Home People November 29: Stories that Inspire for the Month of the Holy Souls: Fulfill Their Wishes

November 29: Stories that Inspire for the Month of the Holy Souls: Fulfill Their Wishes

November 29: Stories that Inspire for the Month of the Holy Souls: Fulfill Their Wishes

The book, The Month of the Holy Souls, presents daily considerations for the month of November in the form of meditations and practical examples. The example for today is as follows.



The following incident is an illustration of the punishments which befall those who do not execute the last wishes of the dying.

It is related in the chronicles of Charlemagne, that a captain, renowned for his courage, sent, when on his deathbed, for a relative whom he had often benefited, and turning to him said:

“I have passed sixty years in the service of my king without receiving more than my ordinary pay, and, now that I am dying, I find myself possessed of nothing beyond my faithful horse, which has been so useful to me.  When I shall be no more, you must sell my horse and give the price of it to the poor, for the relief of my soul.”

The relative promised to do as he wished, but, after the death of the captain, instead of selling the horse, he kept it for himself and never gave any alms to the poor.  Hardly had a year elapsed, when the soul of the deceased appeared to his relative, and, addressing him, said:

“Unhappy wretch, you have not executed my last wishes, you have not kept your promise; and you have been the cause of all the sufferings I have endured, from which my alms would have saved me. Know that a speedy death will be your punishment, and, moreover, that a special chastisement is reserved for you. You will not only have to pay the penalty due for your own sins, but you will have to suffer all that I should otherwise have had to suffer, to fully satisfy Divine Justice.”

The guilty man, awe-stricken by this threat, and wishing to regulate his conscience, hastened to execute the last wishes of the deceased captain, and do all in his power to escape eternal death; but he could not avoid the death of the body which had been foretold, and which event took place a few days after.

How hateful to God is injustice and ingratitude to the dead, which He punishes both in this world and the next.


This anecdote comes from Month of the Souls in Purgatory by Abbé Berlioux, originally published in English in the year 1886. This book contains meditations and an example story for each day of the month. In an effort to preserve short inspiring stories from our Catholic past, every day for the month of November you can find the example story for the day published on the website under people/stories.

The same author also published similar books for the months of March (St. Joseph), May (Our Lady), and June (Sacred Heart). We are planning to post the stories for these months in the future, as well as re-publish a collection of these four books as a set, so be sure to check back in a few months.