The Story of Amahl
Somewhere in the world lives a
crippled little shepherd called Amahl, with his mother, an impoverished
widow. Nothing is left to them of the little they ever had, and they are
now faced with hunger and cold in their empty house.
Three Wise Men, on their way to
Bethlehem, stop at the hut and ask to be taken in for the night. Amahl and
his mother welcome them and their Page as well as they can, and are much
astonished at the splendor of their robes and the wealth of gifts they are
carrying with them. When Amahl's mother realizes that the Three Kings are
looking for a newborn babe and that the expensive gifts are all destined
for him, she becomes bitter and envious. She cannot understand why at
least some of these gifts could not be given to her own child, who is so
poor and sickly.
Under cover of darkness, while the
Three Kings are asleep, she steals some of the gold from them - and is
caught red-handed. When she explains to the Three Kings that she needs the
gold to feed her starving child, she is readily forgiven. With great
tenderness they try to explain to her who this newborn child is and how
much he needs the love of every human being to build his coming kingdom.
Touched by their words, the poor widow not only gives back the stolen
gold, but wishes she could add a gift of her own. Little Amahl comes to
her rescue. He impulsively hands the Three Kings his wooden crutch, his
most precious possession, and in so doing he is miraculously cured of his
As dawn appears in the sky, the
Three Kings prepare to resume their journey. Amahl begs his mother to let
him join them, and he is finally allowed to follow the Kings to Bethlehem
to adore and give thanks to the Christ Child.