ESPAÑOL

La pobreza y la humildad llevan al cielo

ENGLISH

Poverty and humility lead to heaven


Érase un príncipe que salió a pasear por el campo. Andaba triste y pensativo, y al levantar la mirada al cielo y verlo tan azul y sereno, exclamó con un suspiro:
- ¡Qué bien debe uno sentirse allá arriba! -. Viendo luego a un pobre anciano que venía por el camino, le dijo:
- ¿Cómo podría yo llegar al cielo?
- Con pobreza y humildad - le respondió el viejo -. Ponte mis vestidos rotos, recorre el mundo durante siete años para conocer la miseria; no aceptes dinero, sino que, cuando estés hambriento, pide un pedazo de pan a las gentes caritativas; de este modo te irás acercando al cielo.
Quitóse el príncipe sus ricas vestiduras, y, después de cambiarlas por las del mendigo, salió a vagar por el mundo y sufrió grandes privaciones. No tomaba sino un poco de comida, y no hablaba; sólo rogaba a Dios que lo acogiese un día en el cielo.
Transcurridos los siete años, regresó al palacio del Rey, su padre, pero nadie lo reconoció. Dijo a los criados:
- Id a comunicar a mis padres que he vuelto -. Pero los criados no le prestaron crédito y, echándose a reír, lo dejaron plantado. Entonces dijo el príncipe: - Subid a decir a mis hermanos que salgan; me gustaría volverlos a ver.
Tampoco esto querían hacer, hasta que, al fin, uno se decidió y fue a transmitir el recado a los hijos del Rey. Éstos no lo creyeron y olvidaron el asunto. Entonces el príncipe escribió una carta a su madre, describiéndole su miseria, pero sin revelarle que era su hijo. La Reina, compadecida, mandó que le asignasen un lugar al pie de la escalera, y que todos los días dos criados le llevasen comida. Pero uno de los servidores era perverso:
- Para qué dar a ese pordiosero tan buena comida - decía. Y se la guardaba para él o la echaba a los perros. Al pobre, débil y extenuado, no le daba más que agua. Otro criado, en cambio, era honrado y le llevaba lo que le entregaban para él. Poca cosa, mas lo bastante para permitir al mísero subsistir una temporada. Iba debilitándose progresivamente, pero todo lo sufría con paciencia.
Observando que su estado se agravaba por momentos, pidió que le trajesen la sagrada comunión. A mitad de la misa, todas las campanas de la ciudad y sus contornos empezaron a tañer por sí solas. Terminado el divino oficio, el sacerdote dirigióse al pie de la escalera y encontró muerto al pobre, sosteniendo en una mano una rosa y en la otra un lirio; junto a su cuerpo había un papel, donde se hallaba escrita su historia. Y a ambos lados de la tumba brotaron también una rosa y un lirio.
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.




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