Santa Verdana

Santa Verdana

There was a man with a general shop who had an excellent girl for a servant, and she was so honest as well as diligent that he left her to attend to the shop besides doing the work. All he gave her to do she did well, and his business flourished without his having any trouble about it.

But some envious people came to him and said that the girl had given away all his substance, and there was nothing left; so he watched, and he saw it was indeed so. To every poor person who came she gave whatever they asked for the love of God, and all the stores and presses were empty. Yet, as there seemed no lack of anything either, and when customers came she always continued to supply them, he hesitated to interfere.

So it might have gone on, only people went on whispering doubts. And one said one day, ‘Suppose she should die, where would you be then?' That is true, he thought to himself, and upon that he went and asked her where all the things were gone. She never made any reply, but knelt down and prayed, and as she prayed all the presses and stores became full again with all kinds of merchandise as at the first. But she went away from him after that, and built herself a cell, walled up all round, next to the church of St. Anthony, where she lived in continual prayer, and she took a brick out of the wall to make a hole through which she heard mass. At last one day came when they saw her no more at the hole hearing mass, and they opened her cell and found her lying on the floor with her hands crossed on her breast, and the cell was filled with a beautiful perfume, for she had been sanctified there, and her soul had gone thence to God.