Monday, November 15, 2010

Benno and the Frog

This story relates to ‘Benno, Bishop of Meissen, a spirited saint who died at a great age in 1106, and who took the precaution, before obeying a summons to Rome, of bidding two trusty canons lock his cathedral doors in case of trouble, and throw the keys into the Elbe: whence they were recovered, under the fin of an obliging fish, upon its astute bishop’s return.

Benno and the Frog

It was often the habit of the man of God to go about the fields in meditation and prayer: and once as he passed by a certain marsh, a talkative frog was croaking in its slimy waters: and lest it should disturb his contemplation, he bade it to be a Seraphian, inasmuch as all the frogs in Seraphus are mute. But when he had gone on a little way, he called to mind the saying in Daniel: “O ye whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord. O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord.” And fearing lest the singing of the frogs might perchance be more agreeable to God than his own praying, he again issued his command to them, that they should praise God in their accustomed fashion: and soon the air and the fields were vehement with their conversation.

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