Life Changing Stories
The Story of Paphnutius (350 A.D.)
St. Paphnutius had lived in the desert for many years and labored at his santification by austere works of penance. Once a peculiar thought came to his mind, and he dared to express it to God in prayer. He petitioned the Lord, in all humility and simplicity, to reveal to him a person who had the same degree of merit as he himself. God deigned to grant his request, and He gave Paphnutius to understand that at this moment a certain flutist living in Egypt ranked equal to him in merit.
The Saint at once started on a journey to find the flutist. Having arrived at the appropriate village, and making inquiries there, he was informed that the man he was seeking was engaged at a neighboring tavern, playing for the amusement of those who patronized the place. "How strange!" thought Paphnutius. Nevertheless, he sent word to the musician, begging him for a short interview. When the musician came, the Saint took him aside and spoke to him regarding the condition of his soul, "What good deeds have you done?" asked Paphnutius.
"Good deeds?" replied the flutist; "I do not remember ever having done any; all I remember is that one day, while I was pursuing my former trade of stealing, I saved the honor of a virgin consecrated to God, and another time I gave my money to a poor woman who, in her great distress, was about to commit a crime." From this, our Saint realized that God had given the flutist graces similar to those he himself had received, because for the honor of his Creator, this man in his crude life had prevented two mortal sins.
By saying the following prayer, you can do the same:
O Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of thy Divine Son for the intention that one mortal sin may be prevented this day (or this night).