The Sacrament of Holy Orders

817. S. NILAMMON'S PRAYER.-----S. Nilammon had such a high idea of the priesthood that he could never bring himself to be ordained. But Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, declared his intention of ordaining him, and even making him Bishop. Nilammon, fearing to disobey his superior, asked for one day more for prayer and consideration; when at length the time for ordination had come, Nilammon again begged a few more minutes, that he might offer a final prayer to God. With Theophilus he knelt down, and the former rising up, made sign to NiIammon to follow him, but got no reply. God had heard the prayer of His humble servant, who begged that he might die rather than have the dignity and responsibility of the priesthood thrust upon him.-----Lasance

   818. CELERINUS AND AURELIUS.-----Celerinus, a young man of rank, who suffered for the Faith, was called by St. Cyprian to the office of Lector. Thinking himself unworthy of the dignity, it was only when Our Lord made known His will by a vision that he was prevailed on to consent. Aurelius, his companion, showed a like reluctance, thus giving proof of the high esteem they had for Holy Orders.-----S. Cyprian
820. PRINCE TALLEYRAND.-----Prince Talleyrand, who so afflicted the Church by his apostasy, but whose good death, in 1838, edified the Faithful, is a striking example of the evils of a forced vocation to the priesthood. Before he died, he said: "The respect I owe to my parents does not forbid me to say that all through my youth I was led to a state of life for which I was not born, and to which I was not called of God."-----Catechisme en Exemples

   821. THE PRIEST-HATER.-----A man who had murdered many priests during the Revolution, had sworn that no priest should ever set foot in his house and go forth alive. He fell sick, and a priest, facing the danger he was fully aware of, ventured to appear before him. Seeing him, the sick man falls into a fury, and summoning up all his strength, exclaims: "What! a priest in my house! Bring me my pistols!" His pistols are refused to him; then drawing out his arm, he threatens the priest, and says: "This arm has slaughtered a dozen of your priests." "You are mistaken, my dear man," answers the priest mildly: "there is one less to be counted, the twelfth is not dead; I am he; see the marks of the wounds you gave me; God has preserved me to save you." At these words he embraces the sick man and helps him to die well.-----Gaume