The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
VARIOUS ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES APPERTAINING TO THE MOST HOLY MARY.
11. A devout servant of Mary, who lived in Portugal , fasted on bread and water every Saturday of his life, in honor of Mary, and chose for his advocates with the blessed Virgin, St. Michael and St. John the Evangelist. At the hour of his death the queen of heaven appeared to him, with those saints, who were praying for him, and the holy Virgin, looking upon her servant with a joyful countenance, said to those saints : “I will not depart hence without taking this soul with me.”
12. In one of our missions, after the sermon on Mary which it is our custom to preach, a very old man came to one of the Fathers of our congregation, to make his confession. He was full of consolation, and said : “Our Lady has done me a favor.” “And what favor has she done you ?”asked the confessor. “For thirty-five years, Father, I have made sacrilegious confessions, because I was ashamed of one sin, and yet I have passed through many dangers, and have been several times at the point of death, and if I had died then I certainly should have been lost ; and now our Lady has done me the favor to touch my heart ;” and when he said this he wept so bitterly, that he seemed to be all tenderness. After the Father had heard his confesion, he asked him what devotion he had practised, and he answered that he had never failed on Saturday to keep a strict fast in honor of Mary, and therefore the Virgin had taken pity on him, aud he gave the Father permission to publish the fact in his sermons.
13. In the country of Normandy a certain robber was beheaded, and his head was thrown into a trench; but afterwards it was heard crying: “Mary, give me confession.” A priest went to him and heard his confession; and questioning him as to his practices of devotion, the robber answered that he had no other except that of fasting one day of the week in honor of the holy Virgin, and that for this our Lady had obtained for him the grace to be delivered from hell by that confession.
14. There were two young noblemen living in the city of Madrid who encouraged each other in their sinful life. One of them saw one night, in a dream, his companion seized by some Moors and carried to the shore of a stormy sea. They were about to do the same with him, but he had recourse to Mary, and made a vow that he would become a religious at once, and thus he was rescued from these Moors; then he saw Jesus seated on a throne, and as if in anger, and the holy Virgin supplicating and obtaining mercy for him. When his friend came to visit him he related to him the vision, but he laughed at it; and shortly after was stabbed with a poniard and died. When the other youth saw the vision verified he made his confession, and was strengthened in his resolution of becoming a religious. In view of that, lie sold all that he had, but instead of giving the money to the poor, as he had intended, he expended it in debauchery. He afterwards fell ill, and had another vision; he thought he saw hell opened and the divine Judge in the act of condemning him. Again he had recourse to Mary, and Mary again delivered him. He was restored to health and led a worse life than before. He went to Lima, in South America, where he fell ill, and in the hospital of that place was again touched by the grace of God. He confessed to Father Francis Perlino, a Jesuit, to whom he promised to change his life, but went back to his evil courses. At length the same Father, visiting one day another hospital in a distant place, saw that wretched man extended on the earth, and heard him exclaim: “Ah, I am lost; and for my greater torment this Father has come here to witness my punishment. I came here from Lima, and am brought to this end by my vices, and now I am going to hell.” With these words on his lips he died, before the Father had time to give him any assistance.
15. There was once in Germany a certain criminal condemned to death; but he was ob stinate and refused to make his confession, though a Jesuit father did his utmost to con vert him. He entreated him, he wept, he cast bimself at his feet; but seeing that all was in vain, he finally said: “Let us recite a Hail Mary. No sooner had the criminal recited it than he began to cry bitterly, made his confession with much compunction, and wished to die clasping tbe image of Mary.
16. In a city of Spain there lived a sinful man who had given himself to the devil, and had never been to confession. He did nothing good but say a Hail Mary” every day. Father Eueebius Nierembergh relates, that when this man was at the point of death the most holy Virgin appeared to him in a dream and looked on him; her kind eyes so changed him that he immediately sent for a confessor, made his confession with a voice broken by sobs, made a vow to become a religious if he should live, and then died.
17. A devout servant of Mary always inculcated it upon her daughter that she should often recite the “Hail Mary,” especially when she was in any danger. One day when this girl was resting after a ball, she was attacked by a demon, who in a visible form, bore her off with him. He had already seized her, but she began “Hail Mary,” and the enemy disappeared.
18. A woman of Cologne who bad criminal intercourse with an ecclesiastic, found him one day hanging in her room dead. After this she entered into a monastery, where the devil assailed her in a bodily form, so that she knew not what to do in order to be delivered from him. A companion suggested to her to say the “Hail Mary;” and when she did so the demon said: “Accursed may she be who has taught thee this,” and appeared no more.
19. A certain baron who led a very sinful life was accidentally visited in his castle by a religious, who, enlightened by God, begged him to assemble together all his servants. They all came except the chamberlain. He at last was forced to come in, and the Father said to him: “Now, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to tell who you are.” And he answered: “I am a devil from hell, who for fourteen years have served this villain, waiting until some day he should omit those seven “Hail Marys” which he is in the habit of reciting, that I might then strangle him and take him to the flames of hell.” The religious then commanded the devil to depart. He obeyed, and disappeared. The baron then threw himself at his feet, was converted, and led a holy life.
20. The blessed Francis Patrizii, who greatly loved the devotion of the “Hail Marys,” recited five hundred every day. Mary made known to him the hour of his death. He died as a saint; and after forty years a most beautiful lily sprung from his mouth, which was then transported into France, and on the leaves of it was written the “Hail Mary,” in letters of gold.