Among the children of Israel there lived a couple named Elcana and Anna. Anna was getting old, but still had no child. So she prayed to God for one. She promised that if God gave her a son, she would give him to the Lord all his days.
God answered Anna's prayers and sent her Samuel. He became one of the wisest Judges of Israel.
When Samuel was yet a little boy, Anna his mother took him to serve in the Temple. The priest at that time was Heli.
Anna said, "God sent me this son in answer to my prayers. I have brought him to serve in the Temple. As long as he lives, he belongs to God."
One night, when Samuel had been serving in the Temple some years, he heard someone calling. He ran to Heli, the high priest, and said, "Here I am."
But Heli replied, "I did not call you. Go back to sleep."
Samuel went back to bed. After a while he again heard his name being called. He jumped up and went to Heli, crying, "Here I am, for you called me."
This happened three times. At last Heli knew that it was God who had spoken to Samuel. He told the boy, if he was called again, to answer, "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."
Samuel went back to sleep. After a while he once more heard a voice calling him. He answered, "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." Then God spoke and told Samuel that He was going to punish Heli and his sons. Heli's sons were wicked, but Heli did not punish them, although he knew about their wickedness.
Some time after this, the Philistines fought against the Israelites. Heli's sons were killed in battle. The Ark of the Covenant was captured. When Heli heard the news, he fell from his seat, broke his neck, and died.
When Samuel was grown up, he became a Judge of Israel and ruled wisely. He appointed his sons Judges, too. But they were wicked, and the Israelites asked Samuel to find a king to rule over them.
- from , by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O'Doherty of Manila, Philippines