Filial Piety Conquers an Epidemic
In March of Jia Wu (1655 A.D.), during the reign of Shun Zhi (a Qing Dynasty emperor who ruled China between 1644 and 1661 A.D.), there lived a person in Jinling village whose name was Gu Cheng. He had a daughter-in-law with the maiden name of Qian. One day Qian left to visit her parents. Soon after she left, an epidemic occurred in the village where Gu Cheng lived. Many people suffered from disease. Because the illness was so highly contagious, nobody from the outside dared to go inside the village.
Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Gu Cheng were also afflicted during the epidemic. Within a short period of time, eight family members, including several sons and daughters-in-law came down with the disease. They could not get out of bed for several days and nights and were close to death.
As soon as Qian heard the news, she wanted to hurry home to take care of her husband's family. Naturally, Qian's parents tried their best to dissuade her from returning home. Her parents wished to protect her. Qian said: "Did my husband not want me to provide filial duty for his aging parents when he married me? Now that this epidemic has happened, how can I ignore my parents-in-law? Won't I lose my humanity and become no different than an animal if I know of their predicament and yet do not return? I must go back and take care of them. If I should die, I will not regret it, as I will have fulfilled my duty."
Therefore, she hurried back home. As soon as she returned home, she heard ghostly voices, "Many Gods are protecting this courageous woman Qian. We must leave and avoid her!" Within a short period of time after Qian's return, the Gu family recovered.