Chapter 31:

The Sermon

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Fray Damaso began slowly in a low voice: Et spiritum bonum dedisti, qui doceret eos, et manna tuum non prohibuisti ab ore eorum, et aquam dedisti eis in siti.  And thou gavest thy good Spirit to teach them, and thy manna thou didst not withhold from their mouth, and thou gavest them water for their thirst!’ Words which the Lord spoke through the mouth of Esdras, in the second book, the ninth chapter, and the twentieth verse. [1]

Padre Sibyla glanced in surprise at the preacher.  Padre Manuel Martin turned pale and swallowed hard that was better than his! Whether Padre Damaso noticed this or whether he was still hoarse, the fact is that he coughed several times as he placed both hands on the rail of the pulpit.  The Holy Ghost was above his head, freshly painted, clean and white, with rose-colored beak and feet.  Most honorable sir (to the alcalde), most holy priests, Christians, brethren in Jesus Christ!

Here he made a solemn pause as again he swept his gaze over the congregation, with whose attention and concentration he seemed satisfied.

The first part of the sermon is to be in Spanish and the other in Tagalog; loquebantur omnes linguas.

After the salutations and the pause he extended his right hand majestically toward the altar, at the same time fixing his gaze on the alcalde.  He slowly crossed his arms without uttering a word, then suddenly passing from calmness to action, threw back his head and made a sign toward the main door, sawing the air with his open hand so forcibly that the sacristans interpreted the gesture as a command and closed the doors.  The alferez became uneasy, doubting whether he should go or stay, when the preacher began in a strong voice, full and sonorous; truly his old housekeeper was skilled in medicine.

[1] The Douay version.—TR.


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