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THE CHILD JESUS AND ST ELIZABETH.
WITH the spread of Christ's teaching carried by the far-travelled Apostles, the minds
of men and women were touched with a great faith, their thoughts were absorbed
with visions of heaven and holy life on earth. Many gave up earthly desires and
ways and devoted themselves to meditation on sacred things and to zealous
missions and pilgrimages. In thought and feeling they lived in a region of their
own, difficult now to conceive in its perfect unworldliness.
Their clear belief in a heaven to which they would surely pass stripped fear
from their hearts, gave them a more than human endurance in hardship and
persecution, and an unquenchable zeal in carrying their saving faith to distant
lands and barbarous peoples.
They suffered torture, accidents of field and flood, with cheerful resolution.
They had hard adventures, narrow escapes; they overcame by their undaunted
spirit the opposition of men. They saw about themselves guardian angels, and at
times seemed to be saved by the outstretched hand of Christ Himself. As a reward
for successful sacrifice they saw His gracious Mother smile upon them in hours
A great body of history and legend grew up around them. Stories and incidents
grouped about the devout men who gave their lives and service to the cause of
Christ. Who can say that many of the miraculous happenings related of these
devout folk did not happen, as told and often recorded in their own time?
They surely testify to the childlike state of mind of the faithful believers of
their day, and to the continuing spirit of faith of the days of the Apostles.
How much we have lost of that simple faith! But whatever our own state, we may
rejoice in the lovely legends and see in these stories of the Saints a
significance and a lesson, useful and stimulating in our own less believing
lives and days. We can appreciate and approve of the noble trust in God's power,
shown by the narrators of these stories. They stretch in unbroken line from the
time of Christ Himself down almost to our own day. Their records have been
preserved in the hearts and writings of generation after generation; a fact that
is a wonderful testimony to the everlasting goodness of the simple human soul.
It is and has been ever ready to see and believe the loveliest and best in the
words and deeds of the great examples of the spiritual life.
To understand their histories we must become as little children and look upon
that wonderful phase of the world with unquestioning eyes; even with the prayer
or wish that we may know its spirit and share something of its devotion and
J. S. P.
THE author wishes to acknowledge her debt and to express grateful thinks for the aid she has
derived from the many earlier volumes about Saints from which she has so largely drawn and
quoted. Among these are:
|THE GOLDEN LEGEND || William Caxton |
|SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART || Mrs Jameson |
|LEGENDS OF THE MONASTIC ORDERS || Mrs Jameson |
|LES VIES DES SAINTS || M. Ad. Baillet |
|LIVES OF SAINTS || Peter Rivadeneira |
|LIVES OF SAINTS || Rev. S. Baring-Gould |
|LIVES OF ENGLISH SAINTS || John Henry Newman |
|LIVES OF SAINTS || Alban Butler |
|A BOOK OF SAINTS || Lawrence H. Davidson |
|A CHILD'S BOOK OF SAINTS || William Canton |
|SAINTS' LEGENDS || Gordon Hall Gerould |
|WOMEN OF CLOISTER AND CELL || Ethel Bolt Wheeler |
|SAINTS AND PLACES || John Aylscough |
|ST ANTHONY IN ART || M. F. Nixon Roulet |
|ST ANTHONY OF PADUA || Albert Lepitre |
|ST LOUIS || Marius Sepet |
|ST ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY || Comte d'Alembert |
|LIFE OF ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA || |
|ST PATRICK || (Pub. by Sands & Co.) |
|A BOOK OF SAINTS AND WONDERS || Lady Gregory |
|ST MARGARET OF SCOTLAND || (Pub. by Sands & Co.) |
|A GARNER OF SAINTS || Allen Hinds |
|PATRON SAINTS OF CATHOLIC YOUTH || M. E. Mavix |
|SAINTS OF ITALY || E. Noyes |
|CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS AND STORIES || C. E. Clement |