With Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1919
by a Sister of Notre Dame, author of First
One night in a small London house a little baby girl was born-----
a dear wee baby, with tiny ears like little pink shells, rosy cheeks
and a pretty little mouth. But alas! Something was missing. This little
baby had been born with only one eye. On one side of the face a pretty
blue eye with long black lashes, and on the other side the eyelashes
and the place for the eye, but no eye.
When the mother saw her baby girl, whom she called Joan, she wept, but
the father tried to comfort her and said they would take her to a
doctor and see what could be done. So baby was taken first to one
doctor and then to another, and each tried his skill upon the child,
but no doctor could make a real eye grow. You know only Almighty God
can do that. Clever men tried their best, and meanwhile the baby was
growing bigger and stronger every day. When Joan could walk, and her
mother took her out, other children would stand and look at her, and
some rude boys even called after her. This made the poor little one
very sad, and she would hide her face in her mother's skirts and beg to
be left indoors. So her mother bought her a shade, to wear over the
place where the other eye should have been. After that people did not
notice her so much.
When she was five years old Joan went to school, and as she was a
little Catholic girl she went to a school kept by some good Sisters.
Her mother told the Sisters all about the missing eye, and asked that
her little one might always be allowed to wear her shade. Of course the
Sister said that she might, and she also took care that none of the
other children should tease her about it When Joan had been at school a
short time she began to lose her fear of others, and would play merrily
with her little companions. From time to time she was taken to the
doctor, but he said there was now no hope of doing anything for her.
When Joan had been two years at school Sister thought it time for her
to prepare for her First Holy Communion, so she and several of her
little companions began to attend the special instructions. From the
very first the Sister noticed that Joan was one of the most attentive
and most in earnest Though she did not ask many questions, as some of
the others did, not a word was said that she did not remember. What
struck Joan most was that it was the Great God Himself Who was to come
into her heart, God who was all-powerful, and had done such wonderful
things when He had lived on earth. Doctors might be clever, but they
were not like Almighty God. Ah! she knew what she would ask for on her
First Communion day.
Joan's mother was not rich, but she had made a white frock and white
veil for her little girl on her First Communion day. "Poor little
mite," sighed her mother, as she sewed; "she shall have all I can give
her to make her happy."
The First Communion morning arrived. Mother called her little one and
began to dress her. When she arranged her hair she was preparing to
replace the shade, but Joan stopped her.
"Not this morning, Mother. I would rather not wear it for my First
"Not wear it?" said her mother, looking at her in surprise, for Joan
could hardly bear to be without it even while she dressed.
"You see Jesus is God, and He can do all things, and I want Him to see
me just as I am," answered Joan, and nothing would make her change her
Very fervently Joan made her First Holy Communion. Many noticed how
well she prayed, and how much in earnest she seemed. When she went to
breakfast she replaced her shade, which she had brought with her; very
few had noticed that she had not worn it the whole time.
The next day the Easter holidays commenced, and her mother took her
away for a fortnight, after which she returned to school. The first
morning that she was back the Sister sent for her out of the class.
Imagine her surprise when Joan came tripping towards her, with no shade
on, but two shining eyes smiling up at her instead.
"Why, Joan dear," said Sister, "I am pleased to see that you are cured.
So mother has taken you to a very clever doctor during the holidays?"
"Oh no, Sister. It was Holy Communion that cured me," replied Joan
simply, "You told us Jesus would give us anything that we asked for on
that day, because He was God, so I asked Him to give me my other eye,
and it began to grow that day, and now it is just like the other. I
have been to Holy Communion every day that I could since."
The Sister could hardly believe that what the child said was true, but
Joan's mother came for her that day, and she told the Sister that it
had happened just as her little daughter had said.