Cardinal Wiseman sadmirable story, Fabiola, has been read for the last thirty years in many lands and many tongues. At this late day, to say that it has been everywhere productive of inestimable good to Christian souls, would be the utterance of the merest truism. But while its salutary influence has been felt far and wide, it seems to have been fraught with special blessings most peculiarly adapted to the religious circumstances of our own land ;where, thirty years ago, when the work made its first 51 appearance among us, the condition of the Chui-ch was not alto)j gether dissimilar from that of the early Church in pagan Rome at the date of the story. Although the sun of divine faith had long before begun to warm with its vivifying and sanctifying rays the virgin soil of this western land of ours, yet it had hardly risen above the horizon when dark and threatening clouds of persecution seemed a Sbout to obscure its light, promising, instead of a bright and cheerful day for the Church, a night of disappointment and suffering. The good already accomplished by the early missionaries seemed imperilled by the coming storm, and the work at that time in progress was meeting with fierce and even cruel opposition.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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