The Blessings of Mary
Taken from
Irish Ursulines, 1920 with IMPRIMATUR


At the Point of Death

An American newspaper relates the following interesting event:
-----"On Good Friday, a Mr. MacGill, being 240 miles from Gainesville, where he believed there was a Catholic church, determined to go there and remain over Easter. Arriving at this place he found there was neither a church nor a priest, and that the nearest town where he could receive the Sacraments was Pilatea-Putnamby. This was too far for him to go, so he engaged rooms at a hotel, where he stayed several days.

"On the morning after his arrival, he noticed that many persons went in and out of a certain room. He asked the landlord's daughter whether anyone was sick, and received the answer that a young man from Massachusetts lay there, dying of consumption. Mr. MacGill asked to be taken to see him, and as his business was not urgent, and his visits appeared to be pleasing to the sick man, he often sat for hours by his bedside, rendering him all kinds of little services, by arranging his pillows and giving him water or medicine, etc. He spoke to him about anything he thought might interest him, but avoided the topic of religion, for he supposed the young man to be a Protestant.

"On the evening before his departure, Mr. MacGill visited the sick man once more, and just before leaving him, raised him in bed, in order to arrange the pillows and bed coverings. He then caught sight of a Scapular, which, to his astonishment, the sufferer was wearing round his neck. Seeing, however, that he was exhausted and sleepy, he could not say anything more to him that night, but going to him early the next morning, he told the patient that he had noticed the Scapular, and asked if he were a Catholic. "I am not one," was the answer; "my mother was, but she died when I was quite a child. Before her death, I attended the church and Sunday school, but afterwards, I gave no thought to religion. My father kept a boarding house for sailors, in Boston, so you can imagine the kind of companions that surrounded my youth. I was nursed at the beginning of this illness by a Sister of Mercy in a hospital and before coming here she gave me the Scapular, recommending me to wear it, as it might perhaps be of use to me. I have worn it ever since, just to please her, because she was so kind to me, and I shall continue to do so, even if I return home." On being asked whether he would like to see a priest, he said he would, but added he had nearly forgotten all he had ever known of the Catholic religion, but that, if he ever practised any form of worship, he would prefer the religion of his mother to any other. His friend saw there was no time to lose, for the youth was in the last stage of consumption so he hastened to the telegraph office, and sent a dispatch to Father Kenny, at Pilatea. The priest took the next train, and arrived in the morning at Gainesville; he went to the sick room, instructed the young man, heard his Confession, gave him Holy Communion, and administered Extreme Unction. The very day after, the poor sufferer died.

Is not this, again, a proof how the Holy Mother of God takes care of all who are in any way her servants? If this youth had not worn the Scapular, he would, most probably, have died without the opportunity of making his peace with God.


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