St. John of God, founder of the order of Brothers of Mercy, erected a large hospital at Granada. A pious nobleman, residing in the town, one day sent him seven ducats for the relief of the sick and needy. On the evening of the same day the nobleman went to the saint in the disguise of a poor man, and pleading his extreme destitution, begged with tears for assistance. St. John of God, touched with compassion, spoke kindly to him, and gave him the seven ducats he had received that morning. The next morning the nobleman went again to the saint, not in disguise, told him the whole story, and returned the ducats, multiplied ten times. From that time forth he sent him regularly every week a supply of bread and meat for the sick.
God deals with us in the same way. He first sends us money and this world’s goods; then He presents Himself in the person of our needy fellow-creatures, and asks of us an alms. Happy is he who has pity on the poor and destitute, for he will receive a hundred fold from God, and even in this life the Most High will be his greatest benefactor.
Illustration from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922). Text from Francis Spirago, Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism (New York: Benziger, 1904).