by Eugenia Guzman
The marvelous miracle we are about to recount took place in communist-controlled Hungary about 40 years ago, around Christmastime of 1956. Report of the prodigy, entirely true and widely-known there, reached the West through a Father Norbert who served as a parish priest in Budapest before fleeing to the West from the Marxist persecution against Catholics in his country.
Miss Gertrude, a militant atheist, was a teacher in the parish school. Everything she taught revolved around impiety and the denial of God. Her goal was very simple: to root out the faith from the souls of the children and attempt to form numerous little “godless ones.”
During her classes, she made every effort to dishonor and ridicule the Catholic Church. The children, although fearful of her, did not allow themselves to become convinced by her mockeries.
In addition to her malicious methods and intentions, Miss Gertrude had a curious ability to guess which of the children received Communion. Such children became special targets of her ill-treatment.
It happened one day that Angela, a little girl just ten years of age, looked for Father Norbert to ask him for permission to receive Communion every day. Angela, very intelligent and talented, was the best student in her class and in the school.
The priest warned her that she would expose herself to great risks, but she insisted: “Reverend Father, I assure you the schoolmistress will not be able to catch me in any fault, and I will work better. Please don’t refuse me what I ask of you. I feel stronger on the days I receive Communion. You told me, Reverend Father, that I ought to set a good example. To do that, I need to feel strong.”
And so the priest consented.
From that day on, the classroom became like a torture chamber for Angela. In spite of the fact that she always knew her lessons, Miss Gertrude harassed her continuously. The child resisted, but it was easy to see that she was feeling the strain.
The classes turned into duels between the atheistic teacher and the little follower of Christ. Since the schoolmistress always had the last word, she appeared to be winning. Nevertheless, her irritation was so great that just Angela’s silence caused her to be beside herself with anger.
Terrified by all of this, the other little girls went to Father Norbert for help. But he could do nothing. Recalling the visit at a later date, he remarked: “The only thing we could do was pray, praying with absolute confidence in the Divine Mercy. Thanks be to God, Angela continued firm in her faith.”
A Cruel Tactic
On December 17, shortly before Christmas, the schoolmistress devised a cruel trick designed to strike a strong blow, a deadly one, at what she called the “ancient superstitions infesting the school.” She prepared the scene with evil enthusiasm. Naturally, poor Angela was to be the principal target.
Miss Gertrude intended to prove to Angela and the rest of the class that living persons come when they are called, but that dead people (or the imaginary people who exist only in stories) do not come when they are called.
So, in a sweet voice, the teacher began asking the children many questions. Then she told Angela to step out of the classroom and wait in the hall by the door. Then she had all of the girls inside the classroom call out together, “Angela, come in!”
Angela entered, very intrigued, but suspecting a trap.
The schoolmistress declared: “Well, then, we all agree. When we call those who are living, those who exist, they come. When we call those who do not exist, they cannot come. Angela, who is here, alive, in flesh and blood, heard us when we called her and came in to join us.
“But let’s suppose we were to call the Infant Jesus. It appears that among you there are some who believe in Him....”
There was a moment of silence—perhaps a fearful silence—but then some timid voices answered, “Yes, we believe in Him.”
“And you, Angela, do you believe that the Infant Jesus hears you when you call Him?”
Angela now knew what trick it was the teacher was plotting. She knew there was going to be one, but she did not imagine that it would be so terrible. But she answered with firm and ardent faith: “Yes! I believe that He hears me!”
“Very well,” replied the teacher, “let’s do an experiment. You children saw that Angela came immediately when we called her. If the Infant Jesus exists, He will hear you when you call Him. All of you cry out at the same time and strongly, ‘Come, Infant Jesus!’ Come on now, one, two, three! Call!”
Terrified, the little girls kept silent.
The arguments of the schoolmistress had really impressed them. Miss Gertrude laughed loud and long and diabolically.
Suddenly, Angela rushed to the front of the classroom, her eyes gleaming with confidence and hope. She looked at her classmates and shouted: “Listen, we are going to call Him! Let’s all call out together, ‘Come, Infant Jesus!’”
All the children sprang to their feet in an instant, all shouting in vibrant unison, “Come, Infant Jesus!”
Miss Gertrude was startled, for she had not expected this sudden reaction.
A supernatural aura gathered around the little girl who had proved herself the “chief” and firmly expected a miracle. The impulse which moved her was felt by the whole class.
When the anticipation was at its height, the classroom door opened without a sound. A very intense brightness appeared there, entering and steadily increasing like the light of an enormous but gentle fire. In the midst of this splendor, there was a globe full of clearer light.
The globe opened, disclosing a handsome Infant dressed in yet more light. The Infant did not speak. He simply smiled, and all of the little girls smiled as well, tranquil and joyful. Then the globe closed very gently and slowly disappeared. The door swung shut without anyone touching it.
The children were still gazing toward the door when they were startled by a sharp scream. Turning around, they saw the terrified schoolmistress, with her eyes bulging and her arms outstretched, and gesturing like a madwoman.
“He came! He appeared!” she screamed as she fled through the door, slamming it behind her.
Father Norbert reports that he questioned the little girls one by one. He attests, under oath, that he did not find the least contradiction in their accounts.
As for Miss Gertrude, she was placed in an asylum. The tremendous shock had affected her godless mind, and she never stopped repeating, “He came! He came!”