The Glories Of Mary
by ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
VARIOUS ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES APPERTAINING TO THE MOST HOLY MARY.
51. A certain canon, while he was repeating ome devotions in honor of the divine mother, fell into the river Seine and was drowned, and being in mortal sin, the devils came to take him to hell. But Mary appeared at the same time, and said to them: “How have you dared to take possession of one who died praising me?” Then turning to the sinner, she said: “Repent,” and be particularly devout to my Conception. He was restored to life, became a religious, and never ceased to thank his deliverer, and every where to propagate the devotion to her Immaculate Conception.
52. Whilst the monks of Clairvaux were reaping in the fields, and praising the queen of heaven, most holy Mary was seen caressing them, and two other saints wiping their sweat.
53. The brother of the King of Hungary recited every day the office of Mary. Once when he was very ill, he made a vow of chastity to the Virgin, if she would restore him to health: and he immediately recovered. But his brother having died, he was about to be married, and just as the nuptials were to be celebrated, he retired apart to recite his accustomed office. When he came to the words: Thou art fair and comely, &c. : “Quam pulchra es et decora,” he saw Mary, who said to him: “If I am fair as you say, why do you leave me for another spouse? Know, that if you leave her, you shall have me for a spouse, and the kingdom of heaven instead of the kingdom of Hungary.” After this the prince withdrew into a desert near Aquileia, where he lived a holy life.
54. St. John Clirnacus relates, that there was a devout religious, named Carcerio, who was accustomed often to repeat little songs in praise of Mary, and always saluted her images with a ” Hail Mary.” He was once afflicted with so painful a malady, that in the paroxysms of his suffering he bit his lips and tongue. He lost his speech, and was at the point of death. Whilst the religious were recommending his soul to God, the mother of God appeared to him and said: “I have come to cure thee, for I do not wish that mouth should suffer with which thou hast so often praised me. Arise, thou art healed, continue to praise me. Having said this, she sprinkled him with some drops of her milk, and immediately he was cured, and never ceased to praise her, until, visited again by his Lady at his death, he sweetly expired in her arms.
55. When St. Francis Borgia was in Rome, an ecclesiastic came to speak with him; but the saint being much occupied, sent Father Acosta to him. The ecclesiastic said to him: “Father, I am a priest and a preacher, but I live in sin, and distrust the divine mercy. After preaching a sermon one day against the obstinate, who afterwards despair of pardon, a person came to me to make his confession, who narrated to me all my sins, and at length told me that he despaired of the divine mercy. In order to do my duty, I told him that he must change his life, and trust in God; then that penitent rose to his feet and reproached me, saying: And you, who preach thus to others, why do you not amend, and why do you distrust ? Know, said he, that I am an angel come to your aid; amend and you will be pardoned. And when he had said this he disappeared. I abstained for several days from my sinful practices, but when temptation came I again returned to my sins. On another day, as I was celebrating Mass, Jesus Christ sensibly spoke to me from the host, and said: Why dost thou thus maltreat me, when I treat thee so well ? After this I resolved to amend, but at the next temptation fell again into sin. A few hours ago, a youth came to me in my apartment, and drew from under his mantle a chalice, and from this a consecrated host, saying: Do you know this Lord whom I hold in my hand ? Do you remember how many favors he has done you ? Now behold the punishment of your ingratitude, and saying this he drew a sword to kill me. I then cried: for the love of Mary do not kill me, for I will indeed amend. And then he said: This was the only thing that could save you: make a good use of this grace, for this is the last mercy for you. When he had said this he left me, and I came immediately here, praying you to receive me among you.” Father Acosta consoled him, and the priest, by the advice also of St. Francis, entered another order of strict observance, where he persevered in holiness till his death.
56. In the year 1228, while a priest was celebrating Mass on a Saturday, in honor of the most holy Mary, some Albigensian heretics came and cruelly cut out his tongue. In this condition he went to the monastery of Cluny, where the good religious received him with much charity, greatly compassionating the suffering he endured from the loss of his tongue But what caused the greatest suffering to this devout priest was, that he could no longer say Mass and recite the divine office, and that of the blessed Virgin, as he had been accustomed to do. The feast of Epiphany having arrived, he begged to be carried into the church, and before the altar of the holy Virgin prayed her to restore the tongue which he bad lost through love of her, that he might sing her praises as he did before. Then Mary appeared to him with a tongue in her hand, and said to him: “Since thou hast lost the tongue for the faith, and for the honor thou hast paid me, I give thee in return a new one.” Having said this, with her own hands she plac ed the tongue in his mouth, and immediately the priest, raising his voice, recited the “Hail Mary.” The religious quickly assembled, and the priest wished to remain with them, and to become himself a religious, that there he might always praise his benefactress. The mark of the scar was always seen on his tongue.
57. It was in 589 that the famous plague prevailed in Rome, when men were attacked with sneezing,and fell down dead. St. Gregory the Great, when he was carrying in procession through the city an image belonging to the church of St. Mary Major, in the place now called the Castle of St, Angelo, saw an angel in the air, who was replacing in its scabbard a sword dripping with blood. Then he heard the angels singing: Oh, Queen of heaven rejoice, Alleluia; for he whom thou didst deserve to bear, Alleluia, is risen again, as he said, Alleluia: “Regina coeli, laetare, Alle luia; quia quern meruisti portare Alleluia; resurrexit, sicut dixit, Alleluia.” And St. Gregory responded: “Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.” Immediately the plague ceased, and they then began to celebrate the greater Litanies every year on the 25th of April.
58. A city of France, called Avignon, was once besieged by enemies. The citizens prayed to Mary to defend them, and placed an image of her which they had taken from the church, at the gate of the city. One of the citizens having concealed himself behind the image, a soldier shot an arrow at him, saying: This image shall not save you from death.” But the image presented her knee, and the arrow remained fixed in it, and may be seen there even to this day ; and thus she saved the life of her servant. And the enemy, moved by this prodigy, raised the siege.
59. There was in Naples a Moor, a slave of Don Octavius del Monaco, who, although he had often been exhorted to leave his Mahometan sect, remained obstinate, but yet never failed every evening to keep lighted, at his own expense, a lamp before an image of Mary which was in the house. And he said: “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.” One night the blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. Still the Turk resisted, but she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel; be baptized and called Joseph.” In the morning he immediately went to be instructed, and was baptized August 10th, 1648, with eleven other Turks. Let it be observed that when the divine mother appeared to him,after she had converted him, she was about to depart, but the Moor seized her mantle, saying : “Oh Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray thee to let me see thee.” In fact she one day promised him this, and when he was in affliction he invoked her, and Mary appeared again to him, saying : “Have patience,” and he was consoled.
60. A certain parish priest of Asella, named Baldwin, became a Dominican, and when he was in his novitiate there came to him the temptation that he could do greater good in the world in his parish, and he resolved to return. But going to take his leave of the altar of the Rosary, Mary appeared to him with two vessels of wine ; she gave him to drink of the first, but the novice had hardly tasted it, when he turned away his mouth, for although the wine was good, yet it was full of dregs ; the second he pronounced good, and free from dregs : “Now,” said the most holy Virgin, there is the same difference between the life in the world, and the life in religion, which is under obedience. ” Baldwin persevered, and died a good religious.