‘The Number Tattoo ‘ By Hank Landry

In the middle sixties a young altar boy encounters a priest unlike any before. The altar boy has always been infatuated with WW ll. The priest is past the age and health of maintaining a parish. He is sent as relief to pastors as they take vacations and sabbaticals. A friendship develops over two summers between the priest and the young altar boy.
One morning, after mass, Father Fenstad shows the altar boy, Hank, something that is said in Latin each time the prayers of consecration is said. Hanq Igitor. Hank is told this word is his name in Latin. It is a part of the mass that can never be changed. The good father tells Hank he has been chosen. His name can never be taken from the prayer of the mass.
Upon the pastors return for Ireland, Father Fenstad returns home. Hank is told that the visiting priest was touched for his service on the altar. The newly refreshed pastor tells of Father Fenstad’s injury.
A year passes and the visiting priest returns as he did the summer before. Near the end of his stay the priest arrives at church for morning mass in pain from his injuries. Hank must be the priest legs on the altar for mass. Miracles take place during the mass. Words are heard from heaven.
Once mass is concluded Father Finstad relates to Hank the tragedy that befell him as a young man, and that of his kid brother as they were captive in the Auschwitz prison during the war. It is gut wrenching, and the two share the experience that will now affect both of their lives.

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