A CARPENTER that once lived in medieval Switzerland had only one son. His son, however, was very inept in handwork, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get him to make anything useful out of it. In the end, he simply decided that his son was no good, and asked him to go away and never come back unless he had some skill or important piece of knowledge to show him.
So, when one day the son did came back, his father asked to know what he had mastered. The son replied: "I learned Spanish".
Not knowing languages, however, the carpenter thought that Spanish was useless. He was furthermore worried by the fact that he grew older by the day and would not be able to sustain both of them in the future. So, he sent him to a second tutor, even further than the first one, to learn some other craft. The second time the son returned, however, he exclaimed: "The teacher you sent me to taught me Italian".
The father was once more displeased with the answer. He then said: "I will send you away for a third time, and if yet again you have nothing of worth to show me when you come back, you will have no place in our house". And so, the son left for a third time.
When he came back, he proudly told his father: "This third tutor taught me Latin!". His father then became angrier than ever before, as he thought Latin was even more useless than both Spanish and Italian. He shouted at him: "If the Spanish and Italian you learned cannot give you food to eat for the day, I'd really like to see what you will make out of Latin!". And so, he cast his son out of his house, never to provide for him again in the future.
The son left his home, this time with no tutor waiting for him this time to teach him something. He kept walking, day and night, but as he had no map, he got lost in the woods. A band of Spanish speaking Knights then found him, who escorted him to their Castle in Madrid, where the son begged them to find a job for him so as to help him make a living. Their master then asked him what else he knew other than Spanish. "Italian, and Latin", the son replied.
"You will maybe have a better luck in Italy", the master told him, unable to make use of his talents. He then boarded him on a ship and sent him to Venice to find the city's Doge, that is, the King of the city. The carpenter's son appeared in front of the Doge and begged him to find him a job so he could make ends meet. The Doge, however, refused, telling him: "Since you also know Latin, it's best you go straight to Rome".
He then put him on a carriage and ordered the driver not to stop before reaching Rome. When they finally arrived, the son found himself in front of St Peter's Church in the Vatican, where at that moment a group of Cardinals in red cloaks were electing a new Pope. So desperate were they for being unable to decide on a candidate, that they thought it best to ask God for a sign. As soon as the son entered the Church, they all turned to face him, wondering how he could have possibly arrived at the spot at that time.
He then addressed them in perfect Latin: after explaining his trip all the way from Switzerland to Rome, they were persuaded that he was indeed God's chosen and that he would have to sit on St. Peter's Throne, declaring him the next Pope in a magnificent ceremony where only Latin was spoken.