Obedient Swallows
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
From All Creatures Articles Archive

http://www.novogolutvin.ru/en/obedience/animals/stories/acacius.html Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

In hagiography there are a lot of examples of how words told with belief could be understood even by wild beasts and birds.

Once St. Acacius, diocesan of Militene who lived in the early 5th century spoke a sermon in the church. And under a ceiling of the church some swallows strove building their nests. They chirped loudly and scurried about above the prelate, hindering people from listening to his sermon. Then St. Acacius addressed the birds:

- Lovely swallows! In the name of the Creator, I ask you, do not impede me preaching!

And, to the great amazement of all people in the church the silence fell in a moment. Obedient swallows left the church. They returned to their nests only when St. Acacius finished his sermon.

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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