Wording of this Handout:
Have you ever heard the story of Albert Speckbacher? He was a brave boy, who gave his life for his village. Here is how it happened.
There was a village in the north-east of Italy, where some people called the Tirolese lived. They were attacked by the French, who advanced as far as the river Ard.
There was one way across the river, and it gave the French soldiers access to the village: a tree, which lay across the ravine.
The men of the village began to chop through the tree, but the French shot at them, and, one by one, the men fell dead or dying, and another man would take up the axe and begin to chop.
Albert's father fell dead too.
The tree had been chopped nearly through.
Albert realised that, unless the job was completed, the soldiers would get across, and kill his friends, so he grabbed the axe and tried to chop. Bullets whined and whizzed about him, but still he chopped, but he knew he would be hit any moment, so he jumped on the tree, and snapped the thread of wood which still held it.
Albert fell, with the trunk, down into the river, and was killed.
Afterwards, the French honoured Albert's act of courage, and set up a monument in his honour.
This story reminds me of the way Jesus gave HIS life for the sake of His friends too. It is stories like this which stir us most of all, because we know how hard it is to even THINK of dying, let alone for someone ELSE!
Jesus said: Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13)