Our Lady and the Clown12 February 2016
Peter was a great clown. The years went by, however, and he no longer had any work.
In despair and so as not to die of hunger, he set off on the road which led to a monastery dedicated to our Most Holy Lady. Maybe the monks would let him stay for a while.
And that’s just what happened, because the Abbot did keep him there in order to run various errands for him. Peter was delighted. And he really wanted to thank Our Most Holy Lady. But he couldn’t read and write and wasn’t able to read those big books so as to sing hymns for her, as the monks did.
However, he managed to think of something that he could do….and so one afternoon, while the monks were resting in their cells, Peter slipped away. The Abbot wanted him to run an errand and tried to find him. He went all around the place but couldn’t find him anywhere. At one point he was passing the west door of the church and quickly glanced through the big window there. And what did he see! Peter, right in front of the large icon of Our Lady, was doing somersaults and a thousand and one acrobatic stunts. He was walking on his hands, then balancing on just one hand, then turning cart-wheels.
The Abbot was most upset by what he saw. He considered it highly inapporpriate irreverent and he was just at the point of raising his voice to shout. At that precise moment, Peter, who was then balancing just on his head, was playing with his old clown’s stick on his feet which he’d raised above his head. His elderly face was red, the veins were standing out on his neck and the sweat was streaming down his face.
The Abbot was on the verge of shouting. But just then it seemed to him that he saw Our Most Holy Lady there, in the large icon, put out her hand, bend, and with the edge of her veil wipe the sweat from Peter’s face. The Abbot was completely taken aback. He dropped to his knees, made the sign of the cross and, in a trembling whisper said: “Forgive me, Most Holy Lady. You know best who it is that honours and glorifies you”.