St. John Francis Regis one day met a rich lady, who was well known throughout the country for her great zeal in spreading her religion. She was a Calvinist.
“My lady,” he said to her, “God has been for a long time calling on you to renounce the errors of the religion in which you have been brought up, and to come into His one true Church. How long are you going to be deaf to His call? Or are you going to lose your soul, which Jesus Christ bought at the price of His precious blood?”
The lady looked at the Saint in surprise; she was astonished at his boldness in thus speaking to her, and she was about to give him an angry answer. But when she saw the heavenly look that was upon his countenance, her anger at once disappeared, and she answered:
“God forbid that I should lose my soul! There is nothing I desire so much as to save it.”
“Then,” replied the Saint, “you must become a Catholic.”
18th Century painting of St. John Francis Regis in the Church of St. Ignatius, Bogotá, Colombia by Gustavo Adolfo Vives Mejía
These words caused the lady to start; but the Saint continued: “The Catholic religion was the religion of your forefathers, and the only one Jesus Christ founded; the one which He promised would endure till the end of time. It is in the Catholic religion alone that you can save your soul.”
“You ask me to change my religion! Well,” she replied slowly, “I do not know how it is, but there is something within me which seems to tell me that I ought to do so. Many others have already spoken to me as you have done, but I have always refused to listen to them. But when you spoke to me, I heard in my soul, as it were, a voice saying to me: ‘You must become a Catholic.’ Yes, Father, I must be a Catholic. Do you yourself instruct me, and show me the holy will of God. I cannot explain to you what I feel. I never felt anything like it before; it seems as if it were the voice of God Himself I heard, and I cannot refuse to obey.”
Confession by Giuseppe Molteni
“My child, it is indeed the voice of God you have heard. He has given you a great grace in thus calling you into His one true Church. While you live never cease to thank Him and bless Him for it.”
After receiving instructions, she was admitted into the Catholic Church by the Bishop of Viviers in France, and for the rest of her life was most zealous in propagating the true Faith which God had so wonderfully given her.
Rev. D. Chisholm, The Catechism in Examples (London: R & T Washbourne, Ltd., 1919), 268-70.
Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 365