ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a beggar named Servulus, who sat on the steps of St. Clement's church in Rome everyday, rain or shine, snow or sleet. He sat, a little heap of ragged clothes and twisted bones, and begged for whatever people would toss his way. Servulus did this not because he was too lazy to work but because he could do nothing else. He had been born a cripple. He could not walk, he could not stand up or turn his head or bend over. He couldn't even bring the food to his mouth at mealtime, and this was very embarrassing for him. Imagine having to ask someone to wipe the spaghetti sauce from your chin quickly before it drips!
Servulus wondered why he had been born this way. He loved God deeply and would have liked to serve Him with a strong body, running errands, playing ball with children, growing vegetables, making wine. All these things other people did without thinking, like breathing, but he could only dream about this.
He made no complaints when his mother and brother left him on the church steps each morning. he knew he was out of their way and they could now go about their own work without worrying about him. Servulus decided that if all he was good for was to be a beggar, then he would be a very good beggar. At the end of each day, he sorted through his pile of food people had thrown at him, and he took only what he needed for that day. He divided the rest, old bread, a very soggy banana, split pea soup nine days old, pickles, firewood, garlic, or what ever the day might bring, with his fellow beggars. Everyone went home with something from Servulus.
During the day, he sang songs of praise and joy to lighten his friend's hearts. Sometimes they would join him, and make such light-hearted, merry music, that the doves flew out of the bell tower to add their cooing to the song.
This is how Servulus spent his life. As he grew older, he did not wonder why he was on earth. He knew that through him God wanted to show that everyone is important to Him and everyone has a special place in life, whether it is on a throne or on the steps of a church, singing with doves.
The next time you are grouchy because you stubbed your toe or burnt your tongue, think of Servulus. His pain never went away, and he had no hope that tomorrow it would be better. Perhaps if he had asked God for a miracle to make him whole, so he could ride a bike or play the flute or eat spaghetti by himself, God would have said, "Why, certainly, Servulus!" But he didn't ask, Instead he accepted what he was, without whining or complaining or trying to make everyone feel sorry for him. He made do and used what he had to glorify God - himself.
After some years, he felt the time drawing near for him to go on to his new life in Heaven. He could not wait to be able to stand and stretch and touch the stars!
As the snow fell on the steps of St. Clement's church, Servulus asked his friends to join him in singing one last time to Mary, the Winter Rose. While they did, there came a great flutter of wings and hundreds of angels flew into the sky like confetti and joined in their song. The music swelled into the sky and the smell of roses mingled with the fresh snow as the angels descended and lifted Servulus into their arms, and they rose up and away into Heaven.
As the last note of the song was sung, they disappeared from sight. Only a few petals remained on the spot where Servulus once sat.
Dear children, always remember that you are just as important to God as Servulus is. God loves all children and wants them to be with Him in Heaven.
There are three simple ways which will take you to Heaven, that is to know God, which means you have to learn all about Him,
To love God, which means you will never do anything which offends Him,
To serve Him, which means that you will do everything that God asks of you.
When you say your night prayers, ask God to help you, to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him all your life. Then the angels will also be there for you to take you to that glorious place - Heaven!
Source: Once Upon a Time Saints.