The two seamen

A seaman went to church to make his confession and the priest asked him how many persons there were in the Holy Trinity.

“Fourteen,” the seaman replied.

The priest was annoyed by his answer, and told him:

“Go away and learn your catechism and then come back and make your confession.”

The seaman got up and left the confession box and went out into the street, just as a friend of his, who was also a seaman, was coming in.

“Hey, there,” he said to him, “how many persons are there in the Holy Trinity?”

“I think there are four of them,” said the one who was entering the church.

“Well, you can go and try that out on the priest and see what luck you have. I just said there were fourteen and he still wasn’t satisfied.”


Oliveira 1905 II, 493, #422, Os Dois Homens do Mar [The Two Seamen]. Algarve, Algoz; Oliveira 2002 II, 343.

Tale type AaTh 1832 G*, Four Persons of Trinity

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