Saint Anthony's Miracles. The Speaking Infant

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The miracle

A nobleman was very jealous of his wife. He had no reason to doubt of her love and fidelity, but he was easy prey to slander, and so, when his wife had their first child, he refused to recognize the baby as his own. He was more than sure that the child was the fruit of his wife’s infidelity.

No matter how much the woman tried to assure him that she had not been with another man, he continued to reject his infant son.

In her desperation the wife and mother came to St. Anthony for help. The Saint talked to the nobleman for hours, and finally succeeded in making him see the absurdity behind his jealousy. Just then a nurse brought in the infant. Instantly, his old state of mind returned. At this point Anthony turned to the child and said, "In the name of Jesus Christ, speak and tell who your father is!" The infant pointed to the nobleman and, in a voice of a child years older, he said, "There is my father!" With that the father broke down in tears and took the child in his arms.  This is how Anthony saved a family and a marriage from the pitfalls of gossip and slander.

Meditation

In these last years, Pope Francis has dwelt on a number of occasions on the subject of gossip and slander. In one of his famous speeches the Pope said, “Gossip can also kill, because it kills the reputation of the person. It is so terrible to gossip…at the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy. But at the end it fills the heart with bitterness, and it also poisons us”.

When we detract from others in our speech, our malicious words are scattered everywhere. They continue to spread dishonour and division in people’s minds days, months and even years after we have spoken them, as they pass from one tale-bearer to the next.

We have to be careful with our words so that they do not ruin others, their careers or their personal relationships. Remember that if you are speaking badly about people behind their backs, your words say more about you than about them.