"My prayer is stronger than smallpox"

A child of three had been attacked by a very serious type of smallpox. His illness was getting worse day by day. The doctor had lost all hope and the family priest felt that the child would not survive.

One night, the priest dreamt that the child had died. He ran to the house of the child immediately, at dead of night, and knocked at the door. The mother, quite alarmed, opened the door. The priest rushed toward the child who was fast asleep inside the mosquito net. The child, whose suffering had been most pitiful until then, suddenly awoke, screaming a healthy cry. Upon hearing him the priest started striking his chest with his fists, in joy or dismay or both, and tearing his hair out at the roots. “Oh God,” he cried. “You have deceived me. But my heart is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at your deception.”

The mother wanted to know why the priest had come at this late hour, so the priest, still trembling, told her all about the dream he had had. The mother replied, “Venerable sir, my prayer is infinitely stronger than a child's smallpox.” The child survived. He is now forty years old.