Incidents in My Life - D D Home - The last Duke of Parma’s dead son comes to visit
Type of Spiritual Experience
Hallucination because the image of the boy was superimposed over the image of the room
A description of the experience
Quoted in Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission
I have omitted from the above list the name of one of the most remarkable personages with whom Mr. Home became acquainted in France in 1857. I speak of the last Duke of Parma, who had abdicated some time previously, and was living at Paris in 1857 under the incognito of Count de Villafranca. The strange circumstances attending the commencement of the Duke's friendship with Home are related without names in the Incidents. Briefly summarized, the story is as follows:
In the early summer of 1857, the Count de Villafranca, a stranger to Home, called on him one morning and sent up a pressing request to see him, Mr Home writes:
He advanced to where I stood and, taking me kindly by the hand, he said to me, “I have been sent to you, and you will yet know the reason why, though you do not even know who I am. I live at No. 4, Rue, and you will be obliged to come to me.” I shook my head at this incredulously, and told him my time was so taken up that I had scarcely time even to call on my friends. He smiled, and said, “You will see, you will see.”
The conversation then changed; and he left me after having written his address.
Home dined the same evening with the Baroness de Meyendorf, and, on entering the drawing room, saw a young man standing there. Home writes
I was surprised at this, expecting to have met no stranger. With his eyes fixed upon me, he said, “I am glad you have come, for we will go together to see my father;” and he then suddenly disappeared. I had thought till then he was a guest, so real was the vision.
Later in the evening the apparition again presented himself; and Home then delayed no longer, but went to the residence of his visitor of the morning.
On reaching No. 4, Rue, I was directed to the rooms of the Count; and his valet told me that his master was preparing to retire, and in all probability could not see me. Again the voice told me to announce myself; and at that very moment a door was opened, and the Count came towards me, and said, “I have been waiting for you, I knew you would come.” I described to him the young man I had seen, and all that had happened; and he at once recognised him as his son. He showed me a portrait of him, which exactly corresponded with my vision of him”
The tragic story of the death of the Duke of Parma's son need not be related here. It is enough to add that the Count or, rather, the Duke told Home in what manner he had been impressed to seek him; and that the morning visit and evening vision were the commencement of a friendship that Home valued greatly.