Poverty and humility lead to heaven



There was once a King's son who went out into the world, and he was full of thought and sad. He looked at the sky, which was so beautifully pure and blue, then he sighed, and said, "How well must all be with one up there in heaven!" Then he saw a poor gray-haired man who was coming along the road towards him, and he spoke to him, and asked, "How can I get to heaven?" The man answered, "By poverty and humility. Put on my ragged clothes, wander about the world for seven years, and get to know what misery is, take no money, but if thou art hungry ask compassionate hearts for a bit of bread; in this way thou wilt reach heaven."
Then the King's son took off his magnificent coat, and wore in its place the beggar's garment, went out into the wide world, and suffered great misery. He took nothing but a little food, said nothing, but prayed to the Lord to take him into his heaven. When the seven years were over, he returned to his father's palace, but no one recognized him. He said to the servants, "Go and tell my parents that I have come back again." But the servants did not believe it, and laughed and left him standing there. Then said he, "Go and tell it to my brothers that they may come down, for I should so like to see them again." The servants would not do that either, but at last one of them went, and told it to the King's children, but these did not believe it, and did not trouble themselves about it. Then he wrote a letter to his mother, and described to her all his misery, but he did not say that he was her son. So, out of pity, the Queen had a place under the stairs assigned to him, and food taken to him daily by two servants. But one of them was ill-natured and said, "Why should the beggar have the good food?" and kept it for himself, or gave it to the dogs, and took the weak, wasted-away beggar nothing but water; the other, however, was honest, and took the beggar what was sent to him. It was little, but he could live on it for a while, and all the time he was quite patient, but he grew continually weaker. As, however, his illness increased, he desired to receive the last sacrament. When the host was being elevated down below, all the bells in the town and neighbourhood began to ring. After mass the priest went to the poor man under the stairs, and there he lay dead. In one hand he had a rose, in the other a lily, and beside him was a paper in which was written his history.

When he was buried, a rose grew on one side of his grave, and a lily on the other.
从前有位王子,他走到了外面的世界,只见他心事重重,面带忧伤。 他抬头看着天空,天是那般的碧蓝,他叹息道:"一个人能在天堂上该有多好啊!"这时他看到了一位满头白发的老人向他走来,样子十分可怜。 他和老人打了声招呼,并问:"我怎样才能进天堂呢?"那人答道:"通过贫穷和谦卑!穿上我的破衣服,到人间去游荡七年,去尝贫困的滋味;不要钱,如果饿了,就向有同情心的人要点东西来充饥,这样你就接近天堂了。"
王子立刻脱下了华贵的外套,穿上了乞丐的衣服,步入了广阔的世界,经历了许多苦难。 除了一点食物外,他丝毫不取,只祈求主带他进天堂。 七年过去了,他又回到了他父王的宫殿,但没有人再认得他,他对仆人说:"快去禀告父王和母后,说我回来了。"但那些仆人不相信他的话,并嘲笑他,让他一直呆在那儿。 他又说:"去把我的王兄们叫来,我想再见见他们。"仆人对他的话仍无动于衷。 终于有一个去报告了王子们。 但他们也不信,也不理会他。 王子又给他母后写了封信,向他描述了自己经历的苦难,只是没提自己就是她的儿子。 出于怜悯,王后给了他阶梯下一小块地方居住,每天派两个仆人给他送饭。 谁知其中一个心地很怀,口口声声说:"叫化子凭什么吃那么好的东西。"于是他把这些食物私自扣了下来,留给自己吃或拿来喂狗,只给这位虚弱憔悴的王子少许水喝。 然而另一个仆人心地还算厚道,他把拿到的东西都给王子吃了,数量虽少,但他还能暂时活下来。 王子一直极力忍耐着,身体日见虚弱,病情也不断加剧,最后他要求接受圣礼。 弥撒刚做了一半,城里和附近教堂的钟就自动敲响了。 做完了弥撒,牧师走到阶梯下的可怜人面前,发现他已经死了,一手握着玫瑰,一手握着百合,在他身旁还有一张纸,上面写着他的经历。 当他下葬时,坟墓的一侧长出了一株玫瑰,一侧长出了一丛百合。

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