Church Bell Stories

The Bishop of Chalons christened a peal of bells (even today these same bells can be heard) during Mass. During the homily or sermon, the Bishop said," The bells, placed like sentinels on the towers, watch over us, and turn us away from us the temptations of the enemy of our salvation, as well as storms and tempests. They speak and pray for us in our troubles; they inform heaven of the necessity of earth."

The Bells of Malta

The Bishop o Malta orders the bells to be rung in a tempest. In 1152, the Bishop of Malta ordered all the church belles of the island to be rung for an hour, to frighten the powers of the air, and allay a heavy gale.

The Bells of Paris

In 1868, while I was living in Paris, I heard some of the church bells ringing during a thunderstorm. On inquiring of the head ringer of the cause, he told me it was to exorcise the air, for every one knew that evil spirits were the cause of tempests. The wife of this man, well-educated women was my friend, and I had a long talk with her on the subject.

At the any death of any one the parish tenor bell first "tells" the parish of the decease by tolling three times three for a man. The bells were to be wrung three times two for a woman (children are sometimes ranked with men and women, and sometimes three times one is told for a child). This is to bespeak the prayers of the parish on behalf of those who died. The bell is then "raised" and "told" to frighten away the evil spirits, that they should not be obstructed in its passage to heaven. (Memorial de Chronologie )

The Bells of Madrid and St. Isidore

The Belles of Madrid ring spontaneously when the body of St. Isidore is removed from the churchyard into the church. St. Isidore was only a day laborer. When he died he was as tradition called for, buried in the churchyard. Forty years after his death, the body of this holy man was removed with great pageantry into the Cathedral in Madrid. The moment his grave was opened, all the bells of the city began to ring of their own accord, and went on ringing until the burial and ceremony were over. (Life of St. Isisdore by Rihadneira and DA Vfrillegas, Extragants)