The priest tried to illuminate the cook. But he reminded the priest, “But that was how you made me a Christian and named me Francis!”

Another missionary converted an African cannibal to the Catholic Church. One day the convert told the missionary that he was sorry that he ate meat on a Friday. The priest thought for a while. Then he asked, “What type of meat?” The convert replied, “Human meat. I got it after several months. I could not control myself!”

The conversions cited in these stories are not correct or complete. True transformation changes one’s attitude, convictions and beliefs. The transformation of Zacchaeus in presence of a great guest, Jesus, exemplifies true transformation. In response to his voluntary and sincere declaration of penance, Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today {Luke 19: 9}.

Sometimes persons may express their willingness to convert to Christianity expecting some material benefits. Such conversions are often without conviction and should be discouraged.


This is story No.119 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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