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This Page Last Updated:

November 26, 2003


Vol. 42, Issue No. 121

Treasures of Our Holy Catholic Faith



        About fifty years after the Protestant revolution in Greenland, in the sixteenth century, a German commercial traveler, a Catholic, celebrated Christmas there. He relates, that all the Catholic Priests had either been put to death, or banished from the country. Only a few Catholics, scattered about the land, had remained loyal to their holy Faith. Every year they met for the celebration of Christmas on the eve of the Feast. The country is very cold, and the wintry night continues for months. Days ahead, the faithful betook themselves to the road, warmly clad and provided with lanterns; they plowed their weary way through the deep snow towards a little hut, belonging to a Catholic family. The hut was situated at the foot of a hill, away from frequent human habitations.

        When all were assembled on Christmas eve, at midnight, and after the roll call had been read to note that none were missing, the venerable head of the house, a man in the seventies, his hair snow white, his hands trembling, and his figure stooped with age, stood at a small table in a corner of the room. After a prayer and a short address of welcome, he drew out from the table a receptacle, and from it a corporal. It was yellowed, seared, and tattered with age.

        The man held it to the view of the congregation with great and tender reverence, as he said feelingly: "My dear brethren, on this sacred linen the last Holy Mass was offered in this country fifty years ago. I served that Mass. This holy cloth is all that remains to us of the Holy Sacrifice. On it rested the Body and Blood of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Let us kneel down and thank God for the possession of this sacred and precious relic; and let us beg Him to send us our Priests again soon, so we can have among us once more the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord."

        Then all the assembled Catholics, tears streaming from their eyes, fell prostrate before that holy linen which had held the Sacrament of Our Lord's Love. What an exhibition of faith, loyalty, and spirit of sacrifice in the interest of the Holy Eucharist! Should we be any less spirited and devoted, simply because we have become accustomed to having our dear Lord Himself in our midst?

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