A tragic event occurred in the land of Ricafa
A poor man was condemned to death for stealing,
being at the end of his resources
to save his only son from starvation and death.

He had begged his neighbours for help,
some ignored while some simply pitied him;
some promised him prayers, others encouraged him to hope on God;
Only a few provided him with help, though insufficient.

But what could be the way out, he questioned himself,
because he had no means to provide help for his son.
He gazed aimlessly as his son,
as his heartbeat gently loses its frequency.

Out of love for his only son,
the only successor of his family,
the only child which he had had by his wife,
who later died during her delivery.

Lost in thought, he allowed his flesh to drag him to sin,
his flesh became his burden and temptation.
Suddenly, he found himself in an evil act.
By law, he had to pay back with his life.

Anger is a great crime which all in the world commits.
Not he who had committed the sin is to blame,
but those who refused to assist the needy.
What else could he have done? A question for all.

Stealing was still punishable with death at that time.
So long as one is caught in the act, there was no mercy;
that was the fate of the poor man,
who stole a loaf of bread to feed his starving son.

Before the poor man was stoned to death,
he was asked to say his last prayer.
With tears dripping from his eyes, tears of a man who had known to suffer all his life.
He requested that he may see his son for the last time.

Though, he was in a hopeless and helpless condition
but his faith in God was still strong.
He had prayed to God for the forgiveness of his sins,
and that his son may find favour in a generous soul.

As he stood trembling in front of his heartless killers,
who never considered mercy and love of neighbour;
with courage, he exhibited himself to the eyes of the crowd
and in a loud cry, he wept for the last time.

He felt that his soul was now reconciled to God;
He embraced his son in tears.
At that moment when the knife was about to fall,
he slumped and died.

As I mourn him, I remember other people in his condition
But it is my belief, God raises from the dead him whom man slays,
he whom his brothers have rejected and abandoned,
he who has found consolation in God Almighty.

Prisca Onyinye Nwokorie is a  Roman Catholic Nun. She belongs to the religious order of “Oblates of St. Benedict Joseph Labre” in Italy. She is a graduate of the University of Bari where she obtained her Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees in “Information and Communication Technologies for the Production of Software” and “Computer Science” respectively. Currently, she is carrying out research work on “E-learning for Developing Countries”.


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