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St. Anthony (Five Tales)
St. Anthony was preaching in the pulpit as his father was taken to the scaffold. 'Allow me to stop for a minute to take breath,' he said, and he made a minute's pause in the midst of his discourse, and then went on again.
But in that minute's pause, though no one in church had lost sight of him, he had gone on to the scaffold.
'What are you doing to that man? 'he asked.
'He has committed a murder, and is going to be executed.'
'He has murdered no one. Bring hither the dead man.'
No one knew who it was that spoke, but they felt impelled to obey him nevertheless.
When the dead man's body was brought, St. Anthony said to him:—
'Is this the man who killed you? say!'
The dead man opened his eyes and looked at the accused.
'Oh, no; that's not the man at all!' he said.
'And you, where are you?' continued St. Anthony.
'I should be in Paradise, but that there is a ground of excommunication on me, therefore am I in Purgatory,' answered the dead man. Then St. Anthony put his ear down, and bid him tell him the matter of the excommunication; and, when he had confessed it, he released him from the bond, and he went straight to Paradise. The father of St. Anthony, too, was pronounced innocent, and set free.
And all the while no one had missed St. Anthony from the pulpit!
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