The Leaky Boat

When St. Ignatius [of Loyola] had arrived in Cyprus on his return from visiting the holy places, he found three vessels ready to sail for Italy. The first belonged to Turkey; the second was a Venetian ship, strong and well equipped, and apparently able to struggle successfully with the most furious gales; the third was a little old boat, leaky and worm-eaten.

Many urged the master of the Venetian ship to receive Ignatius on board for the love of God, praising him and extolling him as a Saint. But when the man heard that Ignatius was poor and had no money for his passage, he answered that if Ignatius was a Saint, he did not need a vessel to cross the sea, for he could go on foot, as so many other Saints had done. As he would not receive him, Ignatius was obliged to take the old ship, where they welcomed him freely and with much liberality.

The three vessels set sail on the same day; but after they were all well out at sea, in the darkness of the night a fierce tempest arose, in which the Turkish ship foundered with all its crew on board, the Venetian ran aground, her passengers barely escaping with their lives, and the old craft alone gained the port.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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