The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
VARIOUS ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES APPERTAINING TO THE MOST HOLY MARY.
41. A certain cavalier, of the city of Doul, in France, named Ansaldo, received in the battle a wound from an arrow, which entered so deep into the jaw-bone, that it was not possible to extract the iron. After four years of suffering, the afflicted man could endure the pain no longer, and being besides very ill, he thought he would again try to have the iron extracted. He recommended himself to the blessed Virgin, and made a vow to visit every year a sacred image of her which was in that place, arid make an offering of a certain sum of money upon her altar if she granted this request. He had no sooner made the vow then the iron, without being touched, fell into his mouth. The next day, ill as he was, he went to visit the image, and scarcely had he placed the promised gift upon the altar, when he felt himself entirely restored to health.
42. There was once a Spaniard who held sinful intercourse with a relative. A devout virgin, while she was at prayer, saw Jesus on his throne, who was on the point of sending that criminal to hell ; but his holy mother obtained thirty days grace for him, because he once had honored her. By the command of the divine mother herself, his female companion told the whole to her confessor, who made it known to the young man, and he at once made his confession, with many tears and promises of amendment. But because he did not remove the temptation from him, he fell again into sin, went again to confession, again made a resolution, and again relapsed. As he did not go to see the Father again, the Father went to his house to find him, but was very rudely dismissed. The last of the thirty days had arrived, the Father went to the house again, but in vain ; he desired the servant, however, to give him notice if there was any accident ; and indeed at night that miserable sinner was attacked with violent pains. The Father was called, and endeavored to relieve him, but the unhappy man exclaimed : “My heart has been pierced with a lance, and I ain dying. Then giving a groan of despair, he expired.
43. There lived once in Milan a man named Masaccio, so addicted to gambling, that one day he lost at play the very clothes he wore. In a violent rage at his loss, he took a knife and struck an image of the blessed Virgin, and blood burst forth from it into his face. He was so much moved that he burst into tears, and offered thanks to the Virgin that she had obtained for him time for repentance. He afterwards entered a Cistercian monastery, and led such a holy life that he even received the gift of prophecy; after being forty years a religious, he died a holy death.
44. A very sinful man, once kneeling in tears at tne foot of the cross, prayed that he might receive a sign of pardon. But when he found that his prayer was not granted, he turned to an image of the sorrowful Mary, who then appeared to him, and he saw her present his tears to her Son, saying: My Son, shall these tears be lost? “Fili, istse lacrymse peribunt?” And then he was given to understand that Christ had already pardoned him, and from that time he led a holy life.
45. A man of advanced age, during one of our missions, after the usual sermon on the powerful intercession of Mary, which it is our custorn always to preach in the missions, came to make his confession to one of our Fathers, named D. Cesar Sportelli, who lately died in the fame of sanctity, and was found uncorrupted many months after his death. Kneeling at the feet of his confessor, he said: “Father, our Lady has had pity on me.” “This is her office,” answered the Father. But you cannot give me absolution,” said the other, “for I have never made my confession.” And, in fact, although he was a Catholic, he had never made his confession. The Father encouraged him, heard his confession, and gave him absolution with great consolation.
46. The blessed Bernard Tolomeo, founder of the Olivetan Fathers, who, from his childhood, had a great devotion to Mary, was one day greatly tormented in his hermitage at Accona, called Mt. Olivet, with the fear that he should not be saved, and that God had not yet pardoned him; but the divine mother appeared to him, and said: “What do you fear, my son? Take courage; God has already pardoned you, and is pleased with the life you lead; go on, and I will help and save you.” The blessed religious continued to lead a holy life till he died a happy death in the arms of Mary.
47. There lived in Germany a young girl, called Agnes, who had been guilty of incest in the first degree. She fled into a desert, and there gave birth to a child. The devil, in the form of a religious, appeared to her, and persuaded her to throw the child into a pond. But after wards, when he proposed to her to throw herself in also, she said: “Mary, help me,” and the devil disappeared.
48. A soldier once made a compact with the devil, that he would sell his wife to him for a certain sum of money. He was taking her to a wood to fulfil his promise, when he passed before a church dedicated to the Virgin. His wife begged him to allow her to pay her devotion to Mary in that church; but as she entered it, Mary came forth from it, and taking the form of the woman, accompanied the husband. When they reached the wood, the demon said to the man: “Traitor, why have you brought me, in stead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?” “And thou,” said Mary, “how hast thou dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.” And then turning to the man, she said: “Amend your life, and I will aid you.” She disappeared, and that wretched man repented, and amended his life.
49. A very sinful woman who lived in Meseico, having fallen ill, repented of her life, and made a vow to Mary, that if she would restore her to health she would present her with her hair. She was cured, and she cut off her hair, making an offering of it to the statue of the Virgin. But the woman again fell into sin, again fell ill, and died impenitent. Then Mary one day afterwards spoke from that statue to Father Giaramaria Salvaterra, and said: Take those locks from my head, for they belong to a lost and sinful soul, and are not befitting the head of the mother of purity. The Father obeyed her, and threw them himself instantly into the flames.
50. A Saracen, named Petran, made captive several Christians in Spain, who recommended themselves to the holy Virgin. Mary appeared to the Saracen, and said to him: “Petran, how dare you to hold my servants slaves? Release them immediately obey.” And the Moor answered: “Who are you whom I am to obey?” I am,” said she, “the mother of God; and because they have had recourse to me, I wish you to give them their liberty.” Then the heart of Petran was changed, he set the Christians free, and presented himself to the Virgin. She first instructed him, and then she herself baptized him in a fountain, near which a church was built, and a Benedictine monastery.