It is rare today to find a Traditional Catholic who has not heard of Rev. Alban Butler, his writings of “The Lives of the Saints.”
The photos here are that of two volumes dated 1833 that I possess.
This beautiful letter I want so much to share now is seen printed at the beginning pages; a letter his mother wrote to him and his two brothers, just before her death. Guaranteed to bring a tear or two to the reader.
The grammar is just as she wrote it.
My Dear Children,
Since it pleased Almighty God to take me out of this world, as no doubt wisely foreseeing I am no longer a useful parent to you, for no person ought to be thought necessary in this world when God thinks proper to take them out. I hope you will offer the loss of me with a resignation suitable to the religion you are of, and offer yourselves. He who makes you orphans so young, without a parent to take care of you, will take you into His protection and Fatherly care, if you do love and serve Him who is the Author of all goodness. Above all things, prepare yourselves while you are young to suffer patiently what afflictions He shall think proper to lay upon you; for it is by this He trieth His best servants. In the first place, give Him thanks for your education in the true faith, (which many thousands want;) and then I beg of you earnestly to petition His direction what state of life you shall undertake, whether it be for religion, or to get your livings in the world. No doubt but you may be saved either way if you do your duty to God, your neighbor, and yourselves. And I beg of you to make constant resolutions rather die a thousand times, if possible than quit your faith; and always have in your thoughts what you would think of were you as nigh death as I now think myself. There is no preparation for a good death but a good life. Do not omit your prayers, and to make an act of contrition and examen of conscience every night and frequent the Blessed Sacraments of the Church. I am so weak I can say no more to you, but I pray God bless and direct you, and your friends to take care of you. Lastly, I beg of you never to forget to pray for your poor father and mother when they are not capable of helping themselves: so I take leave of you, hoping to meet you in heaven, to be happy for all eternity.
“Your affectionate mother, “Ann Butler.”