* * * * *
Write the story of the poem in the form of a composition. Tell of the great affection of parents for their children. Even in the poorest and most numerous families, what parent could think of parting with a child for any sum of money?
Tell about the letter John and his wife received from a rich man without children who wished to adopt one of their seven. Tell about the offer the rich man made. What a great temptation this was!
The parents considered the offer, looked into each other’s faces and asked, “Which shall it be?” Not the baby. Why? Not the two youngest boys. Why? Not the poor helpless little cripple. Why? Not the sweet child, Mary. Why? Not Dick, the wayward son. Why? Not, for worlds, the oldest boy. Why?
Tell the answer the parents sent the rich man.
* * * * *
in her’it ance
Cap pa do’ ci a
ob’ sti na cy
The oph’ i lus
ex e cu’ tion ers
The names of St. Catherine and St. Agnes, St. Lucy and St. Cecilia, are familiar to us all; and to many of us, no doubt, their histories are well known also. Young as they were, they despised alike the pleasures and the flatteries of the world. They chose God alone as their portion and inheritance; and He has highly exalted them, and placed their names amongst those glorious martyrs whose memory is daily honored in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
St. Dorothy was another of these virgin saints. She was born in the city of Caesarea, and was descended of a rich and noble family. While the last of the ten terrible persecutions, which for three hundred years steeped the Church in the blood of martyrs, was raging, Dorothy embraced the faith of Christ, and, in consequence, was seized and carried before the Roman Prefect of the city.
She was put to the most cruel tortures, and, at length, condemned to death. When the executioners were preparing to behead her, the Prefect said, “Now, at least, confess your folly, and pray to the immortal gods for pardon.”
“I pray,” replied the martyr, “that the God of heaven and earth may pardon and have mercy on you; and I will also pray when I reach the land whither I am going.”
“Of what land do you speak?” asked the judge, who, like most of the pagans, had very little notion of another world.
“I speak of that land where Christ, the Son of God, dwells with his saints,” replied St. Dorothy. “There is neither night nor sorrow; there is the river of life, and the brightness of eternal glory; and there is a paradise of all delight, and flowers that shall never fade.”
“I pray you, then,” said a young man, named Theophilus, who was listening to her words with pity mingled with wonder, “if these things be so, to send me some of those flowers, when you shall have reached the land you speak of.”