MELCHIOR SMILES AT HIS TORMENTORS
We have another incident of a similar kind narrated of the Chinese Martyr, the Venerable Dominican Bishop, D. Melchior.
In one of the many persecutions which raged in China and which gave so many Saints to the Church, this holy bishop was seized and, after having undergone the most brutal torments, was condemned to a cruel death.
He was dragged to the marketplace in the midst of a howling mob, who came to gloat over this sufferings.
They stripped him of his garments, and five executioners, armed with rough-edged swords, proceeded to chop off his fingers one by one, joint by joint, then his arms, then his legs, causing him excruciating agony. Finally, they hacked the flesh from his poor body and broke his bones.
During his prolonged martyrdom, no sign of pain was visible on the Bishop's countenance. He was smiling and saying aloud, slowly, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," which, to the amazement of his executioners, gave him this wonderful strength.
Neither cry nor groan escaped from his lips until finally, after hours of torture, he quietly breathed his last, with the same lovely smile lingering on his face.
What wonderful consolation would we too not feel, when confined to bed with sickness or racked by pain, if we repeated devoutly the Name of Jesus.
Many people find it hard to sleep.
They will find help and consolation by invoking in these sleepless moments the Holy Name, and very probably they will fall into a tranquil slumber.
ST. ALEXANDER AND THE PAGAN PHILOSOPHERS
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine, the Christian Religion was constantly and rapidly making progress.
In Constantinople itself the pagan philosophers felt much aggrieved at seeing many of their adepts deserting the old religion and joining the new. They pleaded with the Emperor himself, demanding that in justice they should get a hearing and be allowed to hold a public conference with the bishop of the Christians. St. Alexander, who at the time ruled the See of Constantinople, was a holy man, but not a keen logician.
He did not for that reason fear to meet the representative of the pagan philosophers, who was an astute dialectician and an eloquent orator. On the appointed day, before a vast assembly of learned men, the philosopher began a carefully prepared attack on the Christian teaching. The holy bishop listened for some time and then pronounced the Name of Jesus, which at once confounded the philosopher, who not only completely lost the thread of his discourse, but was utterly unable, even with the aid of his colleagues, to return to the attack.
St. Christiana, a young Christian girl, was a slave in Kurdistan, a region almost entirely pagan. It was the custom in that country when a child was gravely ill that the mother should take it in her arms to the houses of her friends and ask them if they knew of any remedy that might benefit or cure the little one. On one of these occasions, a mother brought her sick child to the house where Christiana lived.
On being asked if she knew of a remedy for that sickness, she looked at the child and said: "Jesus, Jesus."
In an instant the dying child smiled and leapt with joy. It was completely cured.
This extraordinary fact soon became known and reached the ears of the Queen, who herself was an invalid. She gave orders that Christiana should be brought to her presence.
On arriving at the palace, Christiana was asked by the royal patient if she could with the same remedy cure her own disorder, which had baffled the skill of the physicians. Once more Christiana pronounced with great confidence: "Jesus, Jesus," and again this divine Name was glorified. The Queen instantly recovered her health.
A third wonder was yet to be worked. Some days after the cure of the Queen, the King found himself suddenly face to face with certain death. Escape seemed impossible. Mindful of the divine power of the Holy Name, which he had witnessed in the cure of his wife, his majesty called out, "Jesus, Jesus," whereupon he was snatched from the dreadful peril. Calling in his own turn for the little slave, he learned from her the truths of Christianity, which he and a great multitude of his people embraced.
Christiana became a Saint, and her feast is kept on December 15th.
St. Gregory of Tours relates that when he was a boy his father fell gravely ill and lay dying. Gregory prayed fervently for his recovery. When Gregory was asleep at night, his Angel Guardian appeared to him and told him to write the Name of Jesus on a card and place this under the sick man's pillow.
In the morning Gregory acquainted his mother with the Angel's message, which she advised him to obey. He did so, and placed the card under his father's head, when, to the delight of the whole family, the patient grew rapidly better.
We could fill pages and pages with miracles and wonders worked by the Holy Name at all times and in all places, not only by the Saints, but by all who invoke this Divine Name with reverence and faith.
Marchese says: "I refrain from relating here the miracles worked and graces granted by Our Lord to those who have been devoted to His Holy Name, because St. John Chrysostom reminds me that Jesus is always named when miracles are worked by holy men; hence, to attempt to enumerate them would be to try to give a list of the countless miracles which God has performed through all the ages, either to increase the glory of His Saints or to plant and strengthen the Faith in the hearts of men."
CARDS OF THE HOLY NAME
Cards with the Holy Name inscribed on them have been used and recommended by the great lovers of the Holy Name, such as Msgr. Andre Dias (see Chapter 4), St. Leonard of Port Maurice and St. Gregory of Tours, mentioned above.
Our readers would do well to use these cards, carrying them about on their persons during the day, putting them under their pillows at night and placing them on the doors of the rooms.