‘I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation’

That is ‘I make you strong, dedicating you to God.’

A Chinese mission was being looted by a large party of bandits. The priest lay wounded and unconscious, and the bandits had got hold of a Chinese boy of twelve who usually served at Mass. For some time the bandit chieftain questioned and threatened the boy, trying in vain to make him say where the chalice and other sacred vessels were hidden. At last the chief lifted his hand with an angry oath, and with his open hand struck the boy a great blow across the face that sent him crashing against the wall.

‘Come back here!’ said the chief, and the boy slowly recovered himself and came back to stand before his brutal questioner.

‘Do you want another like that?’

‘Go on — I’m ready if you are. It is what I bargained for.’ The bandit grinned with puzzled admiration.

‘How do you mean, bargained for?’

‘We were confirmed last month. The Bishop struck me on the cheek. He said that is what a soldier of Christ must expect.’

‘Look here, you’re the sort of lad we want. Tell us where these things are hidden and I’ll let you come with me and my troop!’

‘No, I’d rather be a soldier of Christ.’

The chief took out his revolver, but just at that moment there were shouts and rifle-shots in the street, and the bandits all rushed out leaving the boy forgotten. Some regular soldiers had arrived, the bandits were soon cleaned up or driven from the village and the Christians were able to repair the damage and take care of the mission father, who wrote a proud account to the Bishop of the behaviour of his newly confirmed altar-server.

– Rev. F.H. Drinkwater,  Catechism Stories Part IV: The Sacraments (1939)