Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Dionysius (Denis, Dennis or Diniz) was a king of Portugal.St. Elizabeth (1271-1336) was his saintly wife who led a virtuous life. She had a great concern for the poor and needy. She did not admire the glory, grandeur and riches of the royal family. She led several acts of charity, often secretly, with the help of a pious young servant of the palace.

An assistant of the king was envious of the young servant of the queen. He told the king that the young man had illicit relations with the queen. The king believed this false accusation and made arrangements to assassinate the young man. King Dionysius had a secret agent - the owner of a limekiln where large amounts of lime-stone were heated to a high temperature in a large furnace to manufacture quick lime. The king informed the kiln-owner that he would send a servant with the secret message, “Have you obeyed the king’s order?” He instructed the kiln owner to have the servant bound and burned alive mercilessly in the raging fire of the blazing furnace.

The king summoned the pious servant and sent him to the kiln-owner with the secret message.

On the way to the limekiln, there was a church where the Holy Eucharist was being celebrated. Following his usual practice, he entered the church with reverence and participated in the celebration of the Sacred Sacrament with great devotion. As he was about to come out, bells rang indicating that another Holy Mass was to be celebrated in that church soon. He participated in the next Holy Mass also and was much delayed in dispatching the king’s message to the kiln-owner.

Meanwhile, the king and the wicked servant were anxious to know the fate of the pious young man. The king sent the wicked servant to enquire about the assassination of the pious servant. While the pious servant was still on his way, the wicked servant reached the kiln and asked the owner, “Have you obeyed the king’s order?” Hearing the king’s code-words, the kiln-owner assumed that the wicked servant was the person destined for death. The wicked servant was bound and thrown into the fierce fire of the furnace and burned to death.

A little while later, the pious and saintly servant reached the kiln and delivered the king’s message. The kiln owner happily replied that he has obeyed the king’s order and sent him back to the king to convey this news to the king. Seeing the innocent servant who returned safely to inform about the end of the envious man, the king was shocked. He was transformed. He resolved to respect the virtues of his queen. This incident proved how the Divine Sacrament saved a saintly believer from death.

The sacred Sacrament imparts divine grace to every one who participates in its celebration with a pure heart. It saves us from sin and leads us to salvation.


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

For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit the web-site: http://moralstorieschristian.blogspot.com

This is Story No. 192 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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