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The Escort of Acolytes with Lighted Candles


The Christian is bound to make an act of thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion. St. Philip Neri once observed a man habitually leaving the church immediately after receiving the sacred Host. In order to reprove him and put him to shame, he called two acolytes, asked them to take two lighted candles and accompany the man to his home. The servers obeyed and everyone in the street stared at them as they followed the man. Looking back and seeing the acolytes the man asked them why they were following him. They said that St. Philip had ordered them to do so. He therefore returned to the church and asked the saint what the meaning was of this unwanted escort?

The St. Philip replied: “It is to pay proper respect to Our Lord, whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent the servers to take your place.” The man recognized his fault, knelt before the altar and made his thanksgiving devoutly. He remained in prayer for fifteen minutes, the length of time the Blessed Sacrament is intact in the body.

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