Day 47The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
April 8, 2023 by Michael F. Moore
Before the healed are allowed to leave the lazaretto, they, too, will hear a sermon that appeals to their better nature:
“As we take our first steps in this journey, may we begin a life filled with charity. May those who have regained their former strength lend a fraternal arm to the weak. May the young support the old. May those of you who have lost your own children see the children all around you who have lost their parents. Become parents to them! And this charity, by redeeming your sins, will also ease your pain.”
I found the sermons of Borromeo, Padre Cristoforo, and now Padre Felice particularly difficult to translate. They made me uncomfortable, I can’t say why, perhaps because they channel the voice of God.
Renzo finds Lucia! Praise God! But how does she respond?
“Oh, Renzo! Why did you come here?”
The dilemma we have been anticipating, of how to free Lucia from her vow, is finally resolved thanks to the counsel of Padre Cristoforo:
“The Lord, my daughter, appreciates sacrifices, offerings, when they affect us alone. When we make them from the heart, of our own free will. But you cannot offer up the free will of another, to whom you were already bound.”
Padre Cristoforo relieves her of this burden and says the most romantic words we have heard in the novel:
“I have seen how the two of you were united. And if ever two people were united by God, it seemed to me that it was you.”
Do we dare hope for a happy ending?