Friday, January 28, 2011

This saint put a wild bear to work like an ox

January 28----St. James of Tarentaise

St. James was a knight of 5th century Syria.  One day, he witnessed the martyrdom of some Catholics and converted.  Soon he traveled West and was ordained a priest after sufficient studies. 

His piety and zeal were such that he was consecrated bishop and sent to Tarentaise where the pagan populace received him with fervor.  Seeing this, St. James immediately set about the build a church to continue to spread the faith. Men gathered together to cut wood from the great forests and to transport it by carts pulled by oxen.

However, one day , a bear came out of the forest , killed an ox and started to devour it.  St. James addressed the beast: 

"I, James, servant of Christ, order you, o repulsive and untamed beast, to bow down your savage head in the name of the Lord. I order you to continue the work you have just interrupted and to take the place of the ox you have killed." 

Obediently, the bear put down his head and carried on the work of the ox.  When finished, St. James ordered him back to the forest, never to bother the town again.

This true story sounds very much like a fairy tale because we, in the 21st century are not accustomed to the ways of Divine Providence. St. James is given an extraordinary grace to talk to a bear and to make it obedient to his commands.

The faithful witness this miracle and understand God's omnipotence.  They understand that a servant of God who is totally dedicated to His Will, can make a wild beast totally docile through the action of grace. Did this not strengthen everyone's faith? 

This story, like the parables of the Gospel, serves to show us the supernatural presence of the time.  In the 19th and 20th centuries, God chose to send His Mother to visit special souls and to prove her presence by incredible miracles. 

Let us ask St. James to help to see the glories of the Catholic Faith  and to dedicate ourselves to its Cause.

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