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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • There was a poor man who had many children. Because of the number of children, he couldn’t find anyone to be a godfather for his family because it was too costly. In Armenia, becoming the godfather of children in a family could be costly. The godfather pays the christening, food for the guests, gifts for the child, and entertainment for the guests.Sometime, if the child was a boy, the godfather would pay for the wedding expenses when the boy married.

    The poor father could not find anyone in his village who would become godfather for his children. He decided to find a godfather in another village. He walked toward another village. On the road, he met the angel Gabriel in disguise. The father did not know the real identity of the angel. Gabriel wanted to the poor man.

    “Where are you going friend?” the angel asked.

    “I am searching for a godfather for my children,” said the father.

    “There is no one in your village that wants to be godfather for your children?”

    “They are not willing to accept such a responsibility because I have too many children.”

    “My dear fellow, I’ll become the godfather of your children. I love children and want to see them happy.”

    The father and the angel Gabriel in disguise returned together to his village. They performed the christenings for all the children with gifts and music and good food. When all the ceremonies, dinner and music were finished the angel prepared to leave.

    The angel Gabriel spoke to the poor father, “Dear friend, I want to help you. You have so many children and very little money. Here is a suitcase filled with medicinal herbs. You will become a healer. When you go to a sick person’s house, I will be there too. But, no one else except you will be able to see me. You must remember what I am going to tell you now. If I stand at the head of the sick person, That person is destined to die. You must not do anything to save that person. But, if I am standing at his feet, give him any of the herbs in the suitcase and he will be cured of his sickness. You will become famous as a healer of the sick and accumulate money easily to maintain your family. But, you must promise me that if I am standing at the head of the person, do not attempt to heal that person. Promise!”

    The father said, “Yes sir, I promise.”

    The father, following the angel’s instructions, became famous as a healer. With each cure, he was given money. This regular income improved his family finances and his family was happy and prosperous. Once, the princess of the country became very sick. A reward was offered for anyone who could cure her sickness. The father-healer came to the palace and entered into the room of the princess. He was shocked to see the his angel friend standing at her head instead of at her feet. He thought this is a sad day for me. There is such a handsome reward for saving her, but my invisible friend is standing at her head. He didn’t want to lose the reward. He devised a trick.

    He spoke with the king in private. “Your Majesty,” he said, ” I can cure your daughter if you give me four bright and nimble men.”

    The king called his most able and trusted men and said, “Do anything this man tells you to do.”

    “Please listen carefully to my instructions,” said the father healer. “Two of you stand behind head of the princess and two at her feet. When I give you this signal, you quickly change her position so that her feet will be where her head was and her head where her feet were. You must do this so fast that no one will understand what has happened. I can cure her if you do this in a flash.”

    They all proceeded to the princess’s room. The angel was standing at her head. The men positioned themselves. The father healer gave the signal and in a split second the position of the princess was reversed. The angel didn’t realize what happened due to the surprise speed of the movement. The healer immediately took out one of the herbs and gave it to the princess. She was cured of her sickness quickly.

    Seeing this trick unfold the angel was fuming mad at the father healer. The father disobeyed the instructions of the angel. The angel decided to punish the father. He came before him and stood near his head. “Dear godfather, I am so happy to see. How are you?” said the father trying to hide his shock that his generous friend was standing at his head as if he would take him to the world of death.

    “I am also glad to see you, my friend the healer. I have christened your children and now I have come for your soul as you can see.” said the angel.

    “Godfather, I hope you are not serious about taking me,” the father said jokingly.

    “I am dead serious. You disobeyed me by changing the position of the princess. I must punish you.”

    “Godfather, you know I have a large family and a wife. You are the godfather of my children. What will happen to them and my poor wife?”

    “I will make sure they are well taken of after your demise.”

    “If you are really determined to take my life, I cannot do anything but submit. Please, godfather, grant me one last wish. Please do not take me until I say the Lord’s Prayer.”

    The angel granted the father’s wish.

    But the father did not say the Lord’s Prayer. The angel waited until he understood that the man was purposely silent. He said, “Why are you not saying the Lord’s Prayer?” “Say it now so I can take you.”

    “I refuse to say it,” said the father.

    “You must so that I can take you.”

    “I will not say it and you cannot take me until I say it,” answered the father.

    The angel left. He planned to trick the father to say the Lord’s Prayer at an opportune time.

    Some time later, the angel disguised himself as a young school boy. He took a small book with the Lord’s Prayer printed on one of the pages and carried it while walking and crying. He walked toward the father, who noticed him and felt sorry to see the little boy in tears. The father had a soft heart especially for children.

    “What is wrong my dear child,” the father asked.

    My teacher gave me this small book to read, but I can’t read it. He warned me that if I can’t read it tomorrow, he will whip me.”

    “Don’t cry. I will help you. Show me the book.”

    The book began with the Lord’s Prayer on the first page. The father read the Lord’s Prayer and coached the boy to repeat it correctly. When the prayer was read and completed, the angel appeared.

    “You have said the Lord’s Prayer. Now you will come with me,” the angel Gabriel said as he took the father’s soul away.

    Soon after, the angel went to the father’s house and asked for his oldest son. He explained what had happened to his father and why. The angel Gabriel felt duty bound to the family because he was the godfather. He told the father’s history to his son and said:

    “I want you support your mother and siblings by taking up your father’s healing service. I will give you a suitcase of herbs. When you call on a sick person, if I am standing at their head, you can not do anything for them. If I am standing at their feet, give them anyone of the herbs and they will get better. Remember, do not try to cure anyone at whose head I am standing. Don’t do as your father did.”

    The son strictly followed the angel Gabriel’s instructions. He became very famous and wealthy. When we accept good advice and give our word to follow it, we will always be successful and protected by God’s grace. May everyone who reads this story have their wishes for knowledge of life fulfilled.

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