Christmas Eve came around. And precisely on that day, a special
miracle happened in Melk Abbey: Our Lady, carrying the baby Jesus in
her arms, decided to descend to Earth to visit the monastery.
All the priests lined up and each of them stood proudly before the
Virgin trying to pay homage to the Madonna and her Son. One of them
displayed the beautiful paintings that decorated the place, another
showed a copy of a Bible that had taken a hundred years to be written
and illustrated, while a third recited the names of all the saints.
At the very end of the line, young novice Buckhard anxiously waited
his turn. His parents were simple people, and all that they had taught
him was to toss balls up in the air and do some juggling.
When it came his turn, the other priests wanted to put an end to all
the homage that had been paid, since the ex-juggler had nothing
important to add and might even mar the image of the abbey.
Nevertheless, deep in his heart he also felt a great need to give
something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin. Feeling very ashamed
before the reproachful gaze of his brothers, he took some oranges from
his pocket and began to toss them in the air and catch them in his
hands, creating a beautiful circle in the air just as he used to do
when he and his family traveled to all the fairs in the region.
At that instant, the baby Jesus, lying in Our Lady’s lap, began to
clap his hands with joy. And it was to young Buckhard that the Virgin
held out her arms to let him hold the smiling child for a few moments.