SACRILEGE AND ITS RETRIBUTION
WE have many instances in the history of the Church of the signal way in which God has punished acts of sacrilege and blasphemy, not only when directed immediately against Himself, but also those that have been perpetrated against His Saints and Angels, and above all against His Blessed Mother.
Napoleon Attacks Spain
The following example, which happened in the time of the first Napoleon, is one in which the retributive justice of God was in a special way manifested. It was at the commencement of that disastrous expedition against Spain, which Napoleon undertook for the purpose of setting a member of his own family on the throne.
Three Soldiers Committed Sacrilege
Three French conscripts on their way to join the Emperor's army happened one day to be passing a small country Church in the South of France. Over the door of this Church was an image of the Blessed Mother of God. Such was the depth of irreligion in the hearts of these Napoleon's soldiers, that one of these three proposed they should each have a shot at the holy image. Another of them who was less wicked than the other two, shrinking from such a sacrilegious proposal, tried to dissuade them from their purpose. They, however, only laughed at him for his scruples.
They Shot Our Mother
The first soldier raising his musket, fired, and the ball struck the forehead of the image. The second following his example also fired ; and the ball struck the breast. The third not wishing to fire, but being overcome by human respect and the continued bantering of his comrades, fired with an unsteady hand and turning aside his head as he did so; and his ball struck the image below the knee.
As they continued their journey they expressed their misgivings about their impious exploit. These three men went through the whole of that campaign without a wound: and they were making the best of their way back to France with other stragglers, and were within three days march of their own country, the Guerilla bands hanging in their rear picking off all they could.
Justice Is Mine Says The Lord
That evening, as they were seated around their bivouac fire, a ball whizzed through the air — no one saw from whence it came, and struck the soldier, who had fired first at our Lady's Image in the forehead and killed him on the spot. This caused the other two soldiers to exchange silent but significant looks. That evening, a ball from an invisible hand struck the soldier who had fired second at the Image on his breast and pierced his heart. On the third day, just before arriving at the frontier, a stray ball struck the third soldier who had fired unwillingly at the Image on his leg.
It Was Only A Flesh Wound?
The surgeon on dressing it, pronounced it only a slight flesh wound; but three days after on removing the bandage expecting to find it well-nigh healed, to his surprise found it a terrible wound full of worms. The wounded man reached his own home, and lived for some years after, but the wound in his leg could never be healed ; it was always a frightful running sore which bred worms. Skillful surgeons tried in vain to heal it, and the sufferer visited the different famous mineral springs in France to try to obtain a cure, but equally in vain.
The good Mother of Mercy, however, had pity on him and he became converted, and henceforth lived a Christian life; but be went down to his grave with this mark of God's just, though to him, merciful vengeance for the blasphemous act perpetrated against the Image of His ever Blessed Mother.
Blogger Note: Remember Professor Meyers, "Our Lord Has Been Desecrated!"? Let's pray for God's Mercy.