Since the condemnation of The Saint by the Congregation of the Index, the publishers of the authorized translation of this novel feel that, in justice to its author, Senator Antonio Fogazzaro, they owe to the public a word of explanation by way of making plain (what the author has in more than one letter made plain to them) how it comes about that, in spite of the decree of the Index, the Senator sanctions the appearance of the book in America. The explanation is found in the fact that the American publishers secured, before the sentence of the Congregation had been passed, the sanction for the publication of their translation--a sanction which the author, as a loyal Catholic, could not have given later, but which, once it was given, he did not feel justified in withdrawing.
d, cultivated far beyond his kind, after having had a vehement love-affair is stricken with remorse, "experiences religion," becomes penitent, is filled with a strange zeal--an ineffable comfort--and devotes himself, body, heart, and soul to the worship of God and the succour of his fellow-men. As Benedetto, the lay brother, he serves the peasant populations among the Sabine hills, or moves on his errands of hope and mercy among the poor of Rome. Everybody recognises him as a holy man--"a saint." Perhaps, if he had restricted himself to taking only soup or simple medicines to the hungry and sick, he would have been unmolested in his philanthropy; but after his conversion, he had devoured the Scriptures and studied the books of the Fathers, until the spirit of the early, simple, untheological Church had poured into him. It brought a message the truth of which so stirred him that he could not rest until he imparted it to his fellows. He preached righteousness,--the supremacy of conduct over ritual,--love as the
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