Friday, June 18, 2004

The power of intercession: a story

A siory about my name-saint, via John da Fiesole.

There's a story of a worldly Sienese friar who out of curiosity visited one Catherine Benincasa, that week's talk of the town. She wasn't the fraud or hysteric he had expected, and after a decent interval he excused himself, tossing out his habitual, "And pray for me," as he left.

She answered that she would.

He went back to his richly appointed cell and tried to do some work, but as the day wore on he got more and more disgusted by all the luxurious things he -- he, a son of St. Francis! -- had surrounded himself with.

At last, he couldn't bear it any longer. He went into the friary's church, made a vow to God to return to the asceticism of his Rule, then hurried back to the Benincasa household. When he found Catherine, he said, "You did pray for me, didn't you?"

She smiled at him and repled, "Yes."

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