Posted tagged ‘Victor Hugo’


April 27, 2014

Christendom has long called this Sunday “Quasimodo Sunday.”  It’s because the first given prayer for this day begins with the words:  quasi modo”  which means “as”  or “in this manner.” 

More about the real “in this manner” later, but for now I’m musing about Quasimodo, the man at the center of action in Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.    At one time every literate person in Europe knew who Quasimodo was, and how by an act of Christian charity the ugly abandoned baby who was to become Quasimodo was found and adopted  and cared for  by the archdeacon of Notre Dame cathedral.    Since he was found on Quasimodo Sunday,  the baby boy was given the name Quasimodo.

This being a novel written by the very anti-Catholic Monsieur Hugo,  lust, murder, and revenge abounds in the hearts of all the characters,  whether good or evil, Catholic or non-Catholic, in a moral mish-mash of the cynical soup that arose out of the Enlightenment.

Nevertheless, from his earliest years,  Quasimodo was alive and given an honorable way to make his living because of Christian charity.

Had the characters in Victor Hugo’s book been guided by the rest of the prayer which names this Sunday,  they would have had less heartache and more holiness  —  and so it is with every man.    The prayer points to all those who come to faith in Christ and are eager to please Him and are hungry to know more.

Like little children,  as newborn babies,  in the manner of enthusiastic newbies, willing to receive more,  in this manner live your lives.

For anyone who has experienced any little knowledge of God, let him delight with childlike simplicity and be open for more;   let him long for more.

Quasimodo;  “in this manner.”   Simple, humble, childlike, open for more wonders of faith   —   Perhaps like the baby boy Quasimodo once was, when he first experienced the tender love of Christian charity, and before he became enmeshed in the drama of adult evils.

How we can pity all those who lose their childlike eagerness to be good.