Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Holy Man Of Tours Punches A Blasphemer.

Monsieur Dupont
Whenever a word which directly attacked the Divine Majesty fell upon his ear, he was moved by a virtuous indignation. He was restrained neither by personal considerations nor by human respect. Zeal for the outraged glory of God urged him to acts which none other would have dared to permit himself, but to which the efficacy of his prayers, and the benediction of heaven always attached a special grace of reparation, and, not infrequently, a striking conversion.
Once, when travelling, he took his seat beside the driver who uttered a blasphemous expression. Mr. Dupont instantly dealt him a heavy blow. Surprised and indignant, the driver stops his horses and demands an explanation of the insult offered him. ”Unhappy man,” replied Mr. Dupont, ” it is you who have insulted me. You have outraged my Father! Who gives you the right to insult my Father in this manner?” “Your Father,” said the blasphemer, astounded as much by the remark as by the blow. “Yes,” continued Mr. Dupont, ” God is my Father and your Father; why do you outrage Him?” And then with the eloquence of his heart and the vivacity of his faith, he endeavoured to make him comprehend how unworthy it was of a Christian to blaspheme the thrice holy God. The poor man, confused and ashamed, alleged as his excuse, his deplorable habit and promised to amend. By the time they had reached the end of the journey, they were good friends. Mr. Dupont, on parting, presented him a five-franc piece, and invited him to visit him at Tours. He had the gratification of learning later from the driver himself that he had corrected his bad habit and was leading a Christian life.
On another occasion, when he was going in a diligence from Saint-Malo to Rennes, the postilion scarcely spoke without an oath. Notwithstanding the presence of two or three travelling agents, at each oath, Mr. Dupont repeated aloud a Gloria Patri in reparation. At last, unable to endure it longer, he caught the postilion by the arm and said to him: “Friend, cease, I beg you, to blaspheme the holy name of God. Each time you wish to swear, give me a blow instead; that would please me much better.” We may judge of the impression made upon his auditors by the words of a man whose only thought was the glory of God. A good religious, who was once in the coup of a vehicle with him, relates that he paid the driver so much a league for refraining from blasphemy. As this practice was habitual with him, we shall know, only at the day of judgment, how many oaths he prevented.
When passing through the streets of a city he never failed to reprove blasphemers, although he was often repaid by insult and contempt. Once, however, he met an unfortunate man who was uttering terrible oaths. Mr. Dupont stopped and begged him earnestly either to be silent or give him a blow. “Why should I strike you, sir?” asked the man in astonishment. ” Because it would be far less painful to me to receive a blow from you, than to hear you outrage the holy name of God.” Impressed by his words, the blasphemer begged his pardon and promised amendment.
His zeal on this point suggested to him minute precautions which would hardly have occurred to another. One of his friends writes: ” I was walking, on one occasion, with Mr. Dupont. He saw lying on the pavement a small stone; he picked it up and placed it against the wall, remarking as he did so: “Whenever we find a stone lying in the way on a street or road, we should always remove it, because it might cause a man or beast to stumble, and besides the injury it would do to them, the man might be irritated and tempted to blaspheme the holy name of God.”

Venerable Leo Dupont (24 January 1797 – 18 March 1876), also known as "The Holy Man of Tours," or the "Apostle of the Holy Face", was a Catholic who helped spread various Catholic devotions such as that of the Holy Face of Jesus and nightly Eucharistic Adoration. He was declared Venerable by the Holy See during Pope Pius XII's Pontificate and currently awaits Beatification.[1]