The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
VARIOUS ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES APPERTAINING TO THE MOST HOLY MARY.
21. Cesarius relates that a Cistercian laybrother could say no other prayer but the” Hail Mary,” aud recited it continually with the greatest devotion. After his death there sprung up from the place where he was buried a tree, on whose leaves were written these words: Hail Mary, full of grace: “Ave Maria, gratia plena.”
22. Three devout virgins, by the advice of their confessor, recited one year, for forty days, the whole Rosary, as a preparation for the feast of the purification of Mary. On the vigil the divine mother appeared to the first of these three sisters with a rich garment, embroidered with gold, thanked her, and blessed her. Then she appeared to the second with a simple garment, and also thanked her. But she said to her: “Oh Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer garment?” “Because she has clothed me,” said Mary, “more richly than you have done.” She afterwards appeared to the third with a canvas garment, and she at once asked pardon for her tepidity in honoring her. The next year all three fervently prepared for the same feast, saying the Rosary with great devotion, when behold, on the evening preceding the festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and said to them: “Be prepared, for to-morrow you shall come to paradise.” And, in fact, the next day they went to church, related to the confessor what had occurred, and received communion in the morning. At the hour of compline they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came to take them with her, and amid the songs of angels, one after the other sweetly expired.
23. Father Crasset relates, that a certain military officer told him, that after a battle he found a soldier on the battle-ground who held in his hand a Rosary and the scapular of Mary, and asked for a confessor. His forehead had been pierced by a musket-ball, which had passed through the head and came out behind, so that the brain was visible and protruded through each opening, and he could not live without a miracle. He however raided himself, made his confession to the chaplain with great com punction, and after receiving absolution,expired.
24. The same author adds, that this very captain told him of being present when a trumpeter of his company received a pistol-shot from some one near, and when be examined his breast where he said that he had been hit, he found that the ball had been stopped by the scapular of the Virgin, which the man wore, and that it had not even touched the flesh. He took it and exhibited it to the whole company.
25. A noble youth, named Eschylus, being sent by the prince his Father to Hildesheim, a city of Saxony, to study, abandoned himself to a dissolute life. He fell ill, and was near dying, and while in that state he had a vision. He saw himself shut up in a furnace of fire, and believed himself to be already in hell; and then he escaped from it through a hole and took refuge in a great place, where he found the most holy Mary in the hall, and she said to him: “Rash man, dost thou dare to appear before me? Depart from here and go to the flames which thou dost merit.” The young man besought the Virgin to have mercy on him, and then turned to some persons who were near, and implored them to recommend him to Mary. They did so, and the divine mother answered: “You do not know the sinful life he has led, and that he had not even thought of saying a Hail Mary in my honor.” But his advocates answered: “Oh Lady, he will change his life; and the youth added: “Yes, I promise really to amend, and I will be thy servant.” Then the Virgin’s anger was appeased, and she said to him: “Well, I accept thy promise, be faithful to me, and mean while with my blessing, be delivered from hell and death.” When she had said this, the Virgin disappeared. Eschylus came to himself, and blessing Mary, related to others the grace he had received. He led ever after a holy life, always preserving a great affection towards the blessed Virgin, and was made Archbishop of the Church of Lude, in Denmark, where he converted many to the faith. Towards the close of his life, being old, he resigned the archbishopric and became a monk of Clairvaux, where he lived four years, and died a holy death. Hence he has been numbered by some writers among the saints of the Cistercian order.
26. A member of the brothers of the confraternity of Mary was invited one morning by a friend to dine with him. He promised to go but went first to the meeting of the confraternity, and after that he forgot his promise. His friend was so much offended by this, that one day when he met him he attempted to kill him; but, by a just judgment of God, he killed himself. His friend was immediately taken before the court, found guilty of the murder, and was condemned to death. He recommended himself to the Virgin, and, inspired by her, begged to be led into the presence of the dead body, and then asked him how he had died. He confessed that he died by his own hands, and his friend was set at liberty.
27. In the year 1604, at Dola, a member of the same confraternity was very ill. On a feast-day he said to himself: “At this hour my brothers are assembled and occupied in praising Mary, and am I here”? He rose from his bed and went to the assembly, when suddenly the fever left him, and he was restored to health.
28. A fisherman, belonging to the same confraternity in Naples, had been ill for several days through the severe discipline he had practised in the meeting of the confraternity. Being somewhat better, as he was poor and had a family, he returned to his fishing, saying to the most holy Virgin: Oh, my Lady, for thee I have suffered this evil, do thou help me;” and our blessed Lady allowed him to take as many fish as he would have taken in all the time he had lost.
29. Another member was going to be imprisoned for debt; he recommended himself to Mary, and the most holy Virgin inspired his creditors to release him from his debt, and so they did.
30. A young man who had been a member of the confraternity of the Virgin, left it, and abandoned himself to a dissolute life. One night the devil appeared to him in a frightful form. He began to invoke the blessed Virgin. “In vain,” said his enemy to him, “do you invoke her whom you have abandoned; your sins have made thee mine.” The youth in terror fell on his knees, and began to recite the formula of the brothers: “Oh most holy Virgin mother,” &c. Then the mother of God appeared to him, at whose presence the demon fled, leaving behind him a.great stench, and an opening in the wall. And Mary then turned to the youth, and said: “Thou didst not merit my help, but I wish to take pity on thee, that thou mayest change, and return to the confraternity.”