October 29.—ST. NARCISSUS, Bishop.
ST. NARCISSUS was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem about the year 180. He was already an old man, and God attested his merits by many miracles, which were long held in memory by the Christians of Jerusalem. One Holy Saturday in the church the faithful were in great trouble, because no oil could be found for the lamps which were used in the Paschal feast. St. Narcissus bade them draw water from a neighboring well, and, praying over it, told them to put it in the lamps. It was changed into oil, and long after some of this oil was preserved at Jerusalem in memory of the miracle. But the very virtue of the Saint made him enemies, and three wretched men charged him with an atrocious crime. They confirmed their testimony by horrible imprecations: the first prayed that he might perish by fire, the second that he might be wasted by leprosy, the third that he might be struck blind, if they charged their bishop falsely. The holy bishop had long desired a life of solitude, and he withdrew secretly into the desert, leaving the Church in peace. But God spoke for His servant, and the bishop's accusers suffered the penalties they had invoked. Then Narcissus returned to Jerusalem and resumed his office. He died in extreme old age, bishop to the last.
Reflection.—God never fails those who trust in Him; He guides them through darkness and through trials secretly and surely to their end, and in the evening time there is light.