Ferdinand, King of Naples

July 16, 2015

Italian sceneryby Carl Gustav RoddeSome time ago King Ferdinand was going from Rome to Naples; his son was with him. They were traveling in disguise, so that no one knew them, and were in great haste, being on business of great importance.

On the way an accident happened to one of the wheels of the carriage, which caused them to stop at a wayside inn while it was being repaired. The King and his son in the meantime went into the inn to take some refreshments, and sat down at a table where others were dining.

dinner by Willem Claeszoon HedaIt was a Friday, and although there were some Catholics present, they seemed to have forgotten the law of abstinence, and were partaking of food for bidden by the Church. Only one of them, a young man about eighteen years of age, was dining on food allowed on that day. The rest of the company began to mock the young man, and to say that he was very foolish to make any distinction between Friday and the other days of the week.

Their railleries made no impression on the young man. “You may do as you choose,” he said to them, “but I will not fail to do to what my religion requires of me as long as I live.”

Carl Gustav Rodde An Italian Village By A Lake

The King listened to the conversation for some time in silence, but when the young man had said these words he also spoke, and praised him, saying that a man who was faithful in this way to God could be always trusted.

When the carriage was repaired, the King rose from the table without making himself known to them. He told the young man to follow him, and asked him where he was going, and what he was about to do.


“I am going to Naples,” he answered; “I am going to seek admission into the army of King Ferdinand. Although I am by birth a Florentine, I do not wish to enter the army in my native city, because the soldiers are so careless about their religious duties.”

The King took a piece of paper from his note book, and, writing on it a few lines, sealed and addressed it; then giving it to the young man, he said: “Take this letter to the place indicated on the address; it may be of some assistance to you when you reach Naples.”

Italian Inn by Peter von Hess

The King departed, and the young man continued his journey towards Naples. When he reached that city, he delivered his letter to the person to whom it was addressed, who was no other than the Commander-in-Chief of the King s army. Having thus fulfilled his commission, he turned to go away, but to his surprise he was told to enter the Commander s room, and was received by him with marked honor and respect. The letter contained a command from the King appointing him to the rank of Lieutenant, and he was immediately installed in that office.

This adventure, instead of making him proud, served only to confirm him in his resolution to persevere in the firm and constant practice of his religious duties for the rest of his life.


The Catechism In Examples Vol. III By the Rev. D. Chisholm Pg. 417-419

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 483



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