"I think Father Salvierderra would say that it is a sin to be afraid of the saints, Alessandro," replied Ramona, earnestly. "He has often told me that it was a sin to be unhappy; and that withheld me many times from being wretched because the Senora would not love me. And, Alessandro," she went on, growing more and more fervent in tone, "even if nothing but misfortune comes to people, that does not prove that the saints do not love them; for when the saints were on earth themselves, look what they suffered: martyrs they were, almost all of them. Look at what holy Saint Catharine endured, and the blessed Saint Agnes. It is not by what happens to us here in this world that we can tell if the saints love us, or if we will see the Blessed Virgin."
"How can we tell, then?" he asked.
"By what we feel in our hearts, Alessandro," she replied; "just as I knew all the time, when you did not come,-- I knew that you loved me. I knew that in my heart; and I shall always know it, no matter what happens. If you are dead, I shall know that you love me. And you,-- you will know that I love you, the same."
"Yes," said Alessandro, reflectively, "that is true. But, Majella, it is not possible to have the same thoughts about a saint as about a person that one has seen, and heard the voice, and touched the hand."
"No, not quite," said Ramona; "not quite, about a saint; but one can for the Blessed Virgin, Alessandro! I am sure of that. Her statue, in my room at the Senora's, has been always my mother. Ever since I was little I have told her all I did. It was she helped me to plan what I should bring away with us. She reminded me of many things I had forgotten, except for her."
"Did you hear her speak?" said Alessandro, awe-stricken.
"Not exactly in words; but just the same as in words," replied Ramona, confidently. "You see when you sleep in the room with her, it is very different from what it is if you only see her in a chapel. Oh, I could never be very unhappy with her in my room!"
"I would almost go and steal it for you, Majella," cried Alessandro, with sacrilegious warmth.
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