The Blind Apostle

Father Girardey writes: “When in our temporal wants or trials we have recourse to God, let us pray earnestly and fervently, indeed, but, at the same time, with a holy resignation, saying to Him as our divine Saviour did in His agony, ‘not as I will, but as Thou wiliest’ (Matt 26:39).”

To drive home the point, Father Girardey relates a wonderful story taken from the Life of Monsignor Louis-Gaston de Segur. It is about a blind boy who, on account of his saintly life and zeal was nicknamed “the blind apostle.”

“In the year 1865, on the occasion of the celebration at Annecy in Savoy of the two hundredth anniversary of the canonization of the meek and gentle St. Francis de Sales, thousands of pilgrims from every direction came to venerate his relics, and many of them also implored of God favors, spiritual and temporal, through the saint’s intercession. Monsignor de Segur undertook daily to preach to the pilgrims. Among other things he said that in all our prayers for divine assistance, we should always pray especially that the will of God be done in our regard. One day there was in the audience a poor woman who had brought her little son blind from his birth. After the sermon she brought her little boy near the altar on which the saint’s relics were exposed, and said to him: ‘My child, ask of God through the intercession of St. Francis to give you your sight.’ ‘But, dear Ma,’ said the little boy, ‘did not Monsignor de Segur just now tell us that we should have no other will than the will of God? I will not ask God for eyes, but for the will of God.'”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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